Here are 5 places that I see as necessary in building a healthy church. They are battlefields, because the Devil hates the Church. There are different projects in North America working on various aspects, but without bringing them together, we will keep finding breaches in the walls. Of course, Christ is the cornerstone and we are building on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, the Scriptures (Eph. 2). I’m sure you can add a thing or two, and maybe correct me here and there. But here goes:
- Worship: the public worship of God is central to the cultivation of personal devotion, the advance of the gospel, and the unity of the Church. This is because where God is not glorified, self is exalted. It is not oriented towards these things, but it has a magnetic power as it pulls these things toward it.
- Fellowship: we live in a “connected” age, but in a lonely age due to sin and the breakdown of communication through social media. Hospitality and other such things should be encouraged and developed in the Church.
- Doctrine: it never stops being under attack. By this, I don’t simply mean systematic categories, but particularly where the church intersects with the culture.
- Evangelism: the gospel must go forward, not only over seas, but also in our backyard. Evangelism is simply part of our identity as Christians, and our lack of it reveals an identity crisis.
- Family: this is really one of the core units of the church. In fact, the family becomes a “metaphor” for the church. I would argue that the family is built off of the principle of “my life for yours.” I am ready to lay down, my life, my pride, so that I can build you up. When families don’t live by this principle, the Church will have greater difficulty living by this principle.
After the Apostle Paul teaches good doctrine, encourages Christian community, witness, family, and worship, he ends with this exhortation. “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” (Eph. 6:13) It’s a battle, and we have all the tools: the Word, prayer, truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, the Spirit. You know what that means? We are ready to rebuild in the ruins.