What is Church Like?
The Nature of the Church
The property of Christ
I believe in the unity of the body of Christ and that He alone is the head of the church (Eph. 5:23) and has the right to dictate its actions in a lost world (Mark 16:15).
Local and Universal
I believe there are two churches mentioned in Scripture: the Local Church that I personally attend on a weekly basis as commanded to in God’s Word (Heb. 10:25) and the Universal Church, the body of believers all over the world (Rom. 12:5).
The Purpose of the Church
I believe that the primary purpose of the church is the corporate worship and glorification of God (Ps. 9:11). This is done in several ways, and not simply by “musical worship.”
Edifying its Members
I believe a purpose of the church is to grow believers in the knowledge and understanding of God’s Word (II Peter 3:18) by the regular teaching from it.
Sharing Christ with the World
I believe that one of the ways the church worships God is by sharing Christ with the lost world (Mark 16:15) so that they too can be members of God’s family, the Universal Church (Luke 20:36).
Leadership of the Church
I personally believe that the role of pastor or “shepherd” was meant to belong only to a man and I choose not to attend any church where a woman is the ordained minister in charge of leading the church (I Cor. 14:35).
I believe baptism to be an individual’s identification with the Universal church and not necessarily the Local Church (Eph. 4:5). It is the outward sign of an inward change and it is to be the choice of the individual experiencing it (Mark 16:16).
I believe communion should be taken regularly and with reverence just as Christ commanded it to be (Luke 22:19).
My understanding of the doctrines of Ecclesiology effects my life greatly. It dictates what churches I will and will not attend. It makes the distinctions between the things I will compromise on (dunking or sprinkling baptisms) the things I will not compromise on (female pastors) and the things I strongly prefer not to compromise on but will if it is absolutely necessary (Covenant theology vs. Dispensational theology.) Being grounded in sound teaching on Ecclesiology from a young age I am naturally prone to churches that are more traditional. I believe that the Biblical actions of a church determine whether or not I should attend there. I also believe that I need to attend a church with the idea of giving first and getting second. I feel strongly that too many believers today attend church with no intention of giving to the Body of Christ at all; I have been one of these people. But the more I understand about Ecclesiology, the more I want to use my personal gifts and talents to edify God’s people, both in regular weekly meetings of the Local Church and in my day to day encounters with the Universal Church.