Ray Ortlund on Loving Your Church

Ray Ortlund is a seasoned pastor and church planter, and is a fellow member of the Acts29 Network. He just wrote a great post on the value of loving your church. Here’s what he wrote:

“My passion isn’t to build up my church. My passion is for God’s Kingdom.”

Ever heard someone say that? I have. It sounds large-hearted, but it’s wrong. It can even be destructive.

Suppose I said, “My passion isn’t to build up my marriage. My passion is for Marriage. I want the institution of Marriage to be revered again. I’ll work for that. I’ll pray for that. I’ll sacrifice for that. But don’t expect me to hunker down in the humble daily realities of building a great marriage with my wife Jani. I’m aiming at something grander.”

If I said that, would you think, “Wow, Ray is so committed”? Or would you wonder if I had lost my mind?

If you care about the Kingdom, be the kind of person who can be counted on in your own church. Join your church, pray for your church, tithe to your church, participate in your church every Sunday with wholehearted passion.

We build great churches the same way we build great marriages — real commitment that makes a positive difference every day.


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  1. #1 by _ on September 25, 2009 - 9:49 pm

    We had a great discussion in community group Thursday night on the question: Why is it essential for Christ-followers to be extreme in their commitment to Jesus? Makes me think about Rev 3:15, 16 “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”
    We have a jealous God who wants our full committment! A person in the group also brought up about having a lukewarm marriage. I am putting together our relationship with Christ to marriage. We are to be fully committed to one another and I don’t want a lukewarm marriage.

  2. #2 by A. Amos Love on September 28, 2009 - 9:24 am

    Second Mile

    This comment was removed
    from the Ray Ortland post. No explanation.
    Like to comment here. Hate to waste the words. ;-)

    Ray – You wrote to anonymous,
    “Disagree, but don’t hide.
    Hey, we might even become friends!”

    That would be great. Love the exchange of views.

    I was a part of what you talk about.
    A “church,” with programs,conventions, crusades,
    tithes and offerings sermons,
    guilt and commitment sermons,
    bring your neighbor to church sermons,
    submission to authority sermons, etc.

    Tried giving all to “MY Church.” Ouch! : – (….
    Much disappointment, pain, tears, and money.
    Found out that wasn’t “the church in the Bible.”
    Turned out to be men kingdom building. Oy vey!
    An expensive learning experience.
    It was well worth it. ; – )

    Now, my all is for Jesus, the Christ. Not man.
    Now, I am “His Church,” His ekklesia,
    and Jesus is the only head of His body.

    Col 1:18
    And he is the head of the body,
    (the ekklesia, the called out one’s) the church:

    Seems “the church” always refers to people.

    Did Jesus shed His blood for a building,
    a denomination, an institution, an organization,
    a corporation? Nope, just people.

    Should we call a corporation “The Church?”

    You write;
    “Join your church, pray for your church, tithe to your church,
    participate in your church every Sunday with wholehearted passion.”

    How do you join “The Church of God,” the body?
    Isn’t it by invitation only? Unless God calls, draws?
    Isn’t it the recognition of His blood cleansing my sin?
    Isn’t it the recognition of His death for my life?

    Ray – Tithe to your church?
    Did anyone ever tithe to a church in the Bible?
    Did anyone ever tithe silver, gold, or money?

    Have you done your own study on the tithe?
    Not what “your pastor” taught you. Or seminary.
    Or “the traditions of men” that Jesus warned about.
    But looking up every scripture with the word”tithe.”

    Starting from scratch, no preconceived ideas.
    Just asking Jesus to show you what is in the scriptures.

    Didn’t you ever wonder why the
    New Testament has so little teaching about tithing?

    With all the instructions Paul gave to believers,
    he never asked them to tithe.

    The Jerusalem council in Acts 15
    never asks the new gentile believers to tithe.

    Neither does Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Timothy, James or Jesus ask believers to tithe.


    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
    them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice;
    and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
    John 10:16

    One Fold – One Shepherd – One Voice.

    If Not Now, When?

    In His Service. By His Grace.

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