The church and its effect on society is one that cannot be overemphasized, or so we
think. Heading back to the inception of the early churches right after the death of Christ,
It was clear just as recorded throughout the book of Acts that the early church at
Antioch sprang up with much force. Though small at the time, the effect rippled quite
fast through the land.
It was recorded that the early Christians were first called Christians because they were
Christ-like. In other words, the followers of Christ who bore semblance to the lifestyle of
the Messiah congregated together often where the power of God was evident with the
visible movement of the Holy Spirit. You would recall that Christ; the Messiah Himself had
promised that while He goes away to be with God, the Father, He would send yet
another comforter to be with the people. He promised He would continue to abide with
them in Spirit. Yes, it has been hundreds of years since that promise but today, we feel
comforted by the continuous presence of the Holy Spirit just as promised.
Basically, there is no real church without the influence of the Holy Spirit. Not one church
can boast of operating without the influence and direct impact of the Holy Spirit, but as a
matter of emphasis, there are several churches functioning independently of the Holy
Spirit with less operating under its influence. Your guess is as good as mine, several
institutions out there parade themselves as true and genuine churches, but they are not
real! Do not even be alarmed by their staggering number within society.
With these said, we have few churches standing today as true churches which was not
only instituted and established upon the word of God but run momentarily by the power
of the Spirit. These are the churches which we reference. Just as in the early days, as we
see their impact spread through the lands, true churches are meant to create impacts
across the land; not for show-off but for impact. Why would a church show off even?
One of the basic elements that bound the early church together not forgetting that the
church is not the brick walls or the huge basilicas of the orient world. The church is
actually the people; everyday people that are connected by LOVE. We see
demonstrated in the book of Acts the selflessness of the people towards one another.
How they would sell their properties and bring the money to sort each other’s needs. In
fact, no one dared live above the need of the other person. For them, it was love and
love divine. As succinctly put in the bible ( ) “By this shall all men know ye are
disciples of me if ye love one another.” This was exactly what the early church
modeled; they knew nothing else and operated nothing less than this commanded love.
They knew how to reprimand and admonish one another in love when they seem to be
falling out of place. There was a greater goal that far extended the individualistic goal of
every man. They were synced as one and well, it wasn’t coincidental that the love
culture flowed through the land as fast as lightning. How else do we describe the
portion of the bible that refers to Christians as salts of the earth? Imagine your food
without it !. Oh, it even described Christians as light.
The church largely became a model for the new order. There was an ideal that was fast
becoming a culture throughout the land and believe it or not, many people and culture
were influenced by this. This brings to mind the popular quote that hints that no man
can stop the motive of jointly purposeful hearts.
Fast forward to more recent times, we know that the church has single handedly
brought about changes in many societies. The advent of the church brought about by
the missionaries of old incited civilization in many societies even though there is the
angle that argues that the advent of the church in some societies brought nothing but
subtle anarchy to upstage the indigenous beliefs of the people. The resultant changes
came as reforms through many systems including education etc. Today, the church has
become larger than it ever was and by all means necessary, the same effect it once had
on the society would have been expected to be carried through.
This brings to the forefront the current force the church is exerting on the society. Can we
very well affirm its continuous impact on the society or it has lost the grip it once had on
its host community? Perhaps the question might even be whether it ever did pull the
desired effect, especially in our immediate communities. Where is the church when civil
rights protests are underway? Where is the church when society seems to be falling
into a state of decadence and social decay? Where is the church in advocating for a
better standard of living? Where is the church physically speaking up for the
Has the church become recluse to the outside world and only seems to be interested in
the spiritual warfare that only happens in the spiritual realm? Or is the church now reduced
to looking after its own denominational reputation; preserving its status for whatever
reasons and selfishly guarding its congregational size in rivalry to the other
The tone has since been set by the model church and indeed set right. Did the original
objective get truncated by some other prevailing force or the contemporary times have
simply just had its toll on it? Several questions keep coming to mind, but really from our
standpoint of view is the church living by its original design? Where are we and where is