Through the differing images of the church presented in the New Testament, God wove a theological tapestry concerning the doctrine of the church. More than a mere gathering, Jesus’ church was to be his holy and bold extension in the world. The apostles presented that believers should not view church as a building. Even though they would use a building as an illustration for a church, the disciples viewed the church as a group of interdependent saints changed by the blood of Christ, striving together tirelessly for the advancement of the gospel.
The apostles’ teaching confirmed that the church was to gather together, but its members were to gather together with the intention of going out. As the hands and feet of Christ, they relied on each other to encourage, uplift, and motivate each member to live a holy life and to spread the gospel to those in need to further advance Christ’s church. Founded by God and for God, the Christian church was never to confuse their functionality to meet one another’s preferences for the sake of failing to meet one another’s needs. As Christ will continue to build his church, members are to remind themselves that the church is to expand for the Kingdom of God and not for any one man’s personal kingdom.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Distinctive Discipleship. He is married to Amanda and the father of two sons and one daughter. Travis graduated from North Greenville University with a B.A. in Christian Studies and earned his M.Div. and D.Min. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, with his doctoral focus on family discipleship.