1 Corinthians 15:58

Building a church, parish or congregation is never an easy thing to do. There is always plenty of opposition.

People have set ideas on what the church is about, and woe betide anyone who suggests anything different. People like things done their way. People don’t like change. And in a world that is constantly changing, the one organisation that has more pressure to stay the same would have to be the church.

There is a problem of apathy. People are not really interested in committing themselves to the life of the church. But they still expect it to be there. And they have expectations of the things that it should do.

And then there is the problem of faith. People tend to hold great store by the material, by the things they can see and touch and feel, rather than take a leap of faith and put their trust in the leading of God. Furthermore, people hold on to the way things have always been done, even though they may have never worked, or may be appropriate.

Yes, growing a church is never easy. And that’s why Paul encouraged his friends at Corinth, to stand firm in the faith. To be fully focussed on the work of the Lord, despite whatever pressures they may be facing to do otherwise.

As people of faith, we need to stand up to the idea that this is God’s church, not man’s. So, no matter what opposition or discouragements we may be facing, we need to stick with the task in hand—growing God’s church. We need to fight against the apathy that we see, and take the lead. We need to show others, by example, what commitment is all about. And we need to put aside the dependence on the past ways, and to trust in God. In short, we need to think in spiritual terms regarding everything related to the church.

And if we do that, then God will bless us. Because, as Paul said to the Corinthians, we will then know that our labour has not been in vain.

Posted: 5th August 2017
© 2017, Brian A Curtis
www.21stcenturybible.com.au

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