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The existence of church and its purpose
WHY THE CHURCH EXISTS AND WHAT IT IS SUPPOSED TO DO
The true church perspective
· When I was born again, I was born into a race of a King
· In this new Kingdom, I will engaged in renewing my mind into a higher level of thinking, believing and operating (TBO)
· The nature that is within me is a nature of the ruler.
· The hour has come, to take my rightful place as a child of God
· I will live by faith in the Kingdom of God
· Lord take me beyond salvation, into the knowledge of your Kingdom
Question to Ponder:
1. Why does the church exist?
2. What are we to be as a church (who and what are we?)
3. What are we to do as a church? (What does God want done in the world?)
4. How are to do it?
What to look about the church of Christ
- Look at Christ’s Ministry on earth
• What did Jesus do while He was here?
• What would He do if he were here today?
• Whatever Jesus did while He was on earth, we are to continue today.
• The different elements of Christ’s ministry should be evident in His church today
• Whatever He did while here in a physical body, He wants continued in His spiritual body, the Church.
- Look at the images and names of the church
• The New Testament offers many analogies for the church: a body, a bride, a family, a flock, a community, and an army. Each of this images has profound implications for what the church should be, and what the church should be doing
- Look at the example of the New Testament churches
• What did the first churches do?
• There are many different models in Scripture.
• The Jerusalem church was very different from the church at Corinth
• The Philippian church was very different from the church at Thessalonica.
• Study each of the local congregation found in the New Testament, including the seven churches in Revelation.
- Look at the commands of Christ
• What did Jesus tell us to do?
• Matthew 16:18 Jesus said, “I will build my church.”
• He obviously has a specific purpose in mind.
• It isn’t our job to create the purpose of the church but to discover them.
• Our duty is to understand the purposes Christ has for the church and to implement them.
• While the program much changes in every generation, the purpose never changes.
• We may be innovative with the style of ministry, but we must never alter the substance of it.
A. Why do the Church of God Exist
· The Great Commandment
Matthew 22:37-40 (NKJV)37Jesus said to him, “you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’38This is the first and great commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’40On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
· The Great Commission
Matthew 28:18-20 (NKJV)18And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19Go £therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” £Amen.
A Great Commitmentto the Great Commandment and the Great Commissionwill grow a Great Church!
• If an activity or program fulfills one of these commands, let’s do it. If it doesn’t, we don’t.
• We should be driven by the Great Commandment and the Great Commission.
• Together, they give us the primary task the church is to focus on until Christ returns.
Love the Lord with all your heart
• The word that describes this purpose is worship. The church exist to worship God
• How do we love God with all our heart? By worshipping Him!
• When we express our love to God, we’re worshipping
• Matthew 4:10 – “Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.”
• Psalms 34:3 – Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together
• Worshipping God is the church’s first purpose
Love your neighbor as yourself
• The word that describes this purpose is ministry.
• The church exists to minister people.
• Ministry is demonstrating God’s love to others by meeting their needs and healing the hurts in the name of Jesus.
• Each time you reach out in love to others you are ministering to them.
• The church is to minister all kinds of needs: spiritual, emotional, relational, and physical
• Ephesians 4:12 ( NKJV ) 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ
• Unfortunately, very little actual ministry takes place in many churches. Instead, much of the time is taken up by meeting.
• Faithfulness is often defined in terms of attendance rather than service, and members just sit, soak and sour.
Go and make disciples
• This purpose is called evangelism.
• The church exists to communicate God’s Word. We are ambassadors for Christ and our mission is to evangelize the world.
• The word go in the great commission is a present participle in the Greek text. It should read, “As you are going”.
• It is every Christian’s responsibility to share the Good News wherever we go.
• We are to tell the whole world of Christ’s coming, his death on the cross, his resurrection and his promise return.
• Someday each of us will give an account to regarding how seriously we took this responsibility.
• Evangelism is more than our responsibility; it is our great privilege.
• We are invited to be a part of bringing people into God’s eternal family
• If you knew the cure of cancer, I’m sure you’d do everything you could get the news out. It would saves millions of lives
• But you already know something better: You’ve given the Gospel of eternal life to share, which is the greatest news of all!
• Growth is not optional; it is commanded by Jesus. We should not seek church growth for our own benefit, but because God wants people to be saved.
• Why is baptism so important to permit inclusion in Christ‘s Great Commission?
• I believe it is because it symbolizes one of the purpose of the church: fellowship – identification with the body of Christ
• As Christian we’re are called to belong, not just to believe, We are not meant to live lone-ranger lives; instead, we are to belong to Christ’s family and be members of His body.
• Baptism is not only a symbol of salvation, it is a symbol of fellowship
• It not only symbolizes our new life in Christ, it visualizes a person’s incorporation into the body of Christ.
• It says to the world, “This person is now one of us!”
• When new believers are baptized we welcome them into the fellowship of the family of God. We are not alone. We have each other for support.
• Ephesians 2:19- Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.
• You are members of God’s very own family… and you belong in God’s household with every other Christians.
• The church exist to provide fellowship for believers
Teaching them to obey
• The word commonly used to refer this purpose is discipleship
• The church exists to edify, or educate, God’s people.
• Discipleship is the process of helping people become more like Christ in their thoughts, feeling, and actions.
• This process begins when a person is born again and continues throughout the rest of his life
• Colossian 1:28Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.
Perfect – mature person in Christ
• As the church we are called not only to reach people, but also to teach them. After someone has made a decision for Christ, he or she must be disciple
• It is the church’s responsibility to develop people to spiritual maturity. This is God’s will for every believer
• Paul writes, “…so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:12b-13)
The clearest example of all five purposes is the first church at Jerusalem described in Acts 2:1-47.
• They taught each other
• They fellowship together
• They worship
• They minister and
• They evangelized
• Today our purposes are unchanged. The church exists:
- To edify - To Equip
- To Encourage - To Evangelized
- To exalt
Christ’s five purposes for His Church
1. Membership: To incorporate God’s family into our fellowship
2. Magnify: To celebrate God’s presence in worship
3. Maturity: To educate God’s people through discipleship
4. Ministry: To demonstrate God’s love through service
5. Mission: To communicate God’s word through evangelism
The Reason to have clear purpose in the church
Clear Purpose Builds Morale
• I Corinthians 1:10 (LB) says, “Let there be real harmony so that there won’t be split in the church… be of one mind, united in thoughts and purpose
• Paul says that the key to harmony in the church is to be united in purpose
• If our mission is unclear our morale will be low.
• Proverb 29:18 (KJV) – “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”
• It is also true that where there is no vision, people leave for another parish!
• A Church without a purpose and mission eventually becomes a museum piece of yesterday’s tradition
Clear Purpose Reduces Frustration
• Isaiah 26:3 – (TEV) says that God “give” perfect peace to those who keep their purpose firm and put their trust in Him.”
• A clear purpose reduces frustration because it allows us to forget about things that don’t really matter
• A clear purpose not only defines what we do, it defines what we do not do.
• Without apurpose statement it is easy to be frustrated by all the distraction around us. May be you felt the way Isaiah did: “I have labored to no purpose; I have spent my strength in vain and for nothing ( Isaiah 49:4)
• Trying to lead a church without a clear defined purpose is like trying to drive a car in the fog.
• If you can’t see clearly where you’re headed, you are likely to crash.
• Once our church’s purpose has been clarified, any goal that fulfills one of those purpose gets automatic approval.
• Anytime someone suggests an activity or event or new program you should simply ask, “Will this fulfill one of our purposes?” If it does, do it. If it doesn’t, don’t do it.
Clear Purpose Allows Concentration
• One of the common temptations many church falling for today is the trap of majoring in the minors. They become distracted by good, but less important, agendas, crusades and purpose. The energy of the church diffused and dissipated; the power is lost.
• The main thing is to keep the main thing the main things.
Clear Purpose Attracts Cooperation
• People want to join a church that knows where it’s going. When a church clearly communicates its destination, people are eager to get on board. This is because everyone is looking for something that gives meaning, purpose, and direction to life
• If we want our members to get excited about the church, actively support it, and generously give to it , we must vividly explain up front exactly where the church is headed.
• Our church’s purpose statement is explain in detail to every person who wants to join our church family – before they join
• There will be membership class and signing the membership covenant, which includes a commitment to support church’s activities.
Clear Purpose Assists Evaluation
• II Corinthians 13:5 – Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourself.” How does a church evaluate itself? Not by comparing itself to other churches, but by asking, “Are we doing what God intends for us to do? And “How well are we doing it?
• These are the two most critical questions for evaluating our church.
• Our church’s purpose statement must become the standard by which we measure our congregation health and growth.
To Impact the Church within the Community we must consider the following:
• First - We must define our purpose
• Second - We must communicate those purposes to everyone in our churches
• Third - We must organize our church around those purposes
• Fourth - We must apply our purposes to everyone in our church
Typical local Church’s Purpose Statement
To bring people to Jesus and membershipin His family, develop them to Christ like maturity, and equip them for their ministry in the church and life mission in the world, in order to magnifyGod’s Name.
Five Dimensions of Church Growth
- Churches grow warmer through fellowship
- Churches grow deeper through discipleship
- Churches grow stronger through worship
- Churches grow broader through ministry
- Churches grow larger through evangelism
• Church growth is the natural result of church health
• Church health can only occur when our message is biblical and our mission is balanced