To Be a Gate or a Gate Crasher?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Lately I've been reading a book aimed at helping the church, meaning the people who make up the church, be better at fulfilling its purpose. This book has been an encouragement, especially in all the areas I see our church aligned with his ideas, and a challenge when I see we have a ways to go in being more effective.

One thing stood out to me in my reading today.  Brad Powell writes this: "As we've seen, Jesus promised that He will build His church and that the gates of hell will not prevail against Him (Matthew 16:18) In other words, He wants his church to be on the offensive. Gates don't attack; gates are attacked."

Matthew 16:18 says this in the NIV, "And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it."

This idea of the church standing up against the gates of hell is nothing new to me. I'm familiar with this verse. However, what struck me for the first time today, was that gates don't move.

Gates don't attack.

Gates stay where they are built.

Gates wait for an attacker to come.

Too often I see churches that think they're the gates.  We use language that speaks of being able to stand up against the gates, but we speak as if they're going to come and attack us. We get dug in and defensive waiting to be attacked.

We speak as if we're gates secured in a rock.

But maybe Jesus is saying we're a rock that needs to roll through some gates. Maybe we need to, as a church, rush the gates, rattle them good, and watch them crash.

I wonder what our world would look like if hell began to fall apart.

I wonder what our world would look like if the church was on the move.