“The selfish individualism that permeates our churches is responsible for the church failing to accomplish its mission of making disciples of all people. We have worked hard to fill our churches with people who want a spectacular show on Sundays and other programs of their choosing during the week. As a result, we have a church weighted down with consumers instead of one armed with people on Jesus’ mission to make disciples. It is time for those of us who devote our lives to shepherding Christ-followers to help people see that church is the people, not the building.”- Tim Akin
Our church buildings are but tools for ministry. They are not the end goal! My church is currently in the building process and we are in the final stages before we have our launch Sunday in our new building. Now, it is great to have a place to meet and especially a place where we can setup our worship area, classrooms and sound system but the church is not the building. It is the people as they minister daily in their workplaces and in their families. It is the missional Christian who is constantly looking for opportunities to witness and then taking that opportunity. We are not to be pew sitters who pencil in Sunday worship on our busy calendar and then feel as if we have done our part…our Christian duty.
I want to make a distinction between the terms teaching and training. I believe the church should be training. Training implies educating and equipping towards an intentional goal. You are training others to serve some purpose. If we are merely teaching, then there is not always a clear application for what is being taught. So I choose to be a trainer. I have been reading a book called T4T: Training for Trainers. This is a discipleship training approach that is getting great results around the world. It emphasizes training new believers and even old to become trainers themselves as they seek to lead others to Christ and to disciple them. It is truly multiplying disciples because it is intentional, has a set goal and holds people accountable to what they are being instructed in. It seeks to do away with the pew siting that goes on in so many churches. The church and its missional groups become training grounds for ministry, Each member a minister.