Does the Church Have a Purpose? [99 in :99]
What is the mission of the Church? This is a question that has been asked, well, for more or less as long as there’s been such a thing as the Church. So what is the church’s mission? Let’s find out what Scripture has to say.
The Bible speaks a great deal to the mission of the church. But one of the most important things we need to know in order to understand the church’s mission is what the church actually is:
The Church at its most basic level is people united by faith in the gospel, the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is typically what pastors and theologians mean when they talk about the “big C” Church, or the Church universal. In this respect, the church isn’t bound by time or space as it includes people from all nations and backgrounds past, present, and future, united by their faith in Jesus’ saving work. But the church also exists within space and time in local expressions, serving as a sign and instrument of the kingdom of God existing in the world right now.
Which brings us back to the mission of the church. The mission of the church is to make disciples of people from every nation and background (Matthew 28:18-20).
So how do we do that?
First, we proclaim the gospel to all people. Fundamentally, no one can become a disciple of Jesus without knowing what Jesus did, that Jesus, who was fully God and fully human, lived a perfect life, died a substitute’s death, and rose again to defeat sin and death forever. We don’t stop at telling people what Jesus did, we call on them to respond by turning away from sin, or repenting, and trusting in Him throughout their entire lives.
Second, we teach people to obey Christ’s commands. One aspect of this is formal instruction in the fundamentals of the faith, literally teaching people what Christians believe. Another is to practically demonstrate the truth and power of the gospel. This means putting what we believe into practice. We live in the world as people who have been changed by Jesus. We pursue the good of all people, putting God’s glory on display in all that we do.