The task of the church is the evangelization of the world, and to bring that converted world up to maturity in Christ. The task of the local church is to do its part in that global task in its part of the world. Notice how the apostle Paul described his mission. “Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (Col. 1:28). If the point of the world is for humanity to grow up into the perfect man, then the point of every part of the world is to grow up into its portion of that perfect man. Global evangelization is therefore the sum total of the faithful labor of local churches. The global community will not be evangelized by the global church—it will be brought to Christ by the ministries of local churches.
And this means that local churches must think of their mission differently. We are not here to gather a tiny portion of the population in order that we might take a small splinter of humanity off to Heaven. No, we want to bring Heaven here. In line with how we pray in the Lord’s Prayer, we want His kingdom to come, not go. We want His will to be done here as it is already done in Heaven.
The task of the church here on the Palouse is therefore birth and growth. We are called to be constantly engaged in the evangelism of unbelievers, and once they have been converted and baptized, we want them to grow up to maturity in Christ. Our task is not that of isolation and containment. Now in order to bring the Palouse to Christ, it should be obvious that we are going to need something that human beings need for everything else that they do—we are going to need buildings. And if we are going to need buildings, it is self-evident that we are going to have to build them. But in the building of them, we must take care that we not become distracted by them. They are a resource to be used and expended in fulfillment of the mission—birth and growth. So let the stones cry out.