There's almost nothing I love more than laying on the floor and having my kids crawl all over me. To my older ones it's wrestling but to my younger ones I'm a jungle gym. Either way, during those moments of communing with the carpet, I belong to them. It's their time.

Most parents will at some point make a comment about how their kids belong to them (or if their kids are really being bad they'll deny knowing whose they are). And that's true - when you have children they do belong to you. But don't we also belong to our kids? When I walk into the school to pick up my girls, their classmates will say, "Hey there's Chandler's dad. There's Reynolds' dad." I belong to them. And when parents get old and gray and become unable to care from themselves, the terminology starts to move farther in the opposite direction. Now, your parents belong to you as you care for them.

Who does the church belong to? Sometimes - scratch that, most of the time - followers of Christ act as if the church belongs to them. True, we are free to make choices about such things as the color of carpet and style of music, but rarely do we stop there. It's no longer God's kingdom, it's our kingdom and we rule by committee or power group. We make the decisions for outreach if we reach out at all. We decide who belongs and doesn't, who is fit for membership and who gets voted down. We decided who and what belongs under the steeple because the steeple belongs to us.

This is so wrong.

In Matthew 16:13-19 Jesus asks His disciples who people are saying that He is. After a few pretty lame answers, Peter breaks out with some pretty profound and powerful words: "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God!" This got Jesus pumped up because it seemed as if one of His guys finally got it. And in response to these words of revelation, Jesus declared that the church would be built upon the very statement that Peter uttered. "On this rock I will build My church." His church. Not my church, not your church. His church. Built not with bricks and sticks but on the foundation of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God.

The church belongs to God. And he established it upon the very blood of His Son Jesus. This reality transcends any building, any committee, any message preached, any program we create. If the church doesn't understand that they belong to God for His good pleasure then the church is going to be irrelevant both today and in the future.

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