Church sense is centered on the premise that church is the main thing. We must build the church; the local church is the hope of the world, etc. The thinking from leaders who influence the followers is the people must help build and fulfill the vision of the leaders. This is a very narrow point of view. It is limiting in impact by its strictures on what can be done. People are afraid to do anything because it might not be their place or might offend the leaders or might diverge from the main agenda of the church. (I’ll probably be in trouble with some people over that statement)
Don’t get me wrong, the local church is a powerful expression of Christian life in the community, particularly if it is freeing and empowering. Ephesians 4 says that the role of the five fold ministries is to equip the members of the church for the works of service. That is empowerment! The works of service are not Sunday school teaching, cleaning the toilets, and serving tea. These are all mundane works that need to be done but it certainly doesn’t require an apostle and a prophet to teach you how to make a cup of tea. In fact you knew how to do that before you got Jesus. Leaders need to recognise that it is not all about them but all about the release of potential stored up within the believers. Our vision as leaders needs to be to grow “big people” not “big churches”. The one, churches, will follow the other.
Works of service are much, much more. Jesus aptly describes the works of service in the Gospels. For example: Mark 16 – “15 He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well." Or Matthew 28 – “18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Or Acts 1 – “7 He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." None of these works of service sound like they are fulfilled through lawn care or building maintenance or childcare. Those things are functional realities, i.e., the deacons appointed in Acts 6, as a byproduct of a wonderful ingathering of people into Jesus’ church. Even in the midst of that assignment read the chapter and see the impact Stephen had upon the city of Jerusalem or Philip upon Samaria.
The last worldview that will turn the whole world upside down is “kingdom sense”. Jesus did not coming preaching common sense or church sense but kingdom reality. He demonstrated the kingdom of God through healing, deliverance, raising the dead, miraculously feeding thousands on the lunches of small boys. He preached the Kingdom of God is near you and then showed it to them. His presence and the authority with which He spoke overwhelmed the people. None of their leaders taught like Him.
We need to shift our thinking from either “common sense” or “church sense” to “Kingdom sense”. If we truly want to impact our homes, our neighbourhoods, our city, or our nation, we have to shift to a kingdom perspective in our thinking. Then things will get truly interesting!
(image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)