What’s the purpose of the church? Why, since the beginning of Christianity, have believers organized into groups—congregations? What drives the life and work of the church?
Ever stop to really think about the answer to those questions? Have you ever stopped to think about why the church “is” now, and why it has been in existence for centuries?
I suppose we all have thoughts about why we’re here:
- Our family’s always been a part of this church
- I get something out of worship
- My friends are here
- I can do some good for some other people
- It’s close to my home
I’m sure you can add to the list of reasons you come to church. But these reasons may be quite different than the reasons the church exists.
What’s the purpose of the church?
C.S. Lewis offered some of the greatest statements on the purpose of the church.
“The Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became Man for no other purpose.
“For the church is not a human society of people united by their natural affinities but the Body of Christ, in which all members, however different, (and He rejoices in their differences and by no means wishes to iron them out) must share the common life, complementing and helping one another precisely by their differences.”
From his explanation, we can see that the church is to be all about Jesus Christ. Everything that we do and say is to be about revealing Christ to the world and building his Kingdom on earth. Ministry together is about building up the body of Christ. Ministry together is about sharing the love of Christ both among members of the body and those who do not know Christ and what it means to be a part of his body. It’s about revealing Christ to the world in such a way that people are enchanted by Christ and enveloped in his love in such a way that they know they cannot live without him.
That is the purpose of the church. Fulfilling that purpose—building Christ’s kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven—is what we’re to be about. That’s what our ministry must be.
I hope you’ll join in the conversation about the future of this congregation, our life together, our ministry together, the ways we sense God calling us to draw others to Christ—and how we believe God calls us to accomplish this.
The conversations will be held October 1 and 8. The details of those meetings are listed below. The leaders of this workshop have been trained through the Wisconsin Conference and the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center. The conversations we’ll be having are new conversations and are not a part of the Shift gatherings we had last year. They are designed to help us figure out ways we can better live and work together to accomplish God’s purposes and lead others to Christ. Conversations will include talking about God’s future for the church, priorities for ministry, open and constructive communication, and the ways we’re called to commit and serve Christ and build his Kingdom.
Your participation is encouraged so we can grow in our abilities to reveal Christ’s love to the world, and grow as a body of Christ.