“Jesus wants his church back” – Malcolm Duncan

I want to share some words which I was deeply struck by and which I think are very important for the church in our nation to hear. I claim no credit for this post. The words are those of my pastor, Malcolm Duncan, and I reproduce them here with his permission.

Jesus wants his church back malcolm duncan

A little context. Two days ago, I was part of the National Catalyst conference held at Gold Hill. ‘Catalyst‘ (which is soon to be renamed) is a missional network of churches all over the UK. It was started by Gold Hill in 2011, and we host two National Conferences each year. The focus this week was on multi-generational ministry and its importance if we wish to see the church in our nation being effective at reaching people with Jesus and His gospel.

I will build my church

To begin the day, Malcolm reminded us of Jesus’ promise: “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18) He reminded us that Jesus has always been in the business of taking a ragtag bunch of people, forming them into a body and using them to do things they would be powerless to do by themselves.

That’s us.

Of vital importance is that HE is the one building HIS church. We do not reach the world for Christ. We reach the world with Christ. He is the initiator and the completer of any good work we might do. He chooses to use us.

Speaking to a room where many (if not most) were church leaders, Malcolm reminded us that we are only ever under-sheperds of the Great Shepherd, drawing on Peter’s words in 1 Peter 5:1-4.

There is a danger for those of us who are part of the leadership of a church to start thinking of the church as ours. When we start thinking like that, we start acting like that. We start trying to build our church, instead of letting Jesus have it and letting Him build it through us.

“I want my church back”

It was at this point that Malcolm shared what really struck me. At Gold Hill in August 2007, a prophetic word was given through which God simply said this: “I want my church back.”

This wasn’t a criticism of any individual (either in 2007 or two days ago when Malcolm shared it again). This was a challenge not to lay claim to what does not belong to us. As Malcolm said:

I would not sleep with another man’s wife – I must not try to be the husband to the Church that only Christ can be.

He then shared 10 reasons he believes Jesus has for wanting His church back. These are 10 exceptional reasons to be very careful always to let Jesus own the church, and not try to ourselves. He is far better with it that we can be. They were:

  1. Jesus wants His church back because He owns it.
  2. Jesus wants His church back because He loves it more than we do.
  3. Jesus wants His church back because He is stronger than we are.
  4. Jesus wants His church back because He is wiser than we are.
  5. Jesus wants His church back because it is safer in His hands than it is in ours.
  6. Jesus wants His church back because He is better at leading it than we are.
  7. Jesus wants His church back because He paid for it and we didn’t.
  8. Jesus wants His church back because He doesn’t want it to kill us (at this point Malcolm reminded us that He had already died for it, and He didn’t want us to as well)
  9. Jesus wants His church back because He can see potential that we can’t.
  10. Jesus wants His church back because He loves us.

We can kill ourselves trying to carry something that is far too big for us. Or we can let Jesus carry it, and find that in His hands we are unstoppable.

Like I said at the start. I think this is a very important message, so please share it with anyone you can. Church leaders are burning out every day, churches failing every day, because they are trying to take what isn’t theirs, and it’s destroying them.

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  • Ivan Latham

    Maybe after several long centuries, the prophetic message ‘I want my Church back’ is Christ summoning his people back to the One Holy Apostolic Church He founded on St Peter. Too many Protestant assemblies are now little more than social clubs with CEOs or showmen at the helm rather than genuine pastors. As a former Evangelical Protestant-turned-Catholic, the greatest joy is in returning to the fold of the true historic Catholic Church of Jesus Christ where He is acknowledged in all His glory.

    • http://limpingintotruth.blogspot.co.uk/ Dave Criddle

      While I agree there is much we Protestants need to put right, I feel your dichotomy seems to imply Catholicism has it totally right, is the only branch of the Church with Christ’s true mandate, and so we should just all sign up. I don’t agree any more than you would with a critique of the Catholic Church and an impassioned call to abandon it in favour of the ‘true enlightened Protestantism that threw off the shackles of Catholicism’.

      “Catholic = good, Protestant = bad” isn’t a helpful way forward. Neither is the reverse.

  • Tony R

    Doubt / faith, What does your faith depend on? In short, www:
    w1: The WORD of God, the fit of Scripture. It is beyond coincidence, and not man made.
    w2: The WORK of Jesus on the Cross. What a thing to do, willingly to die in torture.
    w3: The WITNESS of the Holy Spirit. Remember your own experiences. Everyone has one. Don’t be fooled by anyone else.

  • Doug F

    you were right… Malcolm’s words are very important… strategically important… this subject needs to be expanded.

    • http://limpingintotruth.blogspot.co.uk/ Dave Criddle

      Thanks Doug. I think they are very important. Interested to know what you mean by ‘strategically so’? Also, in what ways do you think we need to expand on this? I think there are many ways, but keen to hear yours!

  • Doug F

    Where to start, Dave? Our western, blind spot is like the one to which Samuel referred when the people called for a king, “to be like the other nations”. Samuel made it quite clear that to have a king was to reject God as King. Our dominion-minded society has made an idol out of governance – democratic, corporate, religious and other structures that draw lines where God does not, stick to ‘mission statements’ when God has moved on, define membership when only the Lord knows for sure. To use the OT analogy, we have become adept at digging cisterns that hold no water and rejected the fountain of living water. We have given first place to our systems, rules, articles of association, charity laws, constitutions, job descriptions and traditions, forgetting or ignoring the voice of God our King.

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  • Rev. Ronald E. Bostrom

    A Word from the Lord, given to me on 06/27/13 for the Body
    of Christ – all around this earth.

    “God will reveal Himself to this generation …

    The days of Church that you have known it, has come to an
    end – and My Church, My Body, My Bride will rise into the fullness that I have
    raised Her for, called Her for and prepared Her for – without spot or wrinkle –
    in all My splendor and manifesting My Glory… from this day forward to my

    What God is about to do … all heads – of all peoples around
    the world, religions and Christians alike – will turn to see …

    What God is about to do … all heads – of all peoples around
    the world, religions and Christians alike – will turn to see …

    Thank God the True and Authentic is about to manifest fully!

    This is what the world has been waiting for and The Church –
    and they will not be disappointed or denied – God will see to that!

    We’re talking, His Church, His Body, His Bride relating to
    God and His Ways … working through His Apostles, Prophets, Evangelist,
    Pastors and Teachers – the ones He has called to those offices for His
    Plans and Purposes for the Body of Christ. The Callings are under the Holy
    Spirits Directives and Leadings – correct? He (The
    Holy Spirit of God) also comes with all of His 9 Gifts – all of which
    most of the “Church“ has been denying, resisting, grieving, quenching, ignoring
    while they teach principles instead of The Power of The Third Person of The
    Trinity … by The Holy Spirit Himself.

    Howard Carter knew this, so did Harold Horton, Lester
    Sumrall, Kenneth E. Hagen ( that is 4 witnesses) … and many, many others.
    … So why can’t the rest of The Church relate?
    I mean, to The Holy Spirit and His Gifts? What He told us to
    do from the beginning? These and others all were and are aware of
    what was yet to come for these end times, these last of the last days.

    You won’t do the same works or the greater works Jesus did
    unless you operated with the same Holy Spirit in
    the same way Jesus operated – The same Holy Spirit the Early
    Church operated with manifesting the Works of The Father. The Church really
    needs to know … Who the Holy Spirit really is and Why he came and He is still
    Do you actually think God changed His Church program from what He originally started?

    God doesn’t change! But we better

    God has been trying to get us back and we as a Church have
    been fighting against God by fighting against each other – not coming into
    agreement with His Holy Spirit – The Truth giving Spirit, who will lead us all
    into all Truth.

    The mighty moves of God … Pentecostal 1906, then to Healings
    1945, then to Charismatic 1970ish, then to Word of Faith 70s 80s until
    now (forget the financial emphasis that went extreme and not of God) just the
    Word of Truth , the Word of God – which is the Word of Faith which we Preach.
    Each one of these moves rooted in the previous one ( God trying to get
    all our attention) until we now are coming to the fifth and final Move of God
    from Word of Faith to all Holy Spirit with all of His Gifts through as many as
    are willing and obedient. You see, God wasn’t quite finished with Word of
    Faith teaching before many wouldn’t listen, some messed with it and some left
    it … that was to be His launching pad for this final great Move. He has
    been trying to get us all (worldwide) on the same page “HIS”. Not yours, mine
    or someone else’s.

    BC, Canada