One of the approaches we see in the Scriptures is that the letters by Paul were addressed to churches in various locations or cities – “To all who are in Rome”, “To God’s Church at Corinth”, “To the churches of Galatia” , “ To the saints and believers in Christ Jesus at Ephesus” similarly those in Philippi and Colossae, “To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Paul also speaks of “The churches in the Asian province” greet you. Aquila and Priscilla greet you heartily in the Lord, along with the church that meets in their home”. We see both a specific local assembly being mentioned as well, but more so, the churches in various cities.
We also observed from the book of Revelation, that the Lord spoke through the apostle John to the 7 churches which were in different locations and He had different perspectives, warnings and commendations to say to each one.
Does the Lord have different words to say in the 21st century to the church in various locations today in the world? We believe that He does, just like He had in the 1st century Church. We might have different denominations, but God’s emphasis is the church in the region and her witness there.
If you were to consider the messages of the Lord to the church in various cities, nations and regions what would they be?
The Church in Jamaica has an opportunity to significantly impact the nation if it continues on the road of unity and seeks to have a positive influence on the society. The church should continue to declare the righteousness of God to the nation, addressing issues which will be a reproach to any nation.
However the church should bear in mind that judgment must begin in the house of the Lord. We the church must demonstrate love to those caught in sin as Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost.
The church in Jamaica should strategically partnering with others to demonstrate compassion and to bring transformation to those who are caught in the environment and culture of the “garrison” community.
The church in Jamaica can be a catalyst for creating a seamless church in the Caribbean and play a role in the Caribbean and its Diaspora churches having major impact on nations where they are concentrated.
In The Caribbean
A Vision for the Caribbean Church
What do We See?
We see a seamless church across the Caribbean supporting each other to impact their nation for Christ as each represents the Kingdom of God to their nation in the Caribbean. One which will represent the reality, the values, attributes and the message of the Kingdom :
- The Righteousness of the Kingdom
- The Love of the Kingdom
- The Authority and Power of the Kingdom
- The Promises of the Kingdom
- The Time of Amnesty of the Kingdom
- The Supremacy of the Kingdom
- The Lord of the Kingdom
The above will be represented and expressed differently in each nation, though there will be common emphases across the region.
We see a sending church from the Caribbean significantly impacting nations of the earth beginning with the UK and Africa. The Caribbean church must also include those who are in the Diaspora.
We see the church in the Caribbean facilitating the winning of the lost and the making of disciples who live in the reality and the attributes of the Kingdom and who declare its message.
The USA has been a place that was built on the foundation of the Scriptures and has blessed the nations of the earth through the sending out of many missionaries into the world. America has also blessed the world through her philanthropy and its Church has played a major role in that attitude and execution in giving.
But the church over the years has not broken down the barriers among herself and in the nation, with regards to racism and segregation, especially with the black people. Indeed, it is said that Sunday is the most segregated day of the week.
The conservative church in America is biased towards one party, because of particular views that the Republican party hold. However does not challenge that party enough in their wrong doings.
The church in America seems to losing it saltiness as it is becoming more like the world as we look at the divorce rate among Christians and acceptance of various lifestyles which are contrary to the righteousness represented in the Scriptures.
The American Church must ensure that while it spreads the gospel, it is the prosperity gospel according to the Scriptures, that is being promoted so that persons do not let money become what they seek after with all their hearts and not the Kingdom and His righteousness.
The church in Africa is seeing revival but must be careful that it remains true to the Scriptures and do not let others from outside move them away from their fundamental beliefs. As they become more prosperous they must see it as an opportunity to share with others who are less fortunate and do not just heap the riches up on themselves.
They must be concerned about the people and nation where they live and seek the peace and prosperity of their respective country therefore addressing the negative values that have been implanted in their nations.
Africans have a role to play in worldwide evangelism but should understand that, as they are part of the new missionaries in the world they should become all things to all men that they may win them. Their confidence and academic excellence is away to have influence and to have access to people in various sectors of the society they live as the carry the gospel. It is important that similar mistakes are not made as in the past with other missionaries.