One of the general themes of a college experience is camaraderie. We see the football teams with their pride by wearing their jerseys around campus. The cheerleaders paint their faces and say cheers. The sororities and fraternities stroll and have step offs. If you love an organization and have worked hard to be apart of it, you want to show it off. This is why sororities have calls that they say loud and proud. It is also why teams have chants before they go out on the field. The pride comes from being on one accord in an organization. You represent that group and want everyone to know it! After becoming a member of an amazing church and participating in ministries, I began to feel a sense of pride too. I love when I go out and I tell people the church I attend and they smile and speak highly of my pastor and the leaders there. I love wearing my church shirts and people asking me the service times. I find joy in representing the establishment that I love so much! This is an amazing thing!
In contrast, I have observed us as believers get so caught up in the “church” as an establishment, we bypass the advancement of God’s Kingdom. We shouldn’t be so upset when a person says they attend another church. I have had people literally turn up their noses at me when I tell them what church I attend! If we are truly ‘Kingdom’ minded, we understand that our main priority is bringing souls to Christ. That isn’t only inclusive to our establishment. Salvation is the goal.
John 18:36 “Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. “
We first have to come to the realization that we are not citizens of this world. We don’t owe this world anything because this is not our home. It is our responsibility to colonize this world by speaking to unbelievers. We are called to meet them right where they are with a spirit of love and not condemnation. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God but by God’s grace, we wake up and have another opportunity to do better. We must act like citizens of heaven and not separate the Kingdom. A country divided shall fall! Instead of putting our “church” before the kingdom of God, we must encourage people to get saved first then care about increasing our membership numbers.
Proverbs 11:2 | “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom”
Proverbs 29:23 | “One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor”
You must have a sense of pride to garner morale. I understand that concept and completely agree with it. In contrast, we must not have so much pride for our church that we are blinded by our ultimate goal. I am blessed to say a lot of the people that ask me about my church have already heard about our service and want to come. I encourage them to come but most importantly stress to them the necessity of developing a personal relationship with Christ. I don’t approach it this way because I don’t want their membership, but because I want them to understand that a relationship has nothing to do with where you go to church. Church is where I learn the teachings of God and gain better understanding from my leader. Ultimately, the real church is what I do when I get home with that information. The church is within me in my heart. I have seen so many lives be transformed through the worship experiences and sermons at my establishment of worship. Most of all, I see lives becoming more disciplined, focused, and centered on Christ. When we are bringing people to Christ in the future, let’s put our focus on the kingdom most of all. Flee from pride and allow God’s humble and meek spirit to penetrate our hearts.
Matthew 6:33 | “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you”
Alicia D. Joseph