Say No to Opening New Churches and Ministries
I read this morning with tears the letter of Archbishop Foley Beach (GAFCON Chairman) on Reformation Day at the Castle Church in Germany where Martin Luther began the protestant reformation 502 years ago.
The day also been the feast day of SS Simon &Jude Day; he spoke and reminded us on the essence of the reformation of the church which is to achieve unity first and foremost in the Apostles doctrines.
Its a matter of tears for me today that instead of unity, the gap in the fellowship of believers keep on expounding daily, the Church was meant to be a formidable force fighting for one course and against one enemy, but today otherwise is the case; denomination fighting against another, competition on who can build the largest auditorium, competition on who ride the latest car and owns private jet etc. People literally use anywhere today as worship center including a hotel and brothels which defile the mission of Jesus Christ at the Temple in Jerusalem.
The crust of the reformation is to uphold scriptural truth but today we have all manner of doctrines and practices that contradicts the scriptures, talk of same sex marriages, church globalisation Etc.
Here is my concern for this piece, daily people are opening churches and ministries and my question is, what happened to the already existing ones? What is the intention and need of opening new church when the ones around are serving Jesus and pushing towards the goal? Does opening more churches and ministries makes the church more stronger or divided?
I think a similar issue came up in 1 Corinthians 3 but I want to specifically cite the following verses:
1 Corinthians 3:3 For you are still [unspiritual, having the nature] of the flesh [under the control of ordinary impulses]. For as long as [there are] envying and jealousy and wrangling and factions among you, are you not unspiritual and of the flesh, behaving yourselves after a human standard and like mere (unchanged) men?
1 Corinthians 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
1 Corinthians 3:7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
1 Corinthians 3:8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
1 Corinthians 3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
1 Corinthians 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
We have a lot of people struggling to plant and nobody wants to water that which has been planted, increase does not come by planting alone for someone has to plant and another has to water and increase will follow.
The foundation of Christian faith has been laid by the Apostles, what is the need of laying another one? Instead of building on the one already laid, some prefer to open another church and begin a new foundation.
To my first question, people open new churches because they feel that the ones around are no longer living up-to the expectations of the scriptures. If you belong to a particular denomination and you discover that the truth of the scriptures is no longer upheld, what is expected of you as a reformer is not to carry out a coup or divided and rule, rather you are expected to pioneer a reformation in the body that will bring the desired change instead of opening a new ministry.
Secondly, people open church when they feel that they have a better and alternative route to Jesus, how funny this could be; it’s not that the already existing ones are not going to heaven but someone woke up one morning and feel that he now has a better understanding of this whole thing and begin to champion a new doctrine to archive it. Examples the Holiness movement, faith movement churches etc, it’s not as if the existing ones are not holy or does not have faith but someone just feel that he need to cut out and make it a doctrine.
Thirdly, eternity will not be measured by your denomination or the number of churches in operation rather on how men lived their lives. Opening more churches causes confusion and strives among members and pastors. It does not give us one voice and undermine the aim of the church which ought to March on against the gate of hell. The force of the church is in its unity and not in the diversity.
Finally, I call on young men and women everywhere around the world to concentrate more on strengthen the body. Don’t open church to be called a general overseer, don’t open church to be called a celebrity flying from one country to another, don’t open church to collect offerings and Tithes. Remember the foundation has already been laid, join the builders in watering that which has been planted. Say no to opening new ministries and focus on the ones already existing.