Summary: What is the purpose of the Church? It is to reach, to win, to train and to send.
The Purpose of the Church!"
Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21
I really like that proverb…especially that no matter what we might plan…no matter how evil it may be…GOD’S PURPOSE PREVAILS!
What is God’s purpose…well that’s all wrapped up in what he PURPOSES for the church
This is after all what Jesus came and gave his life for…
SO THAT GOD’S PURPOSES COULD BE DONE!
YOU SEE THE CHURCH ISN’T:
1. A club 2. A service organization
3. A business 4. A building
IT’S AN ORGANISM…A LIVING, BREATHING, ORGANISM..THE BODY OF CHRIST
1Cor. 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
God didn’t just establish the church and left it on it’s own…but has given it a purpose…now we could spend days on this..but I want today to make it as simple and straight forward as possible….
Jesus stated the purpose when he said….
Matt. 28:18-20 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
THIS IS CALLED THE GREAT COMMISSION…MARCHING ORDERS FOR THE CHURCH…EVERYTHING WE DO SHOULD BE DERIVED FROM THIS
IT ALL BOILS DOWN TO FOUR THINGS…THE PURPOSE OF THE CHURCH IS TO REACH, TO WIN, TO TRAIN, AND TO SEND
I. TO REACH….
Everything Jesus did while he walked the earth was to reach out to people
There were times he went off by himself and spent time with the 12…
BUT most of his ministry was to reach the common folk of his day!
His last words as a human on earth was to reach out to those around them…. Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
3 of the 5 ministry gifts deal with reaching out… Eph. 4:11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,
It’s only the pastors and teachers that focuses on the ones in the church exclusively
THE KEY JOB OF THE CHURCH…THAT’S US…IS TO LOOK FOR WAYS TO REACH OUT WITH THE LOVE OF GOD TO OUR COMMUNITY AND WORLD
2. TO WIN
It’s not enough just to reach people…we also have to win them to Christ
Being saved and being part of the church are not always the same thing
Salvation comes as we commit ourselves to Christ and his Church
Commitment and membership are not always the same thing
Commitment is not a casual thing….just as marriage is more than a wedding…imagine how long a marriage would last if most of us do what did when we joined the church?
Just as a marriage takes commitment, time, effort, work, learning to live with one another, and intimacy
SO DOES OUR COMMITMENT TO THE CHURCH
TO SAY WE HAVE TO WIN PEOPLE TO CHRIST IS THAT WE LEAD THEM INTO A INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP TO GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST IN THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT!
If you have ever wondered what marked the difference between a moving, growing, exciting, church…
And an average, run of the mill, on every street corner kind of church
IT IS IN DIRECT RELATIONSHIP OF THE COMMITMENT OF THE MEMBERSHIP TO THE WORK OF CHRIST IN THE WORLD…THAT NOT ONLY HAVE THE PEOPLE THERE BEEN REACHED…BUT WON OVER TO THE WORK OF CHRIST…COMMITTED TO SEE HIS KINGDOM GROW AND EXPAND…COMMITTED TO TELLING OTHERS THE GOOD NEWS OF JESUS…COMMITTED TO GROWING AS CHRISTIANS THEMSELVES
3. TO TRAIN
Matt. 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples
The purpose of the church is to reach and win…but also to make DISCIPLES
It’s easy to make a church member…all you have to do is come and say you want to be a member and you are!…It’s harder to be a member of the country club than a member of the church…I sometimes wonder if we don’t make it to easy….it becomes very cheap that way….
Christ gave his life for the church…now what are we going to give in return?
The basic call of Jesus is for us to become his = DISCIPLE IS ONE WHO LEARNS FROM THE MASTER AND PRACTICES WHAT THEY LEARN
In school there were three different kinds of kids….
1. Those who were good students who got good grades