Value is such an interesting word to me because of how it is used. We can mean lot by “value.” Some companies use the word value to talk about a sale, something is discounted, thus providing greater “value.” Other times we talk about relative value, usually determine by financial “value.” A house is more valuable than a car (usually), a car more valuable than a TV, and a TV more valuable than a yeti cup.
Financial value is a tricky thing though. While we would obviously not pay for a bottle of water what we pay for a car, we would gladly give up the car if we had to choose between access to a car and access to water. While I don’t want to walk to work, I can, but I can’t live at all without water. So how do we ascribe real value?
I met with one of our amazing school administrators and a great coach yesterday to talk about a student led, on campus ministry. One of the big talking points was the value of the ministry and more particularly, how we convince students of its value. This got me thinking about the value of church. I’m going to spend three posts on this, asking three questions. The first question is what is the true value of the church?
What determines the value of the church? Is it what people get out of it? Is it the number of ministries or its work in the local community? I would argue, and I think the Bible agrees, the value of the church is determined by the price that was paid for it…the blood of Jesus Christ. The miracle of the crucifixion is what determines the value of the church. Jesus suffered, died, and rose again for the church, he paid for it with Himself. In any conversation about the church, we have to remember that this is the true value of the church.
A church or members of a church who forget the true value of the church will never be able to give themselves over to God’s work the way they are supposed to. We can’t forget what God has done for the church. We can’t forget that the church does not belong to us…even in a congregationally run church, the congregation does not posses the church, God has purchased it and paid a great price. The church, even the local church, is not our church, if anything, we are the church’s members. If anything we belong to the church, not the other way around.
So challenge yourself to reflect on the value of the church? See what God does in your heart and mind. Check out: Ephesians 5:2; 1 Timothy 2:6; Isaiah 53:4-5; Romans 5:8; and MOST importantly Acts 20:28.