Over the last three weeks I have been presenting some of the main purposes of God’s church.  As I travel around and speak about the Uncommon Church I am always surprised to learn how many churches don’t understand what the most basic and fundamental purposes of God’s church are. So these posts have been my effort to share nine of them.  In my first post I talked about the purpose of producing disciple, providing resources, and proclaiming the gospel. In my second post I talked about the church’s responsibility to propel missionaries, present proof, and practice holiness.  Today I would like to briefly discuss the last three.

  1. To Pray- Every Christian knows that they are suppose to pray, and most of us do.  But I am talking about focused corporate prayer here in this post.  I believe that God hears all of our prayers but He does something special when a church practices uncommon prayer together. In my book The Uncommon Church I talk in detail about the power of uncommon prayer.  When the body of Christ unites together in prayer many wonderful things happen.  We see this in scripture in places like 1 Thessalonians 5:25 when Paul urged the church to pray for him and his companions.  In Acts 12 we see an amazing miracle in the form of a prison escape for Peter and we learn that the church was gathered in prayer for him during his captivity. As individuals we must pray, and as a church body we must pray as well.  Churches should make it a priority to unite their minds and hearts in prayer!
  2. To Protect- 1 Peter 5:8 tells us that our enemy is a predator on the prowl!  Like all predators he is looking for the sick, hurting, lonely, and weak to attack and devour.  No one can be strong all of the time so as the body of Christ we are there to protect each other. Acts 20:25-29 and Hebrews 13:17-18 both talk about the protection church leaders are responsible for concerning the flock.  But the protection I am speaking of is much broader and something all believers should be engaged in. Sometime ago I was watching a basket ball game at a friend’s house when their rambunctious, and very aggressive new Yorkie puppy lunged across the couch at my face. Without even thinking my hand flew up and stopped the pup in flight to protect my eyes and face.  The dog was not attacking my hand but my hand came to the deference of my face because my hand knows that it is apart of my body and thus has a responsibility for the other parts of the same body.   When fellow believer are attacked, hurt, lonely, or weak we must not stand by, but instead those who are strong should stand in the gap!  There will no doubt be a time down the road when you will need someone to do the same for you. Being active and involved in the church of God should deliver added protection for all believers when the church is fulfilling its purpose in this role.
  3. To Pronounce The Truth- The church must stand up and pronounce the truth even on the most difficult and daunting subjects.  For far to long the church has stood on the sidelines and let others proclaim to the world what the truth is about subjects like homosexuality, abortion, physical and sexual abuse, sex trafficking, and pornography. We have made excuses claiming it was not our job to tackle these hard issues, but it is our responsibility and purpose!  If God’s church does not pronounce God’s truth to the world then who will?  It has never been easy to pronounce the truth.  I think about places in scripture like 1 Corinthians 5:1-2 where tough issues were dealt with by Paul and I know it was not easy for him either.  However. the fact remains that he was bold enough to pronounce the truth!  He was not ugly, harsh, or angry, he was just truthful.  I know people don’t like to hear the truth when it hurts, but that does not dismiss the church of God from fulfilling this God given purpose!

I hope you will consider these nine purposes and the others that are outlined in scripture as you attempt to lead, and live for Christ.