We can answer this question by asking: What is the mission of the church to which we have been called to? What is the single overriding objective to which all other considerations must be bent?
If we were to ask this question in the context of the business world, it’s obvious that the owners get to determine the answer to this question.
- In a publicly traded company, it would be the board of directors who represent the stock holder who get to answer this question.
- In a mom and pop operation, it would be the patriarch or the matriarch who gets to answer this question.
But if this is how a particular church is about, it is not the church of Jesus Christ.
The question must be asked, "Who is the rightful owner of the church? Who has the right to answer the questions – what is the mission of the church? What is the single overriding objective to which all other considerations must be bent?"
The bible makes this crystal clear. Ephesians 1:22-23 says, “And God placed all things under His (Christ’s) feet and appointed Him to be head over everything for the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fill everything in every way.”
Our polity and theological convictions of the Presbyterian Church (USA) makes this crystal clear. The very first words of the Book of Order are:
"All power in heaven and earth is given to Jesus Christ by Almighty God, who raised Christ from the dead and set him above all rule and authority, all power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. God has put all things under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and had made Christ Head of the Church, which is his body." G-1.0100.
Since Jesus is the head of the church, only He has the right to determine the answer to the questions – what is the mission of the church? What is the single overriding objective to which all other considerations must be bent?
So what does Jesus have to say about why the church exists? What does Jesus tell us is the main business of the church?
Jesus tells us in Matthew 28:18-20, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
What is commonly known as the Great Commission starts with a “Therefore.” And whenever we see a “therefore” we must ask what is the “therefore” there for?
Jesus starts with the statement, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Therefore only Jesus has the right to tell us why the church exists.
Jesus answers the question – what is the mission of the church? What is the single overriding objective to which all considerations must be bent? - by saying that we are to be about two things:
- To grow new Christ-followers by making them disciples
- To grow Christ-followers into disciples by teaching the them to obey everything God has commanded.
God is up to something in our world. There are churches being led by pastors and leaders who are actually leading the people to be a church that places the mission of Jesus Christ as its primary mission. That's exactly what it means to lead. Leaders are supposed to help shape the church and Christ-followers to be about the business of Jesus Christ.
I can feel it in the air. It is all around us. God is up to something great!
If you are reading this and you are the Dallas area, you'd be crazy not to be a part of what God is doing at Trinity Presbyterian Church.
Come and see for yourself.