Do You Really Know the Purpose of the Local Church?

I wanted to try something a bit different this week. I want to hear what you think. I read a quote this week that I wanted to discuss with you (as in actually discuss).

What is the purpose of the local church? This may be a surprise but it’s not to preach the gospel. The purpose of the local church is to equip, build up and encourage believers to walk with the Lord so that they can go out and evangelize and turn their world upside down.

What are your thoughts?  Do you agree?  disagree? As I read this quote, I thought about believers I know who would fall on both side of this argument.  I’d like to hear your thoughts.  What is the purpose of the local church?  How can you back it up with Scripture?  Why do you believe you are right?

church1Below there is a section that says “Leave A Reply”–take some time to discuss your thoughts on the purpose of the local church.  How can we fulfill that purpose more effectively?  As you answer & read other’s comments, reply (respectfully).  Ask questions and let’s dig a little deeper.  Let’s give room for the Holy Spirit to cement or transform our beliefs as we act as iron sharpening iron.

Now it’s your turn…What do you believe is the purpose of the local church? Why?

10 Comments

  1. Bobby Ann, I have struggled with this topic for years now. I really feel that the local churches have long time left the purpose God intended for them — Don’t get me wrong I do believe that in our services there should be the gospel presentation — which many times that is left out also — just so we don’t “offend the hearers by telling them about sin, blood, hell, etc.
    However I think the church’s primary function is to so equip the children of God that we can live a life that is glorifying to God and in doing that reflect Him to all around us — that is true evangelism. Living it every day and in every place we are. dropping nuggets of Jesus’ love wherever we go. But — and here’s the problem, too many believers are now going into the church, plopping down in a pew, and saying feed me – spoon feed me – I am too busy to go deep into the Word myself. And so they stay baby’s and are of no use to they Father. Some how the church MUST address that also

    Sorry too long talking — but this is my passion
    Sandy

  2. “Church is a Filling Station”

    Ephesians 1:17-23 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

    We are meant to truly experience His incomparably great power, the SAME power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead. Church is an avenue (it should not the only one) to draw upon God’s power and strength. To learn, to be enlightened, which on occasion means conviction of sin by the Holy Spirit. We should be there to “know Him better”. Once we are filled our responsibility is to literally and physically be the body of Christ. We should show the beautiful Hope and Grace He has revealed to us to others who haven’t experienced it yet.

  3. What a great question, Bobi Ann. It makes me ask myself more questions: Does every local congregation need to have the same purpose? Would an inner city church of London or NYC have the same core goals as a country church in the middle of Iowa? An underground church in China? Having been involved in both kinds in size and focus, I am more apt to say they should not need to look identical in core goals. Should the varied gatherings of followers of Jesus – the local churches however big or small they are – have variety of assignments in the same way the individual parts of the body of Christ are described by Paul as being very different? Peter’s first sermon was evangelistic for sure, but Stephen, the first martyr had just been assigned to the in-house care of widows and waiting on tables. The passion of both men is far-reaching, one initially through his teaching/preaching of the gospel and the other one through physical service and awesome signs, both under the church “umbrella.” Your question makes me want to do some digging in the Old and New Testament looking at local congregations as well as any direct commands from God. One thing is for sure where the community is gathering in any way, shape or form He is gloriously there in a powerful and unique way. How can we not speak of the good news of what we have in Christ to each other and to those in our midst who’ve never heard? It should always be clear that we are about His business!

  4. I believe the purpose of the church is to come together to “stimulate one another to love and good deeds. ” from Hebrews 10:23-25.

    James 1:27 tells us that the outward acts of our true religion is helping the widows and poor and “guarding against corruption from the godless world. ” (message)

    Ephesians 4:11-16 says the leaders(apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers) are the ones to equip the saints of the church, “to build up the body” so we can be wise to false teachings and grow in unity.

    When you put these together the church is a group of people that need to get together to learn about the love of Christ love, put that love into action and be taught by the leaders to become mature believers.

  5. The great commission is to “Go, and make disciples” Making disciples involves training and strengthening one another, encouraging one another or “spurring” each other on to greater faith in action. Discipleship should be the top priority and goal of the church. And I keep in mind that “the church” is not a building, but a body of believers, the bride of Christ, for whom He is returning!

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