Why God Does NOT Empower Laziness

The church shouldn’t work, but here’s why it does.

The church shouldn’t work. It doesn’t make any organizational sense. It’s unlike any corporate structure on earth. So how in the world has the church, as an institution, managed to survive for 2,000 years? It must be the power of God.

Paul, in his letter to the Colossians, argues that we absolutely must “work and struggle” hard in our effort to grow God’s kingdom. God doesn’t empower laziness. At the same time, he also argues that it is God and God alone who energizes our efforts and provides actual results. So with all of the effort that we must invest, the successful result is always 100 percent God’s doing.

This explains how the church has managed to stay alive for 20 centuries and even, in certain ages and cultures, to thrive. Paul puts it this way: “For he holds the whole body together with its joints and ligaments, and it grows as God nourishes it” (Colossians 2:19 NLT).

Any church that is maximizing its effort while relying solely on God’s power for results will experience His blessing in a special way. The Bible uses the picture of a human body as a picture of what the church is like. Earlier in Colossians, Paul talked about Jesus Christ being the Head of the body. When Jesus is the Head, and when all the parts (you and I) are investing our energy passionately, God makes the church grow miraculously.

Brandon Cox is Lead Pastor of Grace Hills Church, a new church plant in northwest Arkansas. He also serves as Editor and Community Facilitator for Pastors.com and Rick Warren's Pastor's Toolbox and was formerly a Pastor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. In his spare time, he offers consultation to church leaders about communication, branding, and social media. He and his wife, Angie, live with their two awesome kids in Bentonville, Arkansas.