So much has been written about building a solid church. Here at Victory Life part of our vision statement says that we are all about building healthy churches.
Now that may seem a little daunting. Each one of us loves the vision statement, but how many of us understand exactly how to contribute to it. How do we personally and passionately get involved in building healthy churches and growing people in Christ? We say it more easily than understanding how we can play a part in it. Perhaps, despite repeating the vision statement with passion, we leave accomplishing the vision statement to those who created it thinking they are better equipped to get it done.
We have a very meaningful and biblically aligned vision statement. It fits in with what Jesus asked us to get done. Build healthy churches full of people who are growing in Christ. But how can I contribute to that? My Senior Pastor is a rock star when it comes to that – shouldn’t I just leave that to him and his selected, vision focussed, leadership team? I mean how will I ever be able to contribute to building a church let alone help someone else develop in Christ. I mean I am muddling my way through that myself how can I help others?
Without getting super spiritual, we all have to be reminded that WE are the church. You can not be the church on your own. I don’t have to underline the old statement that the church is not the building. But that’s just it – we know what it is not, but we sometimes do little to understand what it really is. The whole biblical concept of the church is based completely on relationship. Relationship of the individual with God, the Son and Holy Spirit and then the relationship of the believers together.
Note the two relationships that I would suggest are intrinsically part of a healthy church. You with God, and you with others. If a healthy church its built by its individual members being in close relationship with God AND being in close relationship with each other, we have the formulae for how you and I can get involved in achieving our vision statement.
The two relationships that build healthy churches exist together. We don’t get ourselves right with God before we start getting ourselves right with each other. And we certainly don’t need to wait on having friends to be able to get to know God. But these two relationships do work beautifully together. I often find that as I develop relationships with others, my relationship deepens with God. And as I discover more about God, the greater my desire to hang out with others who love Him becomes.
Its pretty much how it was when the church first started. Acts 2:42-47 tells us that the believers loved to listen to the apostles stories about Jesus. And while they were learning more about Him, they built up some pretty awesome relationships with one another. As they grew in relationship with God, their circle of friends just kept getting bigger and bigger.
So how do you and I help build healthy churches? We build a healthy relationship with God and then we build healthy relationships with others. You can be part of building healthy churches.
I often read the book of Psalms. And through it I get guided on my relationship with God. It deals with my vertical relationship. But then I read Proverbs and it guides and teaches me on my relationship with others – my horizontal relationships. And the two are intrinsically wound together to form what we call the church.
Looking at the concept that a healthy church is comprised of people who love God and love each other, it helps us understand that we can be a part of the vision statement. As we dedicate ourselves to growing in Christ and growing in relationship with others, the church will strengthen. We can do that, right?
The church is not just about you and God; it is just as much about you and others. We are commanded by Christ to love God and then love our neighbors. If we know how important our relationship with others is in the process of having and building a healthy church, we would certainly not allow petty issues to break down those relationships. Just as much as we should not be using excuses to put aside our relationship with God. Church should never be a lonely place.
Building healthy churches involves relationships, and that involves you and I. Looking forward to doing that together.