Last week, as I was studying a lesson for Growth Groups, I was challenged by reported statistics regarding the Jehovah’s Witness’.
“A Pew survey in 2008 found that this group consists of only 0.7% of the population in America. The proselyting conducted by this cult is heavily dependent on their publishing arm, which is based in Brooklyn, New York where more than 1,000 miles of paper are printed daily.”
This cult, contains less than 1% of our population yet their influence is prominent. As we shared these statistics in class, I was convicted over my effectiveness for Jesus Christ. However, the more I study, the more I recognize the spiritual condition of many churches. It lead me to question our impact. The church has been called to a purpose.
Faith Baptist, without a purpose, any function is doomed to fail. So what is the purpose of the church. We understand that the church is not a social club or another thing-to-do… We understand that when we joined this body, we determined to submit to the accountability of other believers. But why are we really here? Here are a few thoughts…(certainly, not exhaustive)
Worship the Saviour
Every ministry of the local church must center around the Lord Jesus Christ and be offered as worship to him. Worship is “the praise, adoration and reverence of God.” It is a celebration of the worthiness of God, by which honour is given to his name. This act must be a regular occurrence and it must be done with the proper perspective of who we are, and who He is. (Ps. 51:17; Isa. 57:15). “As the psalmist proclaimed, we must “come, worship,”and, “bow down” (Ps. 95:6). The three are inseparable. (Ps. 51:17; Isa. 57:15). It was encouraging to see many humbly worship God during the morning service last week. While new to some, this must be a common practice within the life of the believer.
Edification of the Believer
Edification is defined as “building up and strengthening in the faith of believers and churches.” Ephesians 4:12 explains that ministry workers were given “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” As believers meet together they gather to sharpen each other and hear from the preached word of God. They have opportunity to utilize their spiritual gifts as they function together for the glory of God. Edification is focused on the equipping of the saints whereas worship is the offering that equipped saints give back to the Lord Jesus Christ. The writer of Hebrews exhorts his readers not to neglect the assembling of themselves together as was the habit of some (Heb. 10: 25). Although worship emphasizes God, it is also intended to benefit the worshipers.
Evangelization of the Lost
It is no doubt that Christ placed an emphasis on the evangelization of the lost sinner. Luke 19:10 states “for the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Before Christ’s ascension, He commissioned the church to reach the lost with the saving power of the gospel. (1 Cor. 15:58, Matt. 28:18-20, John 20:21 One author stated: “If the church is to be faithful to its Lord and bring joy to his heart, it must be engaged in bringing the gospel to all people. This includes people whom we may by nature tend to dislike. It extends to those who are unlike us. And it goes beyond our immediate sphere of contact and influence. In a very real sense, local evangelism, church extension or church planting, and world missions are all the same thing. The only difference lies in the length of the radius. The church must work in all of these areas. If it does not, it will become spiritually ill, for it will be attempting to function in a way its Lord never intended.” It must be the goal of every local church and believer to prioritize Christ’s last command as our first doing. “Thriving churches have the Great Commission as the centerpiece of their vision, while dying churches have forgotten the clear command of Christ.”
So how do you have a part in the church? You may be saying… “I don’t.” Can I challenge you to get involved with what is happening here at Faith Baptist Church? Now is the time to take part in God’s institution: The Church.
- Brother Jordan