Hey guys, I’m back from my unannounced and unplanned hiatus, AKA I was busy for a few weeks. Today’s post is going to be over a brief, but important topic.
While most churches (and denominations) do fulfill the Bible’s calling for the purpose of the Church, sometimes we as believers tend to forget them, or hyperfocus on one of them (when all are equally important). Perhaps you’ve never even thought of what the purpose of the church is. I’ve divided the purpose of the Church into three main missions. Yes, I’m sure many of you can think of other further purposes (Why not leave your thoughts in the comment section below) but for clarity and brevity’s sake, I’ve gone with three. Three’s also a good number, so why not. Oh, and when I say the Church I mean the institution of the Church, not the Church as in all of Christianity. Also, the following three are in no particular order.
- Growing Together in Faith: While it’s more than possible to be a follower of Christ and not attend a church (in fact for some this may be best) for most attending a church of some form is an enriching experience. Being around other believers, discussing the Bible, and just living life together is good. A good sermon can challenge you, to either change an aspect of the way you live or to further seek out what the preacher meant and what the scriptures say. I could go on further, but this is a bit of a summary post, so I won’t.
- Fulfilling the Great Commission: Jesus calls for believers to “Go forth and make disciples”. Being a part of a church makes this much easier. Most churches have a myriad variety of outreach and evangelism opportunities. You could do this on your own, but organizing and enacting on the same scale just isn’t practical or feasible. In addition, activities tend to be funner (oh yes, I just got conjugated ‘fun’ like that) when you do them with others. This coming from an introvert.
- Fulfilling the Great Commandment: Jesus didn’t just give us the Great Commission, he also gave us the Great Commandment: “Love God, Love Others”. This is the summary of the Law that applies to us Christians according to the New Covenant. Not only are we supposed to seek a relationship with God, but also with others. We are called for improving our community, and helping others, regardless of if they are different than us, regardless of if we agree with them. (See my earlier post for more on this topic). Who is our neighbor? Frankly, everyone. There are many organizations out there dedicated to the mission of social work, Christian, non-christian and secular. Social Work and community service may not have been invented by Christianity, but it is certainly a tenant we are supposed to live by. As a church, you should be involved in your community, and if possible for your congregation, the wider world.
So that’s my take on the purpose of the church. These functions will look different from church to church, from culture to culture, but I believe in some form they should be present. “Let God’s Will be Done, On Earth as it is in Heaven“. The Church should ideally be a reflection of what Heaven will one day look like, and by building each other up, sharing His message, and helping others, we can achieve this.