Continuing the conversation about McClung’s book, here is the second question he poses, followed by my answers.
What is the purpose of Church?
- to train disciples in order to make other disciples
- to be the flesh and bones of Jesus, to His people (world)
- to love within the bounds of Truth and Grace
- to work / stand for justice and redemption within a broken world
- to be a vessel of reconciliation
- to bring the message of Christ to all the nations, while ushering in God’s Spirit and Holiness
- to be a “simple church” … not a complicated one
- to stand together, on a foundation of God, that is not divided by the traditions of man
- to be authentic, not hypocritical
- to bring Scripture into reality
- to watch and pray
- to empower
- to live Kingdom focused
- to repent for our shortcomings
- to daily carry the cross Christ has called us to carry
- to not cheapen the Gospel
- to not commercialize Christ
- to live IN but not OF the world
- to set a standard
- to be set apart
- to love God, love others, and serve the world for God’s Glory
- to BE what Jesus has commanded us to BE
In your opinion, what is the purpose of the Church? What would you add / subtract from my list?
I think too often the Church focuses so much attention on “doing church” right, that the purpose of “being the Church” gets forgotten – amidst programs, ministries, services, building projects, business meetings, and good intentions. The purpose of Church, in the simplest of terms, is to make known the Glory of God throughout the nations. Church is not confined to Sunday mornings and Wednesday night; church is not restricted to bible study and prayer meeting; church is not limited to the size of a building (… mega-churches are not the answer to what the world needs). Church is you and me. The same purpose Christ gave us for our existence (Matthew 22 and 28) is the same purpose He gave for the Church’s existence.
If Church has become irrelevant, we (Christians) have no one to blame but ourselves. It’s not that the message of the Gospel has lost its zeal, rather it’s that the Church has lost its vision/mission amidst failed leadership. Here is a great quote from McClung’s book:
God has given visionary leaders to the church for one purpose above all others: to see, to savor, and to spread the glory of God in every neighborhood … If the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, the chief end of courageous leaders is to lead God’s people into seeing, savoring, and spreading the glory of God.
God gave leaders to the church to spread His glory, not to be seen as glorious in the eyes of people (the Church).
In saying this, then, McClung’s third question becomes apparently obvious:
How do we do Church?
- we don’t “do Church”, we “are the Church”
- we don’t “do Church” for us … we “are the Church” for Him
- in this understanding, then, we “do” God’s model (Acts 2); we “do” by God’s standards; we “do” for God’s Glory; we “do” by the power of the Holy Spirit; we “do” as we go … as Jesus did
My love and passion for the Church is driven by the Spirit through a “holy frustration” … I am not satisfied with how the Church perceives itself and is perceived by the world. I long for the Church to be the Bride that Christ calls her to be. I yearn for the same passion of the first Church – the same boldness, the same focus, the same impact – because I know what she is capable of doing – of becoming … of being.
In his book, McClung offers more great questions, as well as helpful information on leading a movement in taking back the ground that the enemy has stolen. May we, the Body of Christ, arise from our slumber.