The Infrastructure of the Kingdom

If we learned any new words over this past year, we’ve learned the word “infrastructure.” Every day, some expert is talking about our need to invest in our infrastructure, overhaul our infrastructure or repair our infrastructure. From getting the internet to our rural communities, to finding more truck drivers to deliver our needed goods to the condition of our roads from community to community, our infrastructure needs work. I have lived most of my life without anyone mentioning any kind of infrastructure, but now, it’s all we can talk about.


Because during the pandemic and then, during the recent ice and snow storms that ravaged most of our nation, our infrastructure was overwhelmed. Let me be more precise. Our infrastructures failed. Not just one infrastructure, but most, if not all, of our infrastructures broke, crashed or shut down.

What was our first clue? Our local stores ran out of toilet paper. Every night, we were treated to videos of grown men and women fighting in the aisles of Walmart and Kroger to get the last twelve pack of two ply toilet paper. The pandemic meant the factories had to shut down. Factories not producing toilet paper meant trucks had nothing to deliver which means, of course, there was no toilet paper on the shelves of the stores. Not only was there no toilet paper in the stores, there wasn’t any toilet paper in America!

Over the past few weeks, several regions of United States and especially Texas, were hammered by ice and snow storms. The Texas power grid failed. Thousands of people lost power and water service for a week or more. The winter storm became more and more dangerous by the hour. Crisis responders have told us it will take months for things to return to normal.

As we might expect, the talking heads on television news casts have been crying for us to pay attention to our nation’s infrastructure. Roads need to be rebuilt. Highways need to be reconstructed and the power grid needs to be reworked. Our water supplies need to be better protected and everything needs to be protected from cyber-attacks.

None of this is new.

Even the least observant of us can see things need to be fixed. So, why don’t things get fixed? For the same reason things don’t get fixed around our own homes.

We’ll do it tomorrow.

It’s too expensive.

What most of us do in our homes, we’ve done in our nation. Now, the chickens have come home to roost. What was once of problem is now a crisis.

Infrastructure work isn’t very popular. You don’t get your name put on a new power line. Infrastructure is expensive and who wants to pay more taxes?

Here’s the problem. If the infrastructure doesn’t work, nothing works.

It’s the same way in the kingdom of God. Every year, books are written and lectures given about the coming demise of the local church. Times have changed, we’re told. People have different needs now. The church is hopelessly out of touch. We need to prepare for a future without the local church.

Now, let me remind you, I’ve been part of a local church all my life. I have been a pastor for over forty years. I’m fully aware of all of the church’s shortcomings. I know about the hypocrites and posers, the shallowness and selfishness that make up every congregation. So, if you’re going to slam the local church, save it. I’ve heard it all before.

For all of its faults, the local church is the infrastructure of God’s kingdom work in the world. The local church is the community where disciples are made. Without disciples there are no missionaries, professors, denominational workers or non-profit leaders. Without the local church, none of these ministries get funded.

If the local church doesn’t work, nothing works.

Everybody wants to grab the golden egg and run off. If you feed the goose, the goose will lay a lot more golden eggs. If you take care of the local church, everything else works.

So, what am I saying? If you want to change the world, start in your own neighborhood. Start with the local community and the closest church to you and your family. There are children who need be loved. There are prayers that need to be prayed. There are lonely people who need to be heard. There are seekers who need their questions answered and new believers who need to be encouraged. There are young married people who are trying to get their marriage right and they’ve never seen a healthy marriage. Who will tell them what a Christ centered marriage looks like?

Someone in the local church. Someone in the local church will do all of this and much more.

If we’ve learned anything during this pandemic, we’ve learned this – we need to tend to our infrastructure. In the kingdom of God, that infrastructure is the local church.

If the local church doesn’t work, nothing works.

But…if the local church works…so does everything else.