Is your place of worship a faith centered church or a corporate church? More than likely everyone will say faith centered Church. No one likes to admit when their church has crossed the line of being a corporation. It is not fun to admit, and it probably hurts too. Can't you have a faith centered corporate church? No, and here is why.
Faith centered Churches always have God and the salvation of Jesus as their foundation. Corporate Churches want to think that they have faith, but they have lost their way. After all of the bells and whistles become meaningless, you are left with nothing more than a building.
I have been a business owner my entire adult life, so I understand what a business model looks like. I have also gone to Church my whole life, so I know how to spot a faith centered Church as well. When I see Churches looking more like a business then they do Churches, I become concerned. What exactly are these Churches doing to help lead people to Christ?
The Church model as described in the Bible is not what a lot of modern Churches are. Instead of salvation as the focus of the Church, the waters become muddied by programs, music, and self-interests. If you are trying to run a corporate Church like a faith based church, you are headed for disaster. Faith-based Churches cannot be run like a business. Corporate Churches need to be run like a business because that is what they have become. When you try to be both, you will end up failing.
Ephesians 4:11-12 NASB “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;”
How to turn a corporate Church into a faith centered Church
I am sure that as I lay out some objectives for transforming a corporate Church into a Faith Church, some of you reading this will still be in denial about your place of worship. One of the first things that you must do to overcome a problem is first to identify the problem or problems. Until you have an honest conversation about what is going on, nothing will change. You will continue to walk down the same path of denial.
After you have identified the problem or problems with your place of worship, you should find at the top of your list “lack of Biblical foundation.” Anything that is not praising God, sharing the gospel or not speaking Biblical truths needs to be removed. When you let the “other things” take over your place of worship, you are diminishing the real reason why you gather once a week.
You can twist and turn any situation into something that you want it to be. Not everything that you call a ministry is a ministry. If your ministry is not leading people to Christ, quit calling it a ministry.
2 Timothy 4:3-4 NASB For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.
Follow the money
Quit wasting time talking about things that are not furthering God's kingdom. Stop talking about money. I know you can twist and turn Bible verses into sermons that say you need to give 10% or more to your Church. That's great; I agree that we should all donate money. The difference in joyful giving and corporate giving is one gift is from the heart, and the other is laying a guilt trip on someone to give. Giving money is not furthering God's kingdom like you are portraying it to be. It is just propping up the payroll of the staff, the mortgage on the building and paying the utilities. God's word can be spread without all of those things. Stop putting your pocketbook before the kingdom.
Just a building
Let's talk about facilities for a second. We all want a place to worship. There are varying degrees of what is necessary to function properly. Remember a building is just a building. People can worship the same way whether there is a new coat of paint on the walls or not. Church facilities should be adequate to meet the needs of the congregation. “If you build it they will come,” is not a faith centered focus, it is a corporate marketing tool.
Psalm 95:1-2 NASB O come, let us sing for joy to the Lord, Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.”
Now let's talk about the bells and whistles. Do you need a sound and IT system that is over $1,000,000? No. Maybe if you make it a little grander or a little louder, God will hear you better? God does not need the top of the line mechanics to understand where your heart is at. Through reading the Bible, I didn't see a single verse about how the quality of the worship service brings you closer God.
Put God before people
Stop putting people and their feelings above what God wants. Instead of tailoring your service to a particular sector of the population, spread the good news of salvation instead. The word of God does not need to be broken up into age groups or demographics. Only corporations try to target market people; faith-based Churches do not do this.
When your congregation shrinks because you are not a faith-based Church, it is time to cut your staff. Just like any good corporation would do, when business slows down, cut the jobs. It may even be time for a shake up in your corporate structure. When businesses fail because of inadequate leadership, leaders are removed and replaced. I have never seen a corporation that kept their failed leadership in power, survive the long haul.
Jeremiah 23:1-4 NASB “Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of My pasture!” declares the Lord. Therefore thus says the Lord God of Israel concerning the shepherds who are tending My people: “You have scattered My flock and driven them away, and have not attended to them; behold, I am about to attend to you for the evil of your deeds,” declares the Lord. “Then I Myself will gather the remnant of My flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and bring them back to their pasture, and they will be fruitful and multiply. I will also raise up shepherds over them and they will tend them; and they will not be afraid any longer, nor be terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the Lord.
Where will you find yourself worshiping?
I hear people all of the time talking about having a disconnect from Church. What they do have is a disconnect from God. This disconnect is reinforced by a corporate Church that does not lead people to Christ. When I first started my business, I was always told to surround yourself with successful people if you want to be successful. The same applies to our spiritual life as well. The wrong people will hinder your relationship with God. The right people will reinforce what God is doing in your life. These people will be there to encourage you and help you when you need help. Instead of giving you a title in their organization to make you feel important, the right people will show you how important God is in your life.
It will oppress your spiritual life by continuing to be a part of a corporate Church. After all, a Church is God's house. We just visit there to worship him.
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