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Monday, March 22, 2010

The Purpose of the my estimation

I affirm it is difficult to pinpoint the primary purpose of the church and that the purpose of the church is more multifaceted and complex than we want it to be. But if I had to hold on to one purpose as the primary purpose of the church I would want to hold on to worship. I don't mean worship as simply singing songs and reciting creeds, but worship as a 24/7 lifestyle that comes from the recognition that God is God and I am not. The church must teach people the Who, the why, the how, and the what of worship, but ultimately disciples of Christ must realize how worthy God is of our absolute devotion and how unworthy we are of his love. When this kind of authentic worship drives deeply into the heart of a human being, they will take their growth, mission, and ministry quite seriously.

The biblical story ends with worship, with all nations, tribes, and tongues represented around the throne of the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Authentic worship, though it takes on different forms, ties together the Old and New Testaments. Authentic worship opens a person to the coming of the Spirit that empowers that person toward missional engagement with the needs of the world. And remember what Jesus said to the woman at the well? "The Father seeks people who will WORSHIP him in Spirit and in truth."

True worship is where discipleship, fellowship, ministry and mission begin and end.

What do you think?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What is the Purpose of the Church?

I often find myself wrestling with this question lately. It is part of my personality to want to streamline, simplify, and focus beyond the details to the big picture priorities. I realize that the Church cannot be put into a small box with a singular purpose. Rick Warren, despite what you might think of him or his theology, has helped many people recognize that the Church consists of at least 5 primary purposes- Worship, Fellowship, Discipleship, Mission (outside the church), and Ministry (in the church).

But, if we had the chance to ask Jesus what he feels is the most important purpose of the Church, how do you think he would respond? What biblical insights support your conclusion? I will give my thoughts after I hear from a few of you.