WHAT IS CHURCH SERVICE?
t’s a pity that many professed Christians don’t know the real meaning of service, because the pastors and bishops especially the Pentecostal congregations have limited service to mean Sunday and mid-week meetings of the material conscious believers. It’s common to hear religious people saying they are going to Sunday or mid-week service, or you hear blind guides(pastors) boasting that they were “having one service before but now they are having three services” on Sunday! What blindness! Church service is not coming together on Sundays or weekdays to watch self-exalted pastors perform and paying their “dues” a.k.a. tithes and offerings. The word service has the notion of ministry, and the ministry given to the church is beyond gathering under a preacher to hear sermons, singing, praying and giving monetary offerings; true external service of the church is to reconcile sinners back to God….
And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God (2Corinthians5:18-20).
The ministry of reconciliation or making disciples for Christ involves leaving the religious temples, to go where the sinners are, preaching and teaching them the word of God and making them disciples for Christ (Mark16:15, Mathew 28:18-19). Any Christian assembly boasting of having many services on Sunday isn’t making progress; a successful local church is a gathering where people are discipled and released into their individual assignments. Effective local assemblies should function similar to patrol stations where motor vehicles come to refuel. It is possible to make a whole village, city, or a town a church for Christ. John Calvin as a disciple of Christ single handedly made Geneva a Christian republic. It’s a shame that in these days the religious title holders called “men of God” are only gathering unregenerated money minded people around themselves every Sunday to raise offerings and call that church service, when the majority of people in Africa have never heard the gospel and the one’s who think that they’ve heard the gospel haven’t heard the true gospel! I’ve been to many countries in Africa and witnessed with my own eyes adults and children worshiping Satan as lord, doing human sacrifices and so forth. It’s estimated that 153 ethnic groups reside in the Horn of Africa (Ethiopia, Somalia, Djibouti, and some part of Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania and Egypt). The Population is 117,980,610. Out of the 153 ethnic groups 131 groups never heard the true gospel of Christ. The same with North, Central, and East, and most people in South Africa, people are yet to hear the true gospel. The real Church service, assignment, or ministry is to take the true message of the kingdom of God to these people who never heard the gospel, and to make true disciples for Christ among them, not to sit in one place each Sunday to watch performances of Pastor E A. Adeboye, Benny Hinn, Chris Oyakilome, Creflo dollar, TD. Jakes, Joseph Prince, TB Joshua, Bishop David Oyedepo, W F Kumuyi, Joyce Meyer, and others. If you are a follower of Christ make it your business to reach the unreached people groups of the world with the gospel; you can’t grow up spiritually sitting down in one place to watch your pastor perform for you every Sunday. Visit interior villages, cities and towns where people need to hear the truth about Christ. Some of the spiritual and physical challenges you’ll face in reaching dark regions of the world with the gospel of Christ will contribute greatly in your spiritual growth.
God doesn’t call us to gather into one religious warehouse to worship one man; He has called us to spread across the globe with the accurate truth about Christ and His Kingdom! The kingdom advancement requires all our life; it is something that we can die for, just like the early disciples of Christ, for the sake of the kingdom of God, Peter was crucified in Rome with his body upside down and Andrew was nailed to a tree at Edessa, he hung on the tree for two days in pain, on the third day he died still preaching Jesus. James (son of Zebedee), was killed by the sword of Herod in Jerusalem and John was put into boiling oil at Jerusalem; he was not harmed and was exiled to Patmose Island then later died at Ephesus. Philip was hung from a pillar at Hiropolis; Bartholomew was burned to death by the Armenian king, Mathew was killed in Ethiopia, Thomas was speared to death at Mylapur (near Chennai in India), James was pushed down from the top of a temple, and then beaten to death by a club. Jude (Thaddaeus) was killed by an arrow in the town of Oruch. Simon, the Zealot was crucified in Persia, Mathias was stoned then beheaded, Emperor Nero in Rome beheaded Paul, Mark was dragged along the main street of Alexandria in Egypt and died, Luke was hung on a big olive tree in Greece, and Barnabas was stoned to death at Salamis. Many other true Christians after the early disciples offered their lives for the salvation of other people. Jesus Christ and the early apostles and believers paid a great price in the 1st century, and instead of us to continue with the same, religious leaders of today deceitfully use the word of God to rob ignorant people. It’s hard today to hear messages about dying for the sake of God’s Kingdom, all that we are hearing is “God will bless you, financial breakthrough, your own car is coming, you will get a new job this month, etc. How many are willing to sacrifice their life to take the message of Christ to the Middle East and other unreached nations of the world!
No Christian leader should be seen as an ultimate oracle, we are brothers and co-workers in Christ (Mathew23:8-12). God has chosen and ordained every believer to impart Christ in people’s hearts not to go form religious movements or to perform religious obligations. We must allow the word to occupy the state of our heart and then we shall arise and go dominate the entire world with God’s principled way of doing things. The Holy Spirit is not given unto us exclusively for the purpose of speaking in tongues, or to gather every Sunday to listen to sermons and give our monetary offerings with an expectation of financial increase.
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth (Act1:8). The Holy Spirit has come to enable us to go and make disciple of all nations…. “Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Mathew28:18-20).
It’s past time for Christians to wake up! …