CHURCH WORK OR KINGDOM WORK?
Jerome Farris - Open Door Gospel Tabernacle
DETROIT, MI – As I look back over the past twenty seven years of ministry, an evolution of change, growth, purpose and transformation has occurred to me personally. Having been brought up in a traditional church environment as a child I learned about Jesus as a teen and then young adult. Upon becoming involved in full time ministry as a teacher and pastor, I experienced the many activities, programs, ministries and fellowship meetings of the local church. We “had church” (good times in the presence of the Lord and His people), and did “church work” (activities, programs, ministries and fellowships). However, I began to be challenged with the concept of “Kingdom-work.”
Church-work can, if we are not careful, make us as believers selfish and self-centered. All we do through our activities can be focused on our preferences and needs instead of the greater need of the lost being reconciled back to God. My transformation began when I finally understood that nothing ought to be more important to us as ambassadors of Christ than the lost soul of another. Jesus said in Matthew 5:4, “Blessed are they that mourn (that is, over sin in themselves and others): for they shall be comforted.” When I discovered what Kingdom-work was all about, I realized that it goes beyond my own local church or Jerusalem. Its ultimate goal is “to Judea, and Samaria and unto the uttermost parts of the world.” – Acts 1:8.
Similar to Church-work, Kingdom-work also includes activities, programs and ministries. However, Church-work can be lost in the “traditions of men.” Kingdom-work equips the body of Christ to go out beyond “these walls” and share with others different than themselves. We enter to worship, we depart to serve. Sound familiar? Kingdom-work
Open Door Gospel Tabernacle in Detroit, MI. (Photo courtesy ODGT)
communicates the gospel of Jesus Christ in a manner that is most effective for those people lost and being targeted regardless of their racial, religious, social or cultural background. In Kingdom-work you see more of what you have in common than what is different. Kingdom work will help you be transparent to others knowing that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Kingdom-work will not be jealous or envious of others but will support “other” ministries or work, if but by nothing more than prayer, recognizing that we are all on the same team and battlefield for our Lord. Kingdom-work means going outside of your comfort zone and doing some things you would never thought you would ever do. Kingdom-work accepts, appreciates and celebrates the diversity of others who, like you, have experienced grace beyond measure. Kingdom-work is a constant reminder to you of why you were saved - that others might see God through you. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16.
Kingdom-work is all about advancing the Kingdom of God here on earth. In these last days that we live, the work of the church is so important. Let what we do always line up with the heart and purpose of God’s love reaching out to the lost. If it does not, stop and ask yourself this question: Why am I doing this? That is what Jesus was all about and that is what we should be about. Nothing more. Nothing less.