What’s The Church Got To Do With It? Part I
Matthew 8:20, declares, “And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” For too long, we’ve missed the true meaning of this Scripture. St. Matthew is not referring to a place for our Lord to sleep; a hotel room, bed, or pillow. What is connected to a head; yes, you guessed it, a body. We are the body of Christ, (His body), yet Jesus said He has no place to lay His head. We are so out of alignment with Him; with His thinking that He can’t find anywhere to lay his headship. SMH. As “the body” of Christ, we have the capacity to handle the downloads of fresh ideas, concepts, thoughts, technologies, methodologies, and strategies that are in the mind of God. My God, we are the most powerful entity on the planet. Made in the image and likeness of God, we have all the attributes that make God, God (Phil 2:6), yet Jesus said we can’t handle it. Why, because we have a wrong image of “the church.” We’ve been reduced to a bunch of fanatical Christians who assemble in a building that we call “church.” If anything, we should be ashamed of what we have allowed to transpire in the “church.” We settle for shaking, falling out and getting healed, thinking, that’s it! There should be a sense of embarrassment when we look at what has occurred in the past and today, and realize there is so much more that God wants to do through “His body.” It’s due to ignorance. And ignorance my friend is not a bad word; it simply means a lack of knowledge, but it can no longer be tolerated. Let’s start by understanding that you don’t go to church—you are the church; the Ecclesia.
Ecclesia is a term regularly used today. Many were taught that the ecclesia means the called out ones; as in a called out-group of believers; an assembly. But, the word ecclesia never had a religious or spiritual meaning to it at all. The Romans were in charge at the time that Jesus picked this name to give to the church. The Roman government sent a governor to rule over a region occupied by other people; in this case the Jewish people. When they arrived in the region, the governor would call out a group of Jewish citizens and give them authority to help him enforce the law and government on behalf of the Roman Empire. In other words, they became a group of citizens who were an extension of the Roman government. When Jesus called us the church—the ecclesia, He was saying you are My extension of the kingdom government in the earth. Now, represent My government (heaven); colonize earth and make it operate just like heaven (Mt 6:9). This friend is the ecclesia, the church.
Eph 4:11-12 says, “And His gifts were [varied; He Himself appointed and gave men to us] some to be apostles (special messengers), some prophets (inspired preachers and expounders), some evangelists (preachers of the Gospel, traveling missionaries), some pastors (shepherds of His flock) and teachers. His intention was the perfecting and the full equipping of the saints (His consecrated people), [that they should do] the work of ministering toward building up Christ's body (the church).” Amplified version. Notice, the intent of the five-fold ministry gifts was to build up this body. The place where we assemble, and we ARE directed to assemble (Heb 10:25), is just a building. We have problems differentiating from the building and the ecclesia. For example, an individual will put out their cigarette when they enter “the building,” but then light up again and put it “the church” when they depart. The building isn’t holy, you are. The building is where the ecclesia assembles to worship our God corporately and where we receive instruction on who we are so we can carry out His assignments. Enter the Pastor.
Jeremiah 3 says, He gives the body pastors according to His heart to feed the people with knowledge and understanding so they (the people) could multiply and increase. If He provides pastors so you can get knowledge and understanding, clearly, no matter how astute you are, you can’t understand God fully on your own. That pastor is graced to help you connect the dots. That’s why it’s ridiculous for you to stay at home whether it’s because you are so anointed you think you can teach yourself, or you’ve become offended with the body or someone who hurt you in “the church.” As my husband has often said, if you go to a restaurant and the service is bad, you don’t stop eating out, you simply change restaurants. You must assemble yourself together; that’s the divine order of God. And then, it becomes immensely important that you attend a place where God has graced a specific pastor to train you for reigning. Acts 17:26 reveals our sovereign beginnings; those things in which we have no control— your origin; looks, ethnicity, family demographics, etc; but your spiritual formation is directed by God (1 Cor 12:18). When you become a believer, God begins to work in you in a unique way to shape your understanding of Him and the way His kingdom operates. The man or woman of God He appoints is anointed to do that. There is a pastor graced specifically for you and it’s not based on his/her intellectual prowess or lack thereof; how they dress or how well his wife leads praise and worship. It’s who God has set to teach you (I’ll cover this more extensively next month).
Erringly, we choose a place of worship and instruction based on family tradition, ethnicity, demographics, etc—all the wrong reasons. It’s ludicrous to select a place of worship and instruction based on the size of the building, the number of members, the color of the carpet or how the choir rocks. Furthermore, selecting a place of worship because the entire family assembles there is dangerous; that church may be dead. SMH. Equally dangerous is leaving your place of worship and instruction based on employment opportunities. The place where you assemble should drive any life altering decisions. It matters where you assemble. Nor do you assemble to have an emotional experience. According to Ezekiel 34, the ecclesia assembles in a place where the diseased are strengthened; the sick are made whole; the broken are restored; those driven away are brought back to kingdom living; and the lost are received. That’s why it’s important that you understand your purpose as the ecclesia. If you are born again, you are the ecclesia, graced to change the world, but not until you have your mind renewed.
“What’s the Church got to do with It,” everything! 2013 promises to be the most amazing year for believers who know their divine purpose and who align themselves with God. Too many of God’s people are doing their own thing and making their own decisions. This will not work in 2013. You must learn to trust that God knows what He has planned for you….He knows what He’s doing. My assignment is to help you understand. Stay tuned….
Belinda G. Moss, PhD
Dread Champion Rouser (DCR)
Dr. Belinda G. Moss, Founding Director, the Transformer eNewsletter, Co-Founder of PB Success Unlimited, Inc., and Executive Director at Soteria Christian Center International. She is an author, motivational speaker, preacher, life coach, personal mastery consultant, and suicide prevention specialist. Dr. Moss has dedicated her life to serving God and humanity.