“At one time all the people of the world spoke the same language and used the same words. As the people migrated to the east, they found a plain in the land of Babylonia and settled there. They began saying to each other, ‘Let’s make bricks and harden them with fire.’ Then they said, ‘Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world’” (Genesis 11:1-4).
The story of the Tower of Babel is a frightening reality for me in this day. It seems obvious that we have subscribed more to gathering and building than we have to God’s command to go and be sent.
From the very beginning, God said, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Genesis 1:28). This command is repeated twice, here as I noted, and again in Genesis 9, when God reboots humanity with Noah’s family after the flood (Genesis 9:1). But it did not take long for mankind to abandon God’s command and look to ‘settle’ (Genesis 11:2) – for which I am greatly concerned.
Thus, instead of being churches like Genesis 1 and Genesis 9, we have become more like Genesis 11. Instead of filling the whole earth, we have built towers, and have settled. Or as Ralph Moore stated, “We have built monuments rather than movements.” My friends, the proof is in the pudding. We have more mega-churches than ever before, but 86% of their growth comes from the cannibalization of smaller churches. This is not at all what God prescribed for His bride.
Throughout Scripture, God’s vision for His kingdom was that it would be a movement – a movement that would fill the earth. Daniel predicted that it would fill the whole earth (Daniel 2:5). In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus commanded us to make disciples of “all the nations” (Matthew 28:19-20). In Acts, we read that we are to be His witnesses “to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). On the day of Pentecost (Acts 2), God declared that there will be a day when people from “every nation under heaven” will be in Jerusalem to witness His kingdom. From the very beginning, God’s purpose was that His church would “be fruitful and multiply, and cover the earth.”
Now listen carefully, if the church is going to fill the earth the way God purposed for it from the beginning, bigger is not better – more is better. Thus, we need to raise up and train up more gardeners, not masons. We need to equip disciples and train them to be sent and spread the Gospel, which will lead to the birth of new churches – filling our cities, states, country, and world.
Thus, it is time to abandon our buildings of Babylon, for the fields, the harvest, of the world.