This week, Karin and I celebrated with family and friends that we have been married for 30 years and have been in ministry together for 30 years. It has been a wonderful journey, in which we have seen God’s faithfulness and power through deep valleys and enormous heights. And lots of fruit! Toothpaste In a marriage you discover how different you are and how differently you approach things. For example, I am technically minded and try to approach jobs well and thoroughly. Karin is much more practical and always sees solutions quickly. She does not fill a hole in the wall with plaster, but quickly with white toothpaste. Also works and is much faster. Nobody sees it. I can’t actually iron. I can do it a little, but Karin is an ironing champion. Not that she likes it, but she is incredibly fast and precise. So it is clear that she occasionally makes my pile of shirts visible again. Inside and outside Over the years, within a marriage you arrive at a division of tasks that does justice to each other’s qualities and priorities. One of our general agreements is: Karin is responsible inside, I am outside. The car, the garden, the dirt… it’s all on my plate. Interior design, layout and maintenance are the responsibility of Karin. That doesn’t mean I don’t have to do anything inside. If only it were like that No, Karin is responsible and sometimes asks me to take care of certain matters. And I do the opposite with her when, for example, we have to prune everything outside in the fall. You get to know each other’s strengths better and better and in this way you give each other responsibility and space. Jesus the Christ Our relationship as Christians with Jesus is also compared to a marriage in the Bible. Paul literally writes that marriage contains a secret. He says:‘I speak with a view to Christ and the church’ (Ephesians 5:21). Christians together form the bride of Christ. There is also a clear division of responsibilities in this marriage. Look with me at Matthew 16. Jesus asks his disciples:‘Who do people say I am?’ then Peter answers:‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God’ . Immediately afterwards, Jesus makes our division of roles clear:
- On that rock I will build my church.
- I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.
Division Jesus clearly states here that the responsibility to build the church lies with him, not with us! We, on the other hand, are instructed to get to work with the keys to the kingdom. Jesus the church and us the kingdom. This division of responsibilities within our covenant relationship with Jesus rings with gigantic promises. The church that Jesus builds will never be overwhelmed and we are given the assurance that everything we bind or loose on earth will have an effect in heaven. Wow!! The right focus How often do we get in Jesus’ way when we are trying hard to build the church? Perhaps here lies an important key to the revival of the church. When we focus our attention on the kingdom of God and invest in making new subjects (that is, disciples), we fulfill the great commission and Jesus creates communities, families and communities there. This is how He builds the church. Jesus doesn’t say much about the church, precisely because He wants to focus our attention on the kingdom of God. That is where our responsibility lies. This week I spoke with 2 leaders of a church outside Veenendaal. I shared the thoughts above. They were shocked and challenged. Leaders of churches and congregations need to experience a renewal of their thinking, so that God can do something new in our side. We are starting a School for Church Revival precisely because we want to return to the division of tasks that Jesus gave us. If you are a church leader or have a dream to plant a church, join us on our journey in the Church Revival School!