18 Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.
It is God who is responsible for building his church. It is God who is responsible for growing his church. Jesus didn’t tell us to build his church. Jesus didn’t command us to grow his church. Jesus told us to “make disciples.”
Jesus builds his church. We build Christians. We make disciples teaching them the way Jesus teaches, through the model of our lives and through his teaching. As we grow, we are moving through the levels of maturity and leading others to do the same, blessing the world all along the way.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, God isn’t all that concerned about how many people are attending worship in any given church. If he was he would certainly be capable of filling churches throughout the land. According to the Bible, God’s main concern is how mature the people who make up the church are becoming. How high-joy the church community is becoming. God is interested in growing us in maturity to be that kind of person in the lives of others.
Paul gives us this instruction.
Jesus is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.
Once again, here is how Dallas explains it. I will let him have the last word.
“Instead of counting Christians we need to weigh them. We weigh them by focusing on the most important kind of growth—love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, kindness, and so on—fruit in keeping with the gospel and the kingdom.”
A high-joy church community is the best environment in society for people to grow in maturity, and it is where you will find the most adult and beyond maturity people. What does this mean to you, personally?