As Christians, we believe that the church is not just a building or a place where we go to worship, but a community of believers who come together to support each other and serve God. But why do we gather together? What are the purposes of the church?
The church has been a vital part of the Christian faith since the time of Jesus Christ. Throughout history, the church has undergone many changes, but its purpose has remained the same: to glorify God and make disciples of all nations. In the New Testament, we see the early church gathering together to worship God, fellowship with one another, and carry out the mission that Jesus gave them. As believers today, we continue to gather together as a church to fulfill these same purposes.
In this blog post, we will explore the 5 main purposes of the church: worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry, and mission. We will look at what the Bible says about each of these purposes and how they relate to our lives as believers.
Purpose 1: Worship
The first purpose of the church is to worship God. In John 4:23-24, Jesus tells the Samaritan woman at the well, “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
As believers, we are called to worship God with our whole being, both in spirit and in truth. When we come together as a church, we have the opportunity to praise God through singing, prayer, and the reading and preaching of His Word. Worship reminds us of who God is and what He has done for us, and it helps us to center our hearts and minds on Him.
We see examples of worship throughout the Bible, from David’s psalms to the heavenly worship described in the book of Revelation. As we gather together as a church to worship God, we join in the chorus of believers throughout history and around the world who have praised Him for His goodness and mercy.
Purpose 2: Fellowship
The second purpose of the church is fellowship. In Acts 2:42, we read that the early church “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” Fellowship means sharing our lives with one another, encouraging one another, and building each other up in the faith.
When we gather together as a church, we have the opportunity to form meaningful relationships with other believers. We can support one another in times of joy and sorrow, pray for one another, and hold each other accountable. This kind of fellowship is essential for our spiritual growth and maturity.
The book of Hebrews reminds us of the importance of fellowship: “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25). As we gather together in fellowship, we are encouraged to love and serve one another, and we are strengthened in our faith.
Purpose 3: Discipleship
The third purpose of the church is discipleship. In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus commands His disciples to “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.”
As members of the church, we are called to make disciples of others by sharing the gospel, teaching God’s Word, and helping others to grow in their faith. This means investing in the lives of others, mentoring and discipling them, and modeling what it means to follow Jesus.
Discipleship is a lifelong process, and it involves both learning and doing. We learn from the example of Jesus and the teachings of the Bible, and we put those teachings into practice in our daily lives. As we grow in our own faith, we have the opportunity to pass on what we have learned to others, helping them to grow in their faith as well.
In addition to individual discipleship, the church as a whole has a responsibility to disciple its members. This means providing opportunities for learning and growth, such as Bible studies, small groups, and discipleship programs. By working together to disciple one another, we can become more like Christ and more effective in fulfilling His mission.
Purpose 4: Ministry
The fourth purpose of the church is ministry. In Ephesians 4:11-12, we read that Jesus “gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.”
Every member of the church has a unique role to play in the work of ministry. This might involve serving in a specific ministry area, such as children’s ministry, outreach, or worship. It might also involve using our gifts and talents to serve the needs of others in our community. By serving one another and those around us, we reflect the love of Christ to the world.
Ministry is not just something that happens within the walls of the church. It is a call to serve others in our daily lives, wherever we may be. Jesus Himself was the ultimate servant, and He calls us to follow His example. As we serve others in His name, we can make a difference in our communities and in the world.
Purpose 5: Mission
The fifth purpose of the church is mission. In Mark 16:15, Jesus commands His disciples to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”
As a church, we are called to take the message of the gospel to the ends of the earth. This might involve supporting missionaries and ministries in other parts of the world, or it might involve sharing the gospel with our friends, family, and neighbors.
The mission of the church is not just about sharing the gospel, however. It is also about living out the gospel in our daily lives. This means showing love and compassion to those in need, standing up for justice and righteousness, and being a light in the darkness. As we live out the gospel in our communities, we can make a tangible impact on the world around us.
In conclusion, the church has 5 primary purposes according to the Bible: worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry, and mission. As we come together as a community of believers, we are called to worship God with our whole being, build meaningful relationships with one another, make disciples of others, serve one another and those around us, and take the message of the gospel to the world.
It is important to remember that these purposes are not separate from one another, but they are interconnected and interdependent. For example, our worship of God should lead us to serve others, and our fellowship with one another should lead us to make disciples of others.
Let us strive to fulfill these purposes as a church, knowing that we do so not in our own strength, but through the power of the Holy Spirit. May we be a light