What is the purpose of the church? With today’s digital communication age people may want to and actually there are some churches that meet online. People might just want to watch a service on television or listen to a sermon on the radio.
Joel Osteen always tells people to attend a Bible believing church and David Jeremiah also says the same.
Here is something I wrote up several years ago on the purpose of the church:
I believe that there are five major purposes of the local church. These are fellowship, evangelism, worship, ministry, and discipleship. The local church must have fellowship with one another. This could be in dinners, games, concerts, etc. (1John 1:2, 7; Acts 2:42) The local church must be continuing the great commission in evangelism. (Matt 28:19) The local church must Disciple their members. (Matt 28:19) The local church must give the opportunity for worship as well as ministry in the Body of believers. (Rev 4:8; John 4:23-24) (Acts 6:1-7; Eph 4:11-12; Gal 6:10; Heb 10:24) We must give people the opportunity to use their spiritual gifts and serve people as Christ served us. All those purposes are equally important.
Rick Warren’s book Purpose Driven Church is written about those purposes. Certainly they are all important, but discipleship should lead people to evangelism, ministry, worship and fellowship. You also cannot have true fellowship, discipleship, or worship without evangelism. People have to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior before being discipled or truly worshipping or true fellowship.
So, the resources online, on the radio and on television are great, but with only those we are missing community. God surrounds Christians with a network of other Christians to help carryout the great commission, to help disciple, to help worship and to help minister to those in need. True fellowship is not simply hanging out but surrounded by God’s Word. I would ask any who say that their church is listening to television ministries, or radio, or something online what their motivation is. If it is because they have had problems at one certain church, it is likely that their motivation is actually pride. Though there might have been actual problems at the church, we all must sacrifice for community. Now certainly for shut ins, etc those ministries on the radio, television and online are great.
Praise God for the church. One youth wrote this: [the purpose of the church is] to gather in the house of God to remember reflect and think about the week behind you and week before you. It is to draw you closer to God within a group to be with your church family and those who support you. its an amazing place really. Thanks for that comment.
Feel free to comment.