For God's Pleasure
Down the street from my home is a seventy-year-old church whose cornerstone proclaims: “To the glory of God,” a phrase commonly used to dress such stones throughout North America. Today this same phrase often appears in the preamble of church vision statements printed in church bulletins or displayed prominently in the church foyer. Hopefully, these cornerstones and vision statements truly reflect the passion of God’s people to make his glory the ultimate purpose of the church. Building projects—indeed, all kingdom work—must be for God’s pleasure and glory.
This approach to the work of the kingdom is radically theocentric. A church that is anthropocentric in its approach will place as the primary concern the meeting of human needs. This, however, is inadequate in the economy of God’s kingdom work. The meeting of human needs is but a means to an end, and that end is the pleasure and glory of God. As A. W. Tozer once wrote:
The purpose of God in sending His Son to die and rise and live and be at the right hand of God the Father was that He might restore to us the missing jewel, the jewel of worship; that we might come back and learn to do again that which we were created to do in the first place—worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness, to spend our time in awesome wonder and adoration of God, feeling and expressing it, and letting it get into our labors and doing nothing except as an act of worship to Almighty God through His Son Jesus Christ.
The church should be theocentric, placing God at the center of all activity and passionately preserving this priority. As believers evaluate their participation in the work of the kingdom, the first question must be: Are we bringing pleasure and glory to God through this work? If such is not the case, the work is irrelevant to God’s priorities for the kingdom.