Church has become a negative word to many people these days. For followers of Jesus it can also be challenging, because they may have been hurt, let down, or disappointed by church people or leaders in the past.
However, God set up the church as the way to reach the world with the Good News about Jesus Christ. The church exists to bring glory to God. That is not only true in a worship service, but it is also true of us in life. Look at what 1 Corinthians 10:31 says “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” . Whatever Christians do, they should be doing it to bring glory to God – in their careers, in their marriages and in the choices they make in life. The church was created to bring pleasure to God and bring glory to his name.
It’s really the people that make up the church, and the people that make up a church are to bring glory to God, we do this in several ways. Jesus gave this compelling vision to the church just before He returned to heaven. in Matthew 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.”
The Five Purposes of the Church
- To Make Disciples.
Very clearly one of the main purposes of the church is to make disciples. What is discipleship? It’s exploring God’s ways, it’s becoming more like Christ. It is a life-long process of maturing and growing in your faith. Disciples are learners, learning the ways of Jesus, and walking with him on the narrow road.
2. To Share the Gospel.
In order to become a disciple you first have to meet Jesus and believe in Him as your Lord and Savior. So another important purpose of the church is evangelism. The church is here in order to expand God’s kingdom. Introducing people to the authentic, real Jesus will transform their lives. The people in a church play a big part in this, because as they grow as a follower of Christ, they become more like Jesus and therefore allow other people to see Jesus in them. Everything we do should bring glory to God and draw people closer to Jesus. When we share the love of Christ with others, the Holy Spirit can do transformational work in their hearts.
3. To Worship God.
Another purpose of the church is worship. Christ followers glorify God through worship in all areas of their lives. Worship brings the church to life and life to the church. Worship is exalting God’s worth. We do that many ways in a church setting. We worship through music and singing, through giving and serving, through prayer and reflection, through reading and preaching God’s Word, through communion and baptism. We were created to worship, and the church helps us to live that out in our lives, not just in a church gathering.
4. To Fellowship Together.
We need each other. God created us for community. It is not good to be alone. The church is a great place to build meaningful, life long relationships. It’s a place were we can connect with one another. A place where we can be real and authentic. We do that by worshipping together, serving together, eating together, caring for each other, encouraging each other and doing life together.
5. To Minister to Others.
This last purpose of the church is vital. Everywhere Jesus went, he extended his grace and mercy to those who need it most. When we serve unselfishly, we become extensions of Jesus. Ministering selflessly to a broken and bruised world should characterize every follower of Jesus Christ. This is how the church lives out the mission of making disciples, by being the church to people inside and outside the church. Finding ways to show the love of Christ is ministry.
The church is not perfect, it’s filled with people that are in process with flaws and problems. Yet as we grow and live out these 5 purposes, the church can have a huge impact on the world around us. I hope you will consider being a part of a local church. Pray and ask God to direct you to a church where you can be a part of making a difference in the world, and grow as a disciple.