Last week I posted three things that I believe all churches should be focused on and dedicated to. Over the years I have noticed that almost all churches are full of great people, and lead by very dedicated, and devoted leaders.  However over time it is easy to forget what the purpose of the church actually is.  There are so many good things that churches focus on, that have little or no impact on the Kingdom of God. Why?  Because they are not part of God’s purpose for the church.  The list I am providing here is not meant to be an exhaustive list, and the things mentioned are in no particular order.  I simply feel that churches should carefully consider what their purpose is, and then fulfill that purpose.  If you have other things you feel should be mentioned by all means feel free to make a comment down below.  Here are three more things to think about when it comes to the purpose of the church.

The purpose of the church is to…

  1. Propel Missionaries –  Throughout the book of Acts and indeed the New Testament we see God using churches to propel missionaries like Paul, Barnabas, Timothy, and many others throughout the world.  This should still be one of the primary purposes of all churches.  We must remain focused on the task to winning the world to Christ.  God calls people to the mission field and he calls churches to equip, support, pray for, and provide for those missionaries needs.  The missionary on the field is far less effective without the support of the local church. Many churches today have elected to only support missions through cooperative giving through their denomination.  This is indeed the easiest and a very effective way to support missions.  However you lose the connection between the church and the missionary when all you do is send money on a monthly basis.  It would be wise for all churches to support at least one missionary directly.  Churches must also preach, teach and encourage those in their congregations to pray about missions.   The best missionaries to support directly are the ones that have been trained and raised in your own church.  Each time I preach and encourage those in our congregation to pray about God’s calling on their lives in relation to missions at least one family or individual steps forward to explore the possibility of entering full-time Christian service. Sometimes God reveals that the timing is not right, but many times these people end up on the field.
  2. Present Proof –  The only proof of God’s power and existence that many in your community will ever see is your church.  1 Corinthians 12:27 indicates that we are Christs’ Body therefore we are what the world perceives Christ to be.  The church of God must never forget that they are the proof of God’s grace, hope, mercy, power, justice, forgiveness, truth, and love. When Paul wrote to the church of Thessalonian he said  —6And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, when you received the message with joy that comes from the Holy Spirit, despite great affliction. 7As a result you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. 8For from you the message of the Lord has echoed forth not just in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place reports of your faith in God have spread, so that we do not need to say anything. 9For people everywhere report how you welcomed us and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God 10and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus our deliverer from the coming wrath. (1 Thessalonians 1:6–10 (NET)  God’s word was spreading throughout the world because people had seen the proof through this church.  They had turned from their idols to follow Christ, Jesus had made a difference in their lives and they allowed the world to see that.  We must always remember that we are living proof of God’s power to save, change, heal, and forgive.
  3. Practice Holiness – Peter said this in 1 Peter 1:15–16 (NET) —15but, like the Holy One who called you, become holy yourselves in all of your conduct, 16for it is written, “You shall be holy, because I am holy.”  The church of God must understand that the proof we present will never be accepted unless we practice what we preach.  That is to say we must really be attempting to live life God’s way.  We must become holy, and practice holiness.  I have told people in the past I like the word “practice” because so far in life I have never had the privileged of meeting anyone that was totally holy.  I have however met lots of people who were “practicing” holiness.  That is to say they were doing their best to follow Christ and as a result becoming more and more Christ like on a daily basis. As the body of Christ we must put forth our full effort on a daily basis and practice holiness so that the proof we present to the world around us might be accepted.

Next week I will propose three more things that I believe are purposes of the church.  If you have not done so already subscribe to this blog in the upper right and corner of this page so you will receive these posts directly to your inbox. Feel free to leave comments or thoughts about this blog in the box below as well.