It’s safe to say that more than half the people on this planet feel that church sucks. They see it as an institution – one that is intolerant, irrelevant, hypocritical and completely out of touch with culture.
It’s also safe to say that the other half of this planet have no official opinion of church because they’ve never formulated an opinion. They’ve grown up their entire lives unchurched in cultures that have no experience with the institution let alone with the person of Jesus.
So why do we plant churches when people just think they suck or don’t care for them? Why do we missionaries, church planters, pastors and Jesus followers devote our entire lives to the pursuit of building the church?
The answer depends on your definition of church. If your mind conjures up images of a physical building with a steeple and cross, or a trendy old movie theatre with a post modern rock band – than you are terribly misguided. The church is about people. It’s about the transformation of entire families, cultures and ethnic groups.
Church is an expression of the people of God living out the Kingdom of God here on earth. Despite all its flaws the universal church/people of God is the ultimate pursuit of a missionary God who is seeking worship from every tribe, tongue and nation.
I grew up much like the second group of people on this planet, unchurched. My family went to the Buddhist temples, attended the festivals, gave alms, participated in Animistic ceremonies and forced me to become a novice monk (three times). My experience with church was limited to the religious buildings we drove by and the white preachers on T.V. I would have never stepped inside a church building unless it was to steal something. What brought me to faith was Jesus. I was attracted to the transformation he had to offer. I knew I needed to change because thuggin it wasn’t cuttin it.
So if your plan is to build a literal church (singular) please stop. Jesus said that He will build His Church. Our job is to build people. If we build into people the DNA of obedience then the Kingdom churches will sprout naturally as an expression of who they genuinely are – followers of Jesus…Kingdom people.