The Vital Role of Churches Today
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by Frederick Drummond, Sr
Frederick A. Drummond is a man on a mission. His assignment is to see the Word of faith preached once again in the context of church life. He knows this is where true revival has to begin. Even back in the mid-sixties as a teenage preacher, he had to deal with the problems of churchless Christianity. He came face-to-face with the frustration of trying to motivate people who were living the God-life outside of a proper church relationship, and also in churches that had lost their first love and forgotten the basics. He often saw the fruit of his labors wasted as new converts and revived church members once again returned to their old ways, because they didn’t have the God-ordained support they needed in their churches. There is nothing more heart-rending than visiting with someone who used to be excited about the things of God, but no longer is. He recognized the need for a new strategy. He was tired of his energy being wasted. Instead of trying to encourage churches from the bottom up, he gave himself to working in them from the top down. That was in the fall of 1967.
In the following year, he went into full-time ministry, and for the last forty-two years has been preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom around the world, urging people to build strong families and great churches that can house the heritage of God properly.
The Scriptures say of the Jerusalem church that “the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47). This is a key Scripture. In this context the phrase “being saved” is used in the same way that the Holy Spirit used words such as “redemption” and “sanctification.” For example, in the Hebrew epistle the writer says in 10:10, “We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” And yet in verse 14 he says, “For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.” Which is true? Both are.
Through salvation we have been sanctified to God, and through the ongoing process of sanctification in our churches we are continually being practically sanctified to God in our daily walk. The word “saved” used in Acts 2:47 is employed in a similar manner. The Scriptures speak of being saved at a point in time (Acts 16:31), and in Acts 2:47 as an ongoing experience—the process of saving our lives in the context of our church relationships.
It is this that I will be emphasizing for the rest of my life. I am glad you can point to the day when you were saved, but I need to ask you another question: Can you also point to the church where you are continually being saved? None of us is above this! Paul addressing the Corinthian church members speaks of “us who are being saved” (1 Cor. 1:18), and again, “those who are being saved” (2 Cor. 2:15). As far as God is concerned, He made you His child when you were saved and all the angels rejoiced in heaven, and He wants you to know that His family is to be found in churches all over the world and that there is one He wants to add you to that will save your life in every sense of the word. He made you His child when you were saved, and He has set up church life to save the rest of you.
Christianity isn’t only about preachers and the masses who want to be touched by their ministry. It isn’t a religious spectator sport. It’s about Christ in His churches. It’s about anointed congregations with anointed leaders, which truly are the body of Christ on earth performing greater works than He could during His earthly ministry because of their numbers. It’s about fantastic churches that Jesus Himself loves to attend, walking up and down in their midst with pride, joining in their worship and praise: “…As God has said: “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people” (2 Cor. 6:16). “…He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying: “I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You” (Heb. 2:11,12).
Until churches are functioning according to the New Testament pattern, they are not going to get New Testament results. Our biggest lack today isn’t great preachers; it’s functioning churches that are anointed from the top to the bottom, hearing sermons preached in this context. Somehow, the Roman Catholic/Protestant concept of church laity has crept into twenty-first century Bible-based churches and their thinking. What do I mean? We have come to expect one thing from ministers, and another from their congregations. Herein lies the dilemma, and with it, the lack in people’s lives.
God wants you to know that you are as called to your church as your bishop and his ministerial team, and that only as we grasp this and the weight of responsibility that is ours because of it, will we be set free to rise to our true anointing and our common destiny to build regional churches that can once again turn the world upside down as they did in the first century. Only then will churches stop being a one-man show and become a mighty move of God among the people. Church life isn’t about your preacher; it’s about the whole church moving in a supernatural anointing because of your preacher’s ministry in your midst. By the way, by saying this I am not diminishing the importance of your church’s “angelos.” On the contrary, I am honoring him. Until we all know our place we will all be diminished, including him, whether we like it or not.
Until you grasp this you won’t know what your destiny is all about, and the plan of God for your life will ever remain a blindfolded game where you try to pin the tail on the donkey in the dark. Furthermore, you won’t know how Christianity can practically offer the masses the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). Church life is a move of God among the people brought together by the Holy Ghost. We don’t just need great preachers; we need great elders, great deacons, great apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers, and pastors functioning in their places in their churches. And we need anointed bodies of believers, not just anointed mouthpieces for God from the pulpit. We need a great movement, and not just another great man.
It is my goal to inspire you to get back into your church with a brand new vision of what church life is all about. Because of our ignorance of these things, far too many have turned their backs on church and in doing so changed something that is untouchable in the sight of God.
The world needs great congregations that are one in the Spirit, standing on the Word of faith, living the abundant life Jesus promised. Until this happens in your church, the blessings that God intends for His people will elude them and worldliness will pick them off one at a time. Why? Because people who don’t know their place will ever remain frustrated and vulnerable to other causes.
Christianity isn’t about going to church and worshiping Christ. It is about a worshipful life, 24/7. It is about Christ living in you as the church, in all that you say and do. Coming together on Wednesday or Sunday is merely the tip of the iceberg. It is the gathering together of believers who have been living for Him all week long. God help us to grasp this revelation. The church is a spiritual community and not a spectacular rally. What the world needs is real churches.
Somehow, church life has been reduced to shopping for the best deal with the perfect preacher, and this couldn’t be further from what God intended when He spoke to us through His Son Jesus and said, “I will build My ekklesia, My assembly.”
Churches are assemblies of believers that have been brought together by the power of the Holy Ghost with a common destiny—disciplize the nations of the world and gather them into churches everywhere.
Some say that love makes the world go ’round. I suppose this is true, as long as you’re speaking about God’s love. But I’ve got a better one for you, Christian! It goes like this: The church walking in love makes Christianity go ’round. Oh yes, it does! Without the love found in your church relationships, you don’t stand much of a chance of surviving the world’s onslaught or practically experiencing God’s love for you, apart from hearing about it in the occasional sermon. Church life is about love lived out in community: “that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints [church members] what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Eph. 3:17-19).
“The love of the brethren” lived out in their churches is the shining example that proves to a lost world looking for answers from God that are real. How we treat one another therein speaks volumes. It shows the world that our lives have been touched by the example of Christ’s sacrificial love. Christians everywhere need to get back into their churches and present their bodies living sacrifices to God and find their places of ministry there (Rom. 12:1-4). There is no substitute for the local church body “…edifying…itself in love” (Ephesians 4:16c).
Church life is as vital today as it was in the first century.