The pews were hard, with no back,
the only cool air was a breeze that blew through an opening where a window
should have been, and the humidity was so thick it made it hard to
breathe. Yet, when the man up front began
to play his guitar the voices of those in attendance rang through the little
town. We had been in Monterey, Mexico,
to help build small churches in surrounding villages. The pastor stood to preach, and though we
couldn’t understand what he said we knew that he preached the God’s word.
I have had
the opportunity to worship with people in Macau, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mexico,
Greece, Bahrain, and Turkey and they all had one thing in common, they were
believers in Jesus.
There is something
refreshing to fellowship with people of like faith, and comforting to know that
we had Christ as our common bond.
For most of
the twentieth century the greatest missionary effort came from the Untied
After World War II Christians
fell in love with people they had met during the war and felt God’s call to
spend the rest of their lives sharing the gospel.
My wife’s parents were such people.
My father-in-law was stationed in Morocco,
North Africa, and after the war he returned to be a part of God’s plan to bring
the gospel to the world.
Yet, the fervor
of the early part of the century waned, and churches in the United States sent
fewer and fewer missionaries.
plan would not be thwarted. Jesus said that the gates of hell would not prevail
are now more missionaries coming from Asia than the United States.
God has raised up His church in one place to
fill the deficiencies of the church in others.
This is the pattern of history, and He will continue to do so until
The church is His bride,
and through her He has chosen to bring the gospel.
The Church is made up of individuals called
to follow and live in community with one another.
The church collective is the vehicle through
which God has chosen to bring the message of the gospel.
It is a mixture of individual and collective
been tension in the U.S. between para-church and church ministries.
Organizations outside the church sprung up
because individuals felt the church was not fulfilling its
The answer, however,
is not the para-church; it has not been called to bear witness to the
We must never abandon the church
with all its flaws for something that God has not called to be His means of
proclaiming His grace.
3:10 “so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through
the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. 11
This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ
Jesus our Lord.”
Paul was a minister of the gospel, chosen by
God, sent and supported by the church.
His goal was to share the good news with individuals and establish
churches where the grace of God could be lived out.
We must not abandon her for something
We can try to do it on our own,
and we might see fruit from our efforts, but individual effort has never been
the plan of God.
I Love The Church
because it is God’s chosen instrument to make known to the world His love and
grace. I’m just saying… (Continued).