Jesus Christ is building an administration. He is calling us to be kings and priests, and we will reign on the Earth with Him (Revelation 5:10). God is organized. We can look all around us and see symmetry, coordination, and interdependence. Throughout His Creation, from the planets and stars of galaxies beyond, to the smallest of bacteria and living organism in between, there is synergy. Why then, do some think it odd and unnecessary for God to build His body a living spiritual organism through an organizational structure for achieving the Christian objective of spiritual growth?
For some, the problem with belonging is that it requires sacrifice, interaction, and teamwork. Unfortunately, today there are fewer people in God’s Church who want to be part of a collective team.
Many believe it suits them just fine and is more spiritually comfortable to be disassociated, detached, and disconnected from any organizational associations. In other words—to be ‘independent.’
There are a variety of reasons for this, but two very common ones are: to minimize, if not eliminate, commitments, obligations, pressures and/or personal identification with any particular group; and secondly, to be in the forefront: to be heard, to run the show, or to get and receive all of the credit, the accolades, and of course the money.
Independence Can be Selfish
Admittedly, some fail to recognize the problem with not belonging is that it can be a selfish approach to Christ’s calling.
The reason? Our calling includes and demands more than just receiving or getting personal salvation. There is a work to do, which requires us to put our personal learning into real interaction with others! In other words, it’s a work that should be larger than us.
It’s larger than our families, our friends, and our lives. It has everything to do with personal sacrifice and fellowship for a collective Christian purpose.
Christ Himself said that we must love our families and friends less than we love Him to be worthy to serve Him.
“If any man come to me, and hate not [love less] his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26-27)
Yes, we are absolutely expected to provide for our families and to grow personally in grace and knowledge. But in addition, there is a collective reason and purpose for our calling:
“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” (Matthew 24:14)
“And the gospel must first be published among all nations.” (Mark 13:10)
Organizations are for Team Players
As melodramatic as it may sound, some of us may be required to lay down our lives in martyrdom (Luke 21:12-19). Dying for our faith is a great honour. Consider the historical records of Christians throughout the centuries, the apostles, and Christ Himself.
Unfortunately, today many of us have lost that connection in the quagmire of our politically correct society. Many are far more concerned with serving their own personal agendas than sacrificing for their country, political purpose, corporate goal, or team objective.
So it is in God’s church. We find Christians who are more concerned about what they can do independently, or how they can help themselves or improve on how they personally feel. So many today are only concerned about what they can do for themselves, completely forgetting the value of fellowship, which results in mutual benefiting relationships. Sadly, they fail to recognize the importance that comes with working with others, and the long-term value it has in the actual development of learning how to become a king and priest. It’s one thing to read and understand the ‘theory and idealism’ of becoming a world ruler (Revelation 2:6), but quite another to actually inter-act presently with others, promoting the Christian way.
Are We Team Players?
Not all of us are evangelists. Not all of us are teachers or pastors. We are not all writers or scholars. As in many areas of life, not all of us are capable or qualified to lead in every area. But we can be part of a collective movement by using the God-given talents/gifts we have for the benefit of the whole. We call this, first among equals. However, first among equals can only be understood in the context of being a team player.
Organizations are for team players. They require the spirit of cooperation for a common cause. They are not for the self-serving, self-oriented, self-interested or self-promoting. People like this are not well suited for an environment requiring sacrifice for a collective objective. That is too ambiguous for those who are self-serving; besides, it requires faith and trust in others beside you. This is difficult to understand and accept for those who have personal ambitions or agendas.
The Bible says to trust no man (Psalm 146:3). This is true. But we are not talking about trusting an organization with our personal salvation. We’ve been through that. Don’t get confused. We’re simply talking about trusting an organization enough to voluntarily participate in a particular evangelistic work. In our case, that work centers on sounding a clear and concise warning to a derailed and dysfunctional world while making disciples for Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19-20). This is not hard to understand unless you are strapped with suspicion, distrust, or perhaps, just simply an ample amount of selfishness.
Doing such a work requires faith. But faith (belief and trust) develops and matures only when we are committed to something outside ourselves, be it our business, our family, or our church.
With that consideration in mind, a spiritually healthy Christian faith should generate outreach. Unobstructed, this outreach generates selflessness and compels one to repent, get baptized, and proceed to overcome while committing to share the Good News (the Gospel).
It’s not difficult to recognize the need to connect and network with others when one has this mindset and outlook. By networking, we can enhance our personal growth and positively impact the world around us. There is strength in numbers and our personal effectiveness is multiplied by these efforts towards others.
“Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke [encourage] unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching…. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.” (Hebrews 10:23-25, Hebrews 10:38)
Holding the profession of faith firmly and encouraging one another as we “see the day approaching” demands a team effort framed in fellowship. We are required to get along, work with one another, interact with each other and trust and depend on one another. It requires the ability to trust each other’s judgment, thoughts, advice, and leadership. In other words, we should have some type of relationship with each other.
Mutual trust with inter-personal functions, while each of us trusts our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ: this is fundamental to our preparation for positions in Christ’s government and administration. Under these conditions, camaraderie occurs and the attributes of faith and trust become a real living experience that metabolize as part of our spiritual make-up.
Benefits of Organizations
An organized effort that requires mutual trust and cooperation creates an ideal environment for developing faith and other attributes of godly character that are intrinsically real because they’re derived from living the experiences. At the same time, it enables us to contribute to a larger work, resulting in greater impact for Christ throughout the world.
It’s much like the principle found in 1 John 4:20. If we can’t love those whom we see, work, and talk with now, how can you say we really love God, whom we don’t see? This is very profound! It’s quite a statement and simple equation to consider, especially when applying the same principle to organizations and/or organized Christian efforts.
How can we say we are on “God’s team,” yet not have enough faith to commit to an organized brotherhood, sharing ourselves, our talents, and skills with a ‘work’ that is bigger than us; a work of witness and warning to our troubled, failing, and violently agitated world? After all, isn’t Christ going to require us to work with others in a coordinated effort during the millennium? It’s something to think about and consider when and if we are hesitating to fellowship with others.
Clarify Our Work and Calling
When suspicion and distrust are abundant, Satan the Devil can scatter the power of God’s holy people and cause the love of many to wax cold (Matthew 24:12-13).
God’s Church needs to have a very pointed, focused, and concise message. It needs to be laser-sharp! But with all of us being scattered, fractured, and split, we have effectively allowed Satan to defuse our efforts and blunt our proclamation of the true Gospel and warning of the coming destruction to our own cultures within the Christian world, and other parts of the world.
Consequently, many today are focusing on more customary and traditional subjects of Christianity with minimal emphasis on the distinctions of God’s Truth. This obviously is less likely to generate criticism from the public. Failure to emphasize our distinctions is unfortunate for God’s Church. We are all aware of Christ’s warning, found in Luke 6:26, about His true called out ones:
“Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.”
In light of this world’s destructive trends and the continued demise of our Judeo-Christian values, God’s Church cannot afford to take a lukewarm approach towards our responsibilities as an evangelistic trumpet. The nations of this world need God’s team to be committed, clear, and concise in message, and dedicated to the work of witnessing, warning, and making disciples for Jesus Christ. As a culture and nation, we are facing impending national calamities and destruction. And Christ’s return to re-institute our Father’s government on this planet is our responsibility to announce and “cry aloud.” So what are we doing about it?
We should ask ourselves, what are the present levels of our participation in advancing the gospel of Christ crucified and the announcement of His coming world-ruling government? Are we involved? Are we contributing? Be honest with yourself: are you doing all you can in these troublesome times to contribute toward opening up more opportunities to help save someone? Are we part of an organized team that is actively witnessing and warning, and building God’s Gideon’s army in these latter times? Are we proactively involved in preparing to be future kings and priests by working within an organized effort bigger than ourselves? The choice is ours. We need to get real and be urgent because the times, brethren, are upon us!