The Purpose Of The Church
The Church exists to glorify and honor God by introducing people to a vital, personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and by helping them to develop into mature representatives of Christ in society. This purpose may be summed up in the three-fold function of exaltation, edification, and evangelism.
EXALTATION - The Church Existing for Christ
Worship is the sincere response of adoration, fear, and obedience that believers give to God for what He has done. The purpose of the church begins with the recognition that we do not belong to ourselves but to the Lord who purchased us with His own blood. Thus, worship is to be the lifestyle of each individual Christian and the focus of the corporate gatherings of the church. Since the Lord is enthroned with majesty and endued with all authority, we should seek in all things to serve Him with our time, treasures, and talents, to follow His will revealed in the Bible, and to honor His name. (John 4:23-24; 1 Peter 1:18-19; Philippians 2:8-10; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Psalm 99:5-9; Isaiah 57:15)
EDIFICATION - The Church Existing for Itself
The result of the gospel and a central purpose for the church's existence is the life-transformation of each of its members. To this end, God calls believers into mutually accountable relationships in which they can encourage one another to live holy lives and to serve the Lord. This requires the responsibility of the leadership to provide practical Bible teaching and training in discipleship and personal evangelism. It also requires the responsibility of each uniquely gifted member of the body to exercise his or her spiritual gifts and natural abilities for the building up of the body and the bearing of one another's burdens. (Ephesians 4:11-13; Hebrews 10:24-25; 2 Timothy 4:2-4; 1 Corinthians 12-14; Galatians 6:1-2)
EVANGELISM -The Church Existing for the World
The Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ must be a priority of the church collectively and of each believer individually. It is the call of the church to share as widely and effectively as possible the good news of God's love and forgiveness in Christ. Every believer is unique in his or her personality, abilities, and vocation, and within that context they are to be witnesses by word and deed to the Lord Jesus Christ. The proclamation of the gospel should be motivated by genuine concern and love for all and for the whole person. (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; Colossians 4:3-6; Matthew 5:13-16)