Introduction:I think everyone has ideas of what the church is suposed to do, what role they play in society as well as for their members. I've been looking at several sources this week and have come up with this as my "top five' kind of list. Certainly, there may be other roles as well.
While I struggled with what to put first on the list...the theme of unity runs through the whole Bible and especially the New Testament. The local church needs to be a body of believers who have a lot of common ground, believe the same things, and help each other grow...and hold each other accountable.
This is really similar to the next item on the list (Evangelism) but it has a different spin on it. When I say "living witness" it is more about the example the church (and its members) set for people to see. I like John chapter 17:20-26 where Jesus prays for those beleive and those that will believe...it's about love and unity but it gives the reason twice..."that the world may know that You sent me"...the church should have a witness that is appealing to others!
There needs to be some sort of concerted effort aimed at reaching the world around you...that's "The Great Commission" (found in Matthew 28). What I like to see churches doing is having a lot of effort locally, some effort in church planting in nearby communities, and some effort in the global mission field. Larger churches should actually be sending people even on short term mission trips.
There needs to be good, solid Bible teaching. It is what helps everyone in the church grow together and be united as one. The Senior Pastor takes the lead on this one and while I love small groups, there does need to be some accountability for content. I do not want someone with the best intentions leading people astray.
Churches provide hope...through Christ. I think this is part of what should make the Church appealing to outsiders...so a solid plan for providing encouragement to members and the community is helpful. I tend to not like when someone says "I'll pray for you"...I'm more of a "let's pray about this right now" kind of person. I'd rather pray with than pray for...although I often do both.
Encouragement can also come through programs at the church...age specific programs, fellowship opportunities, grief support, prayer chain, visitation, and things like that. All are important...and sometimes it provides churches the opportunity to work together.
The list could go on...but at the end of the day the church really exists to grow people, prepare them for ministry, and stand as a beacon to exalt Jesus
I just love to read your inspirational takes on the church, religion, fellowship, evangelism too. Thanks for sharing. H5
I knew I would be gaining some knowledge from this list.thank you.Well done!
A great church would inspire and aspire to all of these things. Great list.
select one here...