What is the primary purpose of our churches?
In thinking about church — or going to church, if that’s how you think of it — many things often come quickly to mind. Perhaps for you it’s communion, or pews, or red carpet, or hymnals… maybe stained glass windows or awesome music. Odds are, no matter how many things I list, you are likely already thinking of something I have yet to think of. Maybe you don’t even think of church at all, a trend becoming all the more common.
As pastors, we can make church about a lot of things, and often we are too easily convinced we are right. Perhaps what I am about to say is even self-refuting based on that thought!
You see, no matter how many ways I look at it, to me it all comes down to not what each or all of us might think church is for, but about what Jesus actually says it is for.
We know Jesus loves the Church, so much so that He gave His life to save it — dying on a cross for all our sins. That is what makes His words all the more magnified when — after His resurrection from the dead — Jesus tells His disciples to “disciple all nations, baptizing in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them (us!) to obey each and all the things I (Jesus!) have commanded for you.” From these words, and the conviction that Jesus is truly God, and from the outpouring of His Holy Spirit, the Church is born and sent on its God-ordained mission in the world.
And therein lies the challenge. Too often the things that we chase after, hold up, disagree about, or rally around fall woefully short of Jesus’ simple instruction for His Church: to help men and women of every nation to learn about, be transformed by, and know Him directly.
I know you and I can’t change the world, but what do you think… do you want to make a disciple?
Following Jesus with you,
Pastor Bill Dempsey
Family Bible Church