Taking Ownership of the Church

What are some of the things that you own?

Do you own a house that you upkeep, update, and are constantly making improvements to?  What about a nice car that you wash and wax to keep it looking its best?  Some of you own a dog or cat that you care for daily and enjoy its company after a long day at work.  And if you’re anything like me, you own a bunch of electronics that can perform both useful and worthless gimmicky feats—you take every opportunity to show off your new gadget to your friends or siblings.

But how many of us really take ownership of the Church?  We make bold statements about how Jesus changed our lives forever and that our faith is the most important thing in our lives.  But do we really own it?

Owning the Church takes nothing away from God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit’s role in the Church and the fact that they are the true owners, but it’s all about being responsible with what we’ve been entrusted with.  Paul reminds us of this responsibility in 1 Thessalonians 2:4 when he says, “For we speak as messengers approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News.  Our purpose is to please God, not people.  He alone examines the motives of our hearts.”

So let’s take a look at four ways we can own the Church…

Improve it – We don’t abandon our stuff that isn’t perfect or not just the way we like it, so we shouldn’t do that with the Church either when we see its mistakes.  The Church is made up of a bunch of people, so it’s bound to have a ton of faults (some minor and some potentially major).  When we see those weaknesses, we need to look at them as an opportunity to tweak.  This is our chance to really put our own passions, dreams, and creativity into how the Church tries to love and serve others.

Maintain it – The Church needs maintenance.  This can be literal as far as putting the effort in to upkeep the church buildings and equipment that we worship in/with.  But it also means we need to take our responsibility of discipleship seriously—if we don’t maintain the Church by taking someone under our wing to grow them as a Christ follower, then it will eventually wither away.

Care for it – The Bible tells us several times to take care of each other.  Don’t just watch your friend struggle and not do anything about it.  We need to take action.  We need to be willing to sacrifice a Friday night to help someone in crisis or give up our Saturday to help somebody move.  We need to be available.  We need to be ready to go through life together.

Enjoy it – You should look forward to going to your church.  If you don’t, it’s time to get to work—you need to offer what you have to make it a place that engages you, your friends, family, and coworkers.  Just like you show off your favorite possessions, you should love the Church so much that you want to show it off to your friends.  And if you really take ownership of your faith, it’s not about pointing your loved ones to YOUR church, but to the church that you know would be the BEST FIT for their (potential) personal relationship with Jesus so they can also take ownership of the Church.

This is so much bigger than Cranston Christian Fellowship or any other church out there.  If we’re taking ownership of the big “C” Church, then our motives are where they should be and we won’t be so concerned about growing our own ministries/churches but will be focused on growing Jesus’ Ministry and Church.

Written by:  Justin Dowiot, Youth Minister