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Summary: An overview of the Five Purposes of the church from the Purpose Driven Church by Rick Warren.

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The Purpose of the Church Exodus 9:16 & Philipians 2:1-11

Part 1 – overview

Everyone has a purpose.

Everything we do that is worthwhile has a purpose

God gave us the church with a purpose in mind…why is it that so many times the church seems so out of touch then?

I think when the world, that’s not part of the church, takes a look at us, that they see us as second rate, no purpose, no direction

And you know I think the way the church has functioned for a while, they might be right…

HOWEVER, God created the church with a purpose in mind…what we need to do is rediscover the truth of what God has already established and then begin to work in that direction

What we need to decide is what our driving force is…what is it that catches our attention and what it is that get’s us excited

I know what it is for some of you….

For some it’s UT football….cars….money…building things…civil war re-enactments…family

None of that is bad…but is that really the reason God put you on this planet? Is that really your purpose? I DON’T THINK SO!

AND WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE CHURCH?

When the world looks at us it looks like we were developed for bake sales, fish fries, bingo…but is that what Jesus had in mind when he told Peter…. Matt. 16:18-19 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

SOUNDS TO ME LIKE JESUS WAS STARTING SOMETHING EXTRA SPECIAL THAT WOULD MAKE AN ETERNAL DIFFERENCE

Now I do want to say something…none of the things I listed are bad…but if they become the main thing…then we’ve begun to major on minors

WHEN IS IT THAT THE MAIN THING BECOMES THE MAIN THING IN THE CHURCH OF JESUS?

About 8 years ago a minister in a church in California wrote a book entitled “THE PURPOSE DRIVEN CHURCH”, in this book he outlines for us five purposes that Jesus gave the church…after reading the book and having visited his church a couple of years ago, I’m convinced he is right on target

The Saddle Back Church (which is by the way Southern Baptist) has grown from a start in 1975 with Rick Warren and his wife and one other couple…to over 15,000 on weekends attending…obviously they are doing something right and have a vision of what God intends the church to be

Over the next few weeks I want to take a look at the five purposes of the church that Jesus gave us, today is just a quick overview….

Let’s begin to take a look at the purposes of the church…

Matt 22:37

Jesus replied: "’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind...(NIV)

I. “WORSHIP”.

God is first and foremost looking for worshippers….Worship is one of the keys to a relationship with God and with each other in the church…WORSHIP ISN’T FELLOWSHIP, BUT IT CAN DRAW US TOGETHER AS GOD’S SPIRIT MOVES…

Worship is the key that opens the door for us to be in the presence of God and the beginning of relationship

Woship isn’t just going through the motions…it is us coming with expectation that we will meet God and it will make a difference in our lives…

Worship isn’t a spectator’s sport, something done for us…it us being lead by the worship leaders into experiencing God’s presence…through Song…through the prayers…reading of the Word…proclamation of the word…

It isn’t passive…no where in the scriptures are the worshippers just sitting, but participatory…BUT THIS IS ABSOLUTELY DEPENDANT ON THE WORSHIPPER TO WANT TO ENTER IN….GOD NEVER FORCES HIMSELF ON ANYONE….

WORSHIP IS THE FIRST OF THE FIVE PURPOSES OF THE CHURCH!

Matt 22:39

And the second is like it: ’Love your neighbour as yourself.’

II. “MINISTRY”.

MINISTRY IS WHAT THE CHURCH IS CALLED TO DO FOR OTHERS…. Matt. 25:40 “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”

This is the doing aspect of the church…the church is to do for others…

I was talking to Stacey the other day…he is really excited about doing missions work…in fact he was telling me he wants to go back to the Bahamas, but even more he wants to work with Mission Discovery over here in Westmoreland…

As exciting as it is to go somewhere…missions, ministry can and needs to be done here as well…MINISTRY IS MEETING THE NEEDS…Physically, mentally, emotionally…and of course SPIRITUALLY of others…it takes all forms and shapes

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