…..and on this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against itMatthew 16:18
I Ogba Victor, a servant to churches through the Spirit of Grace.
Having already published greatness in Gods sight for the Christian and the minister, I hereby write to the churches of the great God and Saviour Jesus Christ. For it is he who has founded the church and upon his foundation we build as wise builders.
I would not explain the meaning of greatness again having explained what greatness is in the Greatness in Gods sight series. I would however not fail to remind my readers that greatness in God’s sight is far different from greatness in the eyes of men. For the scripture says that the ways of God are not the ways of men.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts”Isaiah 55 vs. 8-9
What is the Church?
Church is gotten from the Greek word Ecclesia meaning ‘the called out ones’. The Church therefore is the body of the called out people of God who represent Christ in the world. The church is the union of individuals who have been called to eternal life by God through faith in Jesus.
The origin of the word explains why the Church is not the building where Christians worship but the people who worship in the Church building.
If you google or use any of the Search engines to lookup the phrase ‘great church, you will come to see the great irony. What is that irony? The irony is that the world of men defines great churches as magnificent buildings. Great churches are seen as great monumental edifices built for worship. And then we will see churches with mega fellowship and mega membership. You will see some of the churches owned by mega pastors and bishops. And then you will see some of the churches with mega rich members who can generate millions of hard currency in a single church service. These things are how the world, human, people, the internet, and sadly, the modern day Christians see a great Christian church. When men see these thing they say “the church is doing well”.
Therefore it pleases the Spirit of Christ who writes through me a mere dust and a servant of the Church to tell those called unto eternal life and more strictly the Elect of God that there is more to the greatness of a church. The greatness of a Church in God’s sight is far deeper and far higher than man thinks. And it is not in the precious edifices and building, it is not in the mega fellowship members, neither is it in the quality of revenue the members can generate in just a single gathering. Greatness of the church is not found in the well know church leader or pastor. In other words the social status of the Pastor in no way justifies a great church. It is not in the number of branches the church has. The social prowess and name of the church means absolute nothing when God spells the greatness of his church.
These things are good, they are plausible, they are commendable and worth praising God for. However, the matter so little if we understand God’s word.
The following are some outstanding prerequisites for the greatness of a Church.
Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.2 Timothy 2:19
Holiness they say, is the beauty of believers. The scripture above is a direct command to the church. Its implication is that the Lord of the church knows those who are true worshipers and that they do not abide in iniquity. A holy church is like a precious perfume before God. A holy church doesn’t compromise with iniquity and sinners. A holy church does not tolerate sin from any member or pastor. A holy church doesn’t dwell in quarrels and malice. Such a church uses the Holy Scripture and it’s commandments as guide and not man made dogma.
A praying Church is Gods own military. If we can come to terms with how much respect and honour is given to the Army and their generals by a country, then we will understand how much God values and honours a church on fire in prayers. A praying Church is not a church that is selfish in prayers. A praying church must pray all forms of prayers and intercessions. A praying church is normally too hot to handle by the powers of darkness and that church experiences the power of God like none other.
Charity and love
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the worldJames 1:27
There is no church that ignores the weak, hungry, orphans and helpless widows that will attain Gods mark on righteousness not to talk of greatness. God wants the church to take care of the weak and feeble in the society especially those who are there in the house of God.
Evangelism and Missions :
The zeal of Christ for man is shown in missions and evangelism. A Church that is serious in missions work is like Gods fishing net. Now we now that the net is the fisherman’s most priceless tool; that is how priceless a missions minded Church is to God. Praises makes God happy, prayers move mountains but soul wining gives God fullness of Joy. As it is written in Luke 15:7- I say to you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repents, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
A servant Church
If you want to be great, you must be the servant of all the others – Matthew 20:26. The words of Jesus is true at all times even for the body of Christ – the Church. If a church desires to be greater than others, if a church wants to be closer to God than others, if a church wants God to display his power among them than others, that church must be a servant Church.
The church must serve Lord, serve the other churches and Christians, and also serve humanity in line with God’s word. The Church must serve the lord by rendering direct services to him and doing his works. They ought to render services to other churches and Christians in true supplication and intercession. They must serve in prayers; the men of God and ministers both those who pastor them and others who are doing God’s work. They must pray earnestly that the work of God will go on and that God will continue to showcase his power throughout his kingdom on earth. Also they ought to serve other churches by helping weaker church stand on their feet by sending missionaries and evangelists to help expand God’s work. There is greatness in this. Oh yes!! In all my years of following Christ, if there’s anything I’ve learnt about service, it is, that there is greatness in being a servant in the work of God.
The presence of the Holy Ghost
The presence of the Holy Spirit is everything a church needs to meet God’s mark on righteousness and consequently, greatness. For without the Great Spirit of God whom I fear exceedingly, no church can be holy, prayerful, faithful or committed to Gods work. If the spirit of God is in a church, they have 0.9 probability to achieve greatness. For He shall quicken their mortal bodies, purify and sanctify them and even remind them the things I write in these articles of greatness. Just as no man who does not have the Spirit of God truly belongs to God that is how no church without the Holy Ghost’s presence truly belongs to God. The Holy Spirit is the antidote for sinful passions and darkness that is ravaging mankind and many church goers. I pray the lord opens our eyes to the mysteries concerning the Holy Ghost. The prayers and service of a church is more effective if the Spirit of God is present among them. For they will pray and serve in power and might of God.
Summarily, true greatness confirmed for a church no matter the size of building or membership is if the spirit of the Lord is ever present among them. Brotherly love and fellowship has to exist among them and there should be found no darkness and dark works in and among them but the works of light and love. The church must focus on total holiness preaching and shun sin without compromise and hypocrisy. A righteous servant church must never stops praying fervent and true prayers unto God for the churches, ministers and the lost world. The church of love does not forget to help the poor especially those in the house of God. The church must be involved in missions and soul winning. And lastly a church full of faith. For without faith it is impossible to please God says the Holy books.
Finally brethren, put on the whole armour of God as individuals and as the body of Christ for that is the desire of the Lord. Each Christian church must strive to achieve greatness in these days which the spirit of God is zealous to awaken His church in power. Let us not be lackluster or lukewarm but let us be men of the Spirit that we may not be spit out and our names be blotted out.
May the God of peace give us grace in Jesus’ name; Amen.