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Give Me Back My Church

salt and light verse Recently I met a senior pastor, a highly respected person who has been faithfully serving the Lord for more than 30 years. One of the questions we discussed was this:

“If we were Jesus, what would we say to churches today?” Both of us paused for some time and felt very uncomfortable to come up with the answer. Eventually, he broke the silent and said, “Give me back my church.”

I was shocked for a while, and then tears started to spill out on my cheeks. That silent moment was very painful, very hard, and stressful.

Jesus poured out His life and built the “Church” by Himself. He entrusted His Church with all authority that even the gates of Hades couldn’t overcome. The Church holds the keys of the kingdom of heaven.

In the world today, we have seen that many churches don’t function or make an impact as they are supposed to. They are not salt and light to the community.

salt and light verse

We have seen church growth and an increase in the Christian population in many parts of the world, but poverty and social problems have also increased. It seems that the assumption that “more churches + more Christians = more impact” is not always true.

So let’s ask ourselves these questions:

  1. How can Compassion work with local churches for greater impact in every country we’re in?
  2. Is there anything that each of us, as part of the universal Church, can do to make our congregation a place of light and salt to our community?
  3. Should Compassion explore any interventions to help churches that are not our partners be catalysts of transformation?

“And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” –Matthew 16:18–19, NIV

Prayer: We pray that the Church will be a catalyst and will fulfill God’s mandate.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sanya Ladaphongpattana serves as the Country Director for Compassion Thailand.

Read all the One in Spirit [3] devotionals.