The church is more than a building
Define the Church…in five words or less. Good job! In the West, we think of the various denominations and all of the different building architectures. You can somehow pick them out by their design. For many, it is hard to move past the building defining the church. We are always asking or answering—where do you go to church? Those that aren’t believers and are searching really see us being defined by our structures. All of this creates disunity and confusion. John Maisel, founder of East-West Ministries, says often that where they are not building buildings, the church is expanding greatly.
There’s the church, and then there’s the Church. Jesus said to Peter—“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Mt. 16.18). Jesus appears to be using a play on words. You are Peter (Petros) and on this rock (petra) I will build my church. Since Peter’s name means rock or sounds like in Greek, and since Jesus is going to build his Church on the rock, it appears that Christ is linking the two together. God used Peter greatly in the foundation of the Church.
The Church is the Body of Christ
The church is primarily a building; the Church is the Body of Christ, Believers in the gospel. During this pandemic, many churches and individuals have placed signs in yards helping us to have hope, faith, and love. This one really intrigued me. “The Church has left the building.” For several months church services have been discontinued except for online. It also means that when we leave the building to go out into the world, the church really then becomes the Church.
Dads, being a part of a local church to worship and grow spiritually is a vital part of your children’s future. It is shown that when the father attends church with his children, with or without the wife, 70% of these children continue to attend church after they leave home. Only 30% if only the mother attends with them. This alone should show you how necessary it is to become engaged with your family in the Christ-centered church of your choice. You are making a statement to them that being a part of a fellowship with other Believers is important, if not vital.
Each week the Body of Christ is dispersed over the earth at work, on mission, at play, school, wherever. One of the primary roles of pastors and the spiritual leaders of the church is to equip you and me, the saints, for the work of the ministry. (Eph. 4.12a) The majority of this work is accomplished outside the church facility. And dads, you are the primary facilitator of your children for their discipleship—not the pastors. This responsibility should be viewed as a privilege.
Do mission with your family
One way you dads/moms can really impact them for their kingdom walk is to do mission with them. Serving ‘the least of these’ is serving Christ. It starts moving so much attention about themselves, but to others. Let them experience the joy of serving others. You can start with small means of service for the younger, building from there to local or foreign mission trips. This is where the Church really prospers. People start seeing the hands and feet of Jesus. And your children will be impacted for a lifetime. So, as the sign says, “The Church has left the building”. Then the world becomes your workshop for the Kingdom of the Lord. What a privilege and joy! And your children will be impacted for a lifetime.