Is the modern day church what Jesus had in mind when he declared, "Upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it?" (Matt. 16:18).
Can there be other forms and organisms of the church that is just as valid, if not even more, what Christ had in mind for the church?
At the core of these questions, I am assuming that the primary purpose of the church of Jesus Christ is to proclaim and live into the ministry and the mission of God such that it leads to changed lives.
Jesus told us the primary purpose of the church when he said, "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" (Matt. 28:18).
It's about making new disciples so that God can change the world.
If this is what the church is all about, is the way we're doing church currently the most effective way to make disciples and to bring about transformation?
Are there other ways? Are there better ways to be and to do church than what we are currently doing?
What must the church do and what must the church be about if we are to be about making disciples that bring about transformation?
I certainly don't have "the" answers, but I believe the church must be about at least the following things if she is be about making disciples and impacting the world.
- the gospel of Jesus Christ must be clearly preached and understood
- that God created the world with a plan and purpose; and it was good
- but sin entered the world through the disobedience of man and the woman
- that God sent his Son to bring the remedy for sin and rescue man and woman
- that the life, ministry, death, and the resurrection of Jesus is the only pathway to salvation
- all who receive Jesus are birthed into eternity
- the teachings of scripture must be clearly taught and understood
- the church cannot be about only words but deeds
- the church is about community - relationships matter
- the church never existed for its own; the church exists to be about the ministry and the mission of Jesus Christ
As I lead, I don't want to merely do church the way we've done church. I want to do church in a way that produces the greatest fruit.