Thank you very much for reading this blog series about the purpose of the church and also for your valuable comments.
"The purpose of the church is simple, namely that everyone gets to know Jesus well" I wrote in my previous blog post. Simple maybe, but apparently not so easy to implement. In personal conversations I often discover that people can faithfully go to church for years and years and yet do not know Jesus personally. That is quite tragic and I really hope and pray that we will all experience a refreshing renewal and change in the way we do/are church.
Of course, we can not solely expect that from leadership (sometimes they have no clue either), we are in this together. Let us take a look again at the words in Ephesians 4: 11-13. This time, for the sake of clarity, I used the Good News translation and cut it into pieces because the sentences are very long:
- It was he [Jesus] who “gave gifts to people”; he appointed some to be apostles, others to be prophets, others to be evangelists, others to be pastors and teachers.
- He did this to prepare all God's people for the work of Christian service
- in order to build up the body of Christ.
- And so we shall all come together to that oneness in our faith and in our knowledge of the Son of God
- we shall become mature people, reaching to the very height of Christ's full stature.
Wow, we shall become mature people (a perfect man the NKJV says) attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. What a wonderful purpose. I want that! Even if I have to sit in a pew for a while :)
I suggest that we all compare the above list (the Word of God) with our church setting and customs and ask ourselves some critical questions: Is there a five fold leadership available in my church/congregation to prepare me to serve, so that the church/congregation can grow, and do we get to know Christ better? And finally .... am I on my way to maturity?
I sincerely hope that we will be church, with a purpose!