A sad expression of conceit in the Christian church is seen in the idea that a large church means success - that the one who founded it has arrived with his church. Often disguised with the words, ‘We live to support the local church,’ the inference is that if you follow my example and ‘learn of me’ you can be like me and my church. But it is not the church that births Jesus. It is Jesus who births the church.
What kind of conference have you been to lately? Did it feature big name speakers from the culture of big Mc Church? There is an industry, called the Christian Industry that largely fosters and multiplies itself. There are conferences about that feature speakers entirely chosen from this Christian Industry where leaders manufacture product and the masses consume it. Here speakers can find acclaim for giving excellent ‘words’ when what they gave was human philosophy with a Christian gloss. I learned the phrase Christian Industry from a man in Brooklyn NY who ran a church in a café. He came under reproach by institutional representatives who inferred that what He had was not church. I once heard a person with a famous prophetic ministry say the same thing. Prophecy and discernment are not always found together. Better to have the covering of Jesus than the smothering of man.
Teaching is fruitful when it is the expression of Christ in us; when the words spoken are words of spirit and life arising from Jesus in us and our union with our Father. But teaching is not an end in itself. It is for the building up and equipping of Believers to live from their inheritance in Christ without being mendicants and dependency addicts. As a leader/teacher, you have the responsibility to know what the new covenant is, live from it and teach others to enter its provision of belonging and life to the full. If Christ is not your life don’t expect to impart life. If He is expect to reap more than what you sow.
You have the capacity to know Jesus, enjoy His company and be taught personally by Him because you are a man/woman and He is the Son of Man. By His Spirit He enters your life to share Himself with you. Christ our life is not a feat of accomplishment. It is already a fact. He is in and with you. Live from what you have. Then when you meet in the community of other believers you will multiply His life by being yourself rather than being a passive Christian consumer ministering to someone’s need for fame.
We are not Godly because of what we do. We are Godly because we are in God and we are living from this reality. Godliness is a state of being. Godliness is Christ in us, Christ our life. The expression of Jesus through each of us is Godliness in spirit and in truth.
Life is imparted not because we are famous, have a following or have large church. It is imparted when Christ is our life, when we are sons of our Father and have gained the capacity to plant Jesus in order to harvest sons. Jesus’ church is not an institution. It is family. Whether big or small, it is where Jesus is with His people.
Real praise and worship is the result of our life with Christ. It is the acknowledgement that He is our life and our Lord. Obedience is the highest form of praise and worship and with it an implicit agreement that we are the outgrowth of Him - the expression of His being and as such the most truly ourselves that we could possibly be.
A person might call themselves Christian because they attend church regularly. Or because they hold certain beliefs. There is a greater degree of being than being Christian. This is being a daughters or a son in spirit and in truth. This occurs when the incarnated Jesus lives His ‘son of man’ through us. It happens when we are in the Spirit, in the new covenant and at peace in His provision of Himself as our life. Here the fruit we produce is Kingdom Life.