Organisations can be very busy, but very ineffective. And churches can be very busy, but at the same time be very ineffective. And Satan loves it when churches seem to be doing a lot, but are in fact achieving very little. I am reminded of the church in Sardis which had a great reparation, but actually was not at all pleasing to the Lord. The Lord says of them in Revelation 3:1b I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.
I want to mention two issues here:
The church can be ordered in such a way that so many people are made to spend so many hours being involved in so many issues so as to keep the church going. Now of course things have to be organized and people have to make sure that certain things happen so the life of the church can continue. But organisation and decision-making can soon become so lugubrious that they take over the life of the church.
One of the ways that this is manifest is the arranging of meetings. When God set himself to save this world there does appear to have been something of a deliberation in the counsels of our eternal God. In Colossians 1:19-20 (HCSB) we read:
For God was pleased to have
all His fullness dwell in Him,
and through Him to reconcile
everything to Himself
by making peace
through the blood of His cross
whether things on earth or things in heaven.
There appears to be an implication in this scripture of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, determining how the incarnation of the Son would transpire. And then compare this to Hebrews 10:5-7:
Therefore, as He was coming into the world, He said:
You did not want sacrifice and offering,
but You prepared a body for Me.
You did not delight
in whole burnt offerings and sin offerings.
Then I said, “See—
it is written about Me
in the volume of the scroll—
I have come to do Your will, God!
From this we conclude that The eternal God who is Three in One determined that one of them – the Son – would come. The arrangement was made, the programme was set and it was put into action.
As churches there are times when we do need to similarly meet to discuss and consider. But so easily decision making can take over church life. So to change the curtains the whole church has to have a meeting. With such thinking very easily we are just doing business with ourselves. We are just holding meetings. Lots is being done. People are very active, but little is achieved.
The general way in which God operates is to raise up those for a task and for them to complete it. Churches should be releasing people to serve and not binding people into continually having meetings. Of course certain people love this meeting arranging tendency because it makes them feel important. But actually it is very unproductive.
We so easily end up doing business with ourselves in our evangelism. We can convince ourselves that we are being very zealous in evangelism, but actually we are just evangelising ourselves. Now the presentation of the gospel should always be valuable for the Christians. However, if we are arranging evangelistic meeting and only ourselves are present then lets not convince ourselves that we are being effective in our evangelism.
This failure so often is manifest in arranging regular evangelistic meeting in our churches. Are they being effective or are we just placating our consciences by convincing ourselves that we are doing something?
Similarly be have childrens’ meetings we can think we are having an impact when we are just doing business for our own children. Let us be aware that such activities can be vital for our children, but let us not be convincing ourselves that we are being evangelistically effective.
So let us be careful about “doing business with ourselves”. Yes in order to function properly we do need to organise properly. However, let us make sure we organise ourselves so that we can be effective for the Lord in all that we do including our evangelism.