Is church about saints (those who are saved), or
sinners goats? Look, we’re all sinners; we need to use our words correctly. Those who have repented and put their trust in Christ alone for their salvation are saints. Another great word we can use here is sheep. The opposite term in the Bible is goats. The real question is, what – and Whom- is church about, and whom is it for?
Let’s not “kid” ourselves; it’s not for goats. It’s for former goats. The Bible teaches us that church is the gathering of those who have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit:
…to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. Ephesians 4:12-16
When we make church about gathering goats for social programs and teaching on life tips and morals, we’ve missed the point and harmed the true Church. Here is yet another example of putting the emphasis on the wrong syllable:
Preston Trails Community Church in Frisco, Texas, recently won a design award for its building and its brand: Making goats feel accepted.
“There are no ‘iconic’ church design elements that would let the average passerby identify this building as a church, rather it was important to church leadership to design a building that was welcoming and non-threatening to the un-churched.”
Instead of equipping the sheep to share the light of Christ and call the unsaved to repentance, churches like these cut out the middle-man – the saints – and instead round up the herd, entertain them in a pretty building and plug them into pretty programs. All while making it about them, and how they can feel good about themselves.
Colored carpet pathways, bold campus signage—both inside and out, a newcomer-oriented website and an abundance of glass walls, are just a few of the ways Preston Trails Community Church is helping people—not familiar with churches, feel expected and accepted.
Houston, we have a problem.