What IS the Church of Jesus Christ?

Here is a rather familiar question(s) and the only way to give an answer is to look to the One Who is the Author and Finisher of our faith, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, we must get rid of every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and run with endurance the race set out for us, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy set out for him he endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2 NET2. We must keep our eyes fixed, our attention fixed, and our thoughts fixed upon Him alone.

The question(s) like so: “Does the Bible tell humanity to run churches like a business? Did God tell humanity to run churches like a business, or is that what people have decided to do?” No, the Bible never speaks of the Church as being business and what we find today are the church members using models from the world of business to give direction for the money collected from the members for ministries within the local church. The only thought I have is that among the 12 disciples of Jesus there was a ‘treasurer’ given the charge to use wisely the money of their small group.

Jesus, had this to say, “When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But you,” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God!” And Jesus responded, “Simon son of Jonah, And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the forces of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth is already bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth is already loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:13-19. Jesus simply tells Peter, “I will build my church.” We know simply that the Church is the Body of Christ belonging to Him.

The Church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ our Lord, “For whenever someone says, “I’m with Paul,” and another, “I’m with Apollos,” are you not unspiritual people? What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? They are servants through whom you believed, and each has the role the Lord has given. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. Now the one planting and the one watering are one in purpose, and each will receive his own reward according to his own labor, for we are God’s coworkers. You are God’s field, God’s building. According to God’s grace that was given to me, I have laid a foundation as a skilled master builder, and another builds on it. But each one must be careful how he builds on it. For no one can lay any other foundation than what has been laid down. That foundation is Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 3:4-11. We are His field, His building and we are to nurture this Body of Faith as we do our physical body.

No, the Church, the Body of Christ is not to function as a business. However, we must consider many things that did not exist in the first century when the Church was established. There were no buildings, therefore, no fiscal expenses such as utilities and staff salaries. Many churches today have very large campuses and large staffs, and ministries have expanded because of this. Our missionary enterprises circle the globe as a result, and I could expand these items. The reality is simple, too. The Church has changed vastly and will continue and the question of fiscality will continue to change, too. 

The Bible does not address your question because the things I have shared did not exist at the time the biblical texts were being written. We are not a business competing for a place in the corporate world, but we exist to share the Gospel Message around the world. This calls for folks with a business mind to help administer these efforts. But, we have this one message from our Lord, “So the 11 disciples went to Galilee to the mountain Jesus had designated. When they saw him, they worshiped him, but some doubted. Then Jesus came up and said to them, “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 the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:16-20.

Jesus remains Lord.

About Bob Williford

Conservative Southern Baptist pastor, missionary, and personal evangelist. An avid supporter of Texas Tech Athletics. Enjoy oil painting, writing and woodworking. My wife, children, and grandchildren are my joy. Reading and writing are great for relaxing......
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