Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Bulletproof Church Growth Strategy - Purpose Statement

According to church growth gurus, the first thing you have to do if you are going to grow  a church is formulate a purpose statement. The people in your church need to know why the church exists. While attempting to answer the question, "Why does this church exist?" I decided to search the Scriptures to see what God has to say about why the Church exists. Nestled in the midst of Paul's explanation of his call to disclose the mystery of God also saving Gentiles, he states, " that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places."

So there it is. The reason the Church exists is to put God's manifold wisdom on display so that even the rulers and authorities in the spiritual realm, unseen to us, will know that He is an awesome, wise, majestic and gracious God. By putting God's manifold wisdom on display we are also putting His glory on display, which is not only the reason the Church exists, but also the reason humans exists. As the Westminster Confession proclaims, "The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever."

One thing I tell the people in our church is that the church is not man setting out to do God's work, but God working through man (His people) to put His glory on display. Sometimes we think that God needs us. It's like He has all this work to get done and cannot get it all done, so He saves us so that we can pitch in and help Him get it accomplished. The truth is, God does not need me or you, but He wants us. And He wants us, not because we are so awesome and useful to Him, but simply because He has chosen to love us and He wants to put His glory on display in and through us. This is amazing because in our natural sinful self, we are unlovable. We are God's enemies because we have sought to rob Him of His glory for the sake of our own glory. In spite of this, God loves us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for us, taking the punishment we deserve for our sins, and then raised from the dead so that we can be reconciled to God. In His marvelous work of redemption, God puts His glory on display.

So in a nutshell, you and I exist as individuals for the glory of God. And Christians, gathered together corporately as a local church body, exist for the glory of God. That is our purpose and should guide and motivate everything we set out to do in God's Name. And because there is much to do, next week I will post about the mission statement of our church. 

Perhaps you are reading this and you are not a Christian or you are but your understanding of being a Christian is "do this" or "don't do that." Maybe you don't know your purpose for existing in this world and your life feels like a waste of time and energy. I want you to know that you were created for a purpose and that purpose can only be known and fully realized in a true relationship with Jesus Christ. If you don't know Him, I encourage you to talk with a mature Christian you trust or you are welcome to contact me through the comments section of this blog. Or you could visit Two Ways to Live, for a helpful presentation of the purpose of this life. I will be praying for you. Soli Deo Gloria!

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