A relevant church is a church that is constantly developing bringing integrity, prudence, and health in the society. The church is a living body. Just like any other living creature, it is born with unlimited potential. If a church is built on the right principles, has the right nutrition and a firm foundation, then continuous quality and quantity growth will always be there.
Principles, which will make the church relevant in the present time.
- The church must meet the needs of society, and especially by solving the problems of its outcast in the society. We all know very well the proverb of Jesus about sheep and goats. Matthew 25:33-46. “For I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.” And when they asked surprised: “When did it happen?” Jesus replied: “inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” It is a direct duty of the living church to serve all the hungry, thirsty, homeless, sick, lonely, and imprisoned. To serve them as to Jesus, to serve them with Jesus’ heart.
- Church must be radically dedicated to saving people; i.e. the church will always be looking for methods, strategies, and tactics of sharing the Gospel to the society, it will be aggressive in spreading the Good News. It will have programs, outreaches, projects designed to bring salvation into all spheres of the life of the city. “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost”, Luke 19:10. “And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all”, Acts 4:33
- Church must take good care of its members. It cares about the spiritual growth through the Word and ministry in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. It cares about material wellbeing of its members by teaching them financial literacy. It meets social needs in families, upbringing of children, relationships between parents and children, etc. “Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need”, Acts 4:34-35.
- Church must be fully dedicated to prayer and the word. The life of a relevant church stands on two feet: prayer and the Word. Malachi 2:7 “…For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts”. (“The priest must know the word of God, so that people could come to the priest and learn God’s word. The priest must be a messenger of God to people.” Contemporary Russian Translation). People will always be drawn to where they can hear a word from the Lord. In a relevant, i.e. living, church great miracles and deeds will be done through the prayers of believers. James 5:17: “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months”.
- It must be a church of leaders. It is a place where new leaders are constantly raised, and where they help a passive person to become active. Let us remember what kind of people came to David: “…And everyone who wasin distress, everyone who wasin debt, and everyone who wasdiscontented…” (1 Samuel 22:2). These are the people that David was able to form into a strong team. Jesus set high tasks before His disciples: “And He went up on the mountain and called to Him those He Himself wanted. And they came to Him. Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons”, Mark 3:13-15. The early church also paid attention to raising leaders: Acts 13:1-4.
- It is impossible to imagine the church of 21st century without a system and a structure. Even in the first church there was a system by which the church grew; let alone today, in the age of information there is no way the church can be relevant and needed if it does not have a well-built system and structure. “Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of goodreputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” And the saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus ,Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch, whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them. Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith”, Acts 6:2-7.
- It is a church, where the power of the Holy Spirit, signs and wonders are manifested. There is no doubt that the church will grow if the power of God is constantly manifested there. “And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch… And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women…” Acts 5:12, 14.
The true church has people filled with the Spirit of the Living God; they are people, whom God acknowledged as His own, whom He calls Christ’s. If you love God, you will not go to church only on Sundays. When somebody really loves God, they easily crucify their flesh; they are pro-active, thirsty, and fruitful. They will always be a reliable help to their pastor and the church of the Embassy of God in all cities, countries, and continents! With such an approach we will surely see a healthy, free, and happy society!
For a more thorough study of this topic we recommend you read the following books:
“ChurchShift”, “ChurchShift (the manual)”, “Glorified And Victorious Church”, “Barrenness of a Righteous” by Sunday Adelaja.
May the Lord bless you!
You are an irreplaceable and very important person in your church, in the body of Christ!
With love and prayers for you,
Senior Pastor of the Embassy of the Blessed Kingdom of God for All Nations Church
Sunday AdelajaTranslated by Ekaterina Popova
Edited by Emmanuel Chindove