Summary: The DNA of the Local Church is made up of core values, vision and mission. If someone were to walk up to a member of the church and ask: "What is the mission of this church?" What would you answer be?
The Local Church – God’s Missionary People
The best vitamin for a Christian is B1."
"Soul food served here."
"Tithe if you love Jesus! Anyone can honk!"
"Beat the Christmas rush, come to church this Sunday!"
"Don’t wait for the hearse to take you to church."
"Don’t give up. Moses was once a basket case."
"Life has many choices. Eternity has two. What’s yours?"
"Preach the gospel at all times. Use words if necessary."
"Prevent truth decay. Brush up on your Bible."
"It’s hard to stumble when you’re down on your knees."
"What part of ’THOU SHALT NOT’ don’t you understand?"
"The wages of sin is death. Repent before payday."
"Never give the devil a ride. He will always want to drive."
"Can’t sleep? Try counting your blessings."
"Forbidden fruit creates many jams."
"Satan subtracts and divides. God adds and multiplies."
"If you don’t want to reap the fruits of sin, stay out of the devil’s orchard."
"God answers kneemail."
This morning we are looking at the purpose of the local church.
If someone were to walk up to you and ask, “What is the main purpose of the Willow Vale Church?” What would you tell them?
18000 Church attenders were surveyed by the Church Growth Center in Corona, Indiana. Four questions were asked and those being surveyed were asked to pick the statement that best describes the main purpose of the church.
1. Teach the golden rule
2. Be the moral backbone of society
3. Make disciples
4. To provide a place of fellowship and show God’s love with one another.
Which one would you choose? Of the 18,000 surveyed the following answers were given:
3.4 % chose 2. Be the moral backbone of society
4.1 % chose 1. Teach the golden rule
57 % chose 4. To provide a place of fellowship and
show God’s love with one another.
35.5 % chose 3. “Make Disciples”
Jesus gave the primary purpose of the church in Matthew 28:19-20, “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.”
If you know the Mission Statement of our church you would know the correct answer: Our Mission is ”bringing people to Jesus, loving, equipping and sending them out to make more and better disciples.”
Our mission spells “bles” – bring, loving, equipping and sending…
The Bible uses several descriptive pictures to describe the purpose of the church.
I. House of Prayer (Matthew 21:12-13)
Matthew records that following the Triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem Jesus went to the temple to do some house cleaning. Jesus made it clear that His house was not to be a place for commercialism – a place for buying and selling of merchandise.
”Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” he said to them. “My house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it a den of robbers.”
Jesus cast out all that bought and sold in the temple area. The temple area covered about 25 acres. Temple Courtyard vendors were dishonest in their dealings and Jesus would not have crooked money-changers taking advantage of people coming to the temple for worship and offering their sacrifices.
What picture comes to mind when you think of the church? A magnificent building costing multi - million dollars…? An organization out to take your money and make you poor…? A place to make business contacts…? -- Or a place to gather for corporate worship and prayer…?
Abraham Lincoln said this about the church: “If all the people who fell asleep in church on Sunday morning were laid out end to end…they would be a great deal more comfortable.”
More than anything else the House of God is for worship and prayer. Whether this room is used as a sanctuary for worship on Sunday for English services at 9 and 11, Korean service at 2 pm or Spanish service at 7:15 pm, or an auditorium for Christmas or Easter programs, Alpha dinners, or gathering for parents of our school children, it is always used as a place of prayer and Bible study.
The local church also serves as a lighthouse. Jesus said: “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16