Our PurposeWhat is the purpose of the church? It is suggested that the purpose of the church is to carry out God's Mission by Teaching, Training, and Equipping believers to glorify God through Worship and Service. The Bible provides in Acts 2:42, "They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer." According to this Scripture, the purposes and perhaps activities of the church are to: (1) teach Biblical doctrine, (2) provide a place of fellowship for believers, (3) to observe the Lord's Supper, and (4) to pray. However, in applying the church's purpose to the previous statement, the church's activities are pushed and pulled to be more.
The "Great Commission" that has been given to the church is to proclaim the Gospel of Salvation through Jesus Christ throughout the world. (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8). The church is called to be faithful in sharing the Gospel through word and through deed. The church is to be an anchor and a light of hope in the world and in the local community by directing people to Jesus Christ. The church is called to promote the Gospel and to prepare its members to proclaim the Gospel in words and through works. (1 Peter 3:15).
James 1:27, provides another purpose for the church. "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." The church is to minister to those who are in need. This includes not only sharing the Gospel, but it also includes providing for the physical needs (shelter, food and clothing and other resources) of others as required, necessary and appropriate. The church should also prepare and equip its believers in Christ with the tools, skills, and knowledge they need to overcome the challenges of the world and to present themselves faultless before Him. This can be achieved through Biblical teachings, fellowship and training.
1 Corinthians 12:12-27 provides that the church is God's "body" - we are His hands, mouth, and feet in this world. We are to do the things that Jesus Christ would do if He were here physically on the earth. The church is to be "Christian" - "Christ-like", Christ-following, Christ-serving, and Christ-leading.
Evangelism is another way in which God's purpose for the church is fulfilled. When a sinner comes to Christ, God is glorified. The worship of God and preaching of the gospel reveals God and His character. The preaching of the cross reveals God's righteousness, grace, and His love (Romans.1:15-17). When the church is involved in evangelism, God is glorified even if the sinner rejects the message and chooses to remain in his sin. When God's character is revealed, He is glorified, regardless of man's response. Thus, the church is fulfilling God's purpose of bringing glory to His holy name by actively, compassionately, and consistently spreading the good news around the community and around the world (Acts 1:8).
All of this is our purpose at Saint John Baptist Church. We pray that God will continue to use us to glorify His name and to serve His people and those who will become His people.