In my 20 years at Country Bible Church, we’ve built two additions to our building. In 1997 we added what we call the “west wing” for educational purposes as well as some offices for the staff. In 2001 we completed the new sanctuary. I will never forget the process involved in building the worship center! It was a difficult time for the congregation as a whole, but it was also a very exciting time. When we finally laid the new carpet and occupied the new worship center, I just knew God would rest his hand of blessing on our efforts. Since that time we’ve shifted our emphasis from building the building to “building the congregation.”

The bible is much more concerned about building people. The word “edify” is used often to refer to the process by which we build each other up in the body of Christ. One Bible Dictionary gives this definition: The building up and strengthening in the faith of believers and churches. Believers are strengthened by God and are urged, too, to build up one another. The church is edified through God’s word, through the Holy Spirit and the proper use of spiritual gifts, through the church’s appointed ministries and through the mutual love, support and encouragement of its members.

Notice a couple important things about building up on another. First, it’s through God’s word. Paul commended the Ephesian Elders when he left them for the last time in Acts 20:32. He said, “And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” Each of us has a responsibility to know God’s word, not just for the sake of knowledge but for the sake of building each other up. It’s also about serving others with the gifts that God has given us. In 1 Corinthians 14:12, after addressing the abuses of Spiritual Gifts, Paul challenges the church to seek the gifts with different motives. The striving should be to “strive to excel in building up the church” with the use of their spiritual gifts. Christians not only have a far reaching responsibility to know God’s Word in order to build up others, but they are also responsible to use every talent God has blessed them with to build others up in the church as well. The simplest objective of a Christian is not only to go to heaven, but to take as many people with us as we can. Share the Gospel, teach children, build up one another, strengthen one another, encourage those who are fallen, and reach out to those who are hurting.

“And let us work hard to build each other up.” Romans 14:19