What is the Purpose of your Church?
We have explored some of the basics of what God is calling the church to do. Now we need to study the Scriptures and immerse ourselves in prayer to determine the purpose of our church, what our point is in being and existing. This will clarify what we do, why we do it, who we are in Christ, and His call for us.
The purpose of the church is God's purpose, not personal whims, or desires! That purpose will be revealed solely through Scripture and prayer. The core of your purpose will be what Christ has called all churches to as found in the Great Commandment and the Great Commission in Matt 22:36-40; 28: 19-20! These two imperatives contain our relationship to God and one other, what ministry is, that evangelism is a priority; incorporating and discipleing the people God brings us. In addition, look for other Scriptural precepts for your call.
Your purpose will be the unique way, your identity, and style, in which you proceed. This will convey the passion of the Gospel and the love for the people in your distinctive "style." Objectify the point and direction of your ministry through understanding God's call, challenging yourself, and being creative with a Purpose Statement. This can be a simple slogan from Scripture, an acronym, a set of priorities, or an all-encompassing action plan. Try to keep it short and to the point. You need to know and be able to communicate this clearly to the congregation.
1. What is the principle purpose and reason for your church to exist?
2. Ask yourself, each leader, and each member this question: "What do you see as the purpose of this church?" Take into account the last three steps! "Why do we exist, and why are we needed?" Spend a significant amount of time seeking input from each person, and praying. (You may use our survey forms or ask people individually).
3. Does the average person in your church understand the purpose for which your church exists?
4. Does your congregation understand the general purpose of the church in light of God's call?
5. While serving on staff of two churches that have been faithfully serving the Lord for generations, I saw one church celebrate its hundredth anniversary, and the other 125 years of existence. How will your church be remembered 100 years from now?
6. What makes your church unique?
7. What makes your church attract or not attract visitors?
8. Why should the congregation be active in the life of your church?
9. Why should the community come and become members of your church?
10. What programs do you have or have you had that have been successful, that people in the church and neighborhood liked?
11. Do people in your church want others from the neighborhood to come in and be a part of their family?
12. If not, what growth and teaching needs to take place to prepare them?
13. Read the following passages and see which one(s) applies to your niche, style, and purpose. Which Scripture could be your Position Statement? You can go over them all at once and list some basic observations, and then one by one carefully, through prayer, seek the one that best fits you, or that God has given you. Also, consider other passages that God gives you.
- Matthew 16:18
- Matthew 28:19
- Mark 12:29-31
- Acts 1:8
- Acts 2:42-47
- 2 Corinthians 4:3-4
- Galatians 2
- Ephesians 2:1-9
- Ephesians 4:11-16
- Philippians 3
- Colossians 3:12-16
- Colossians 4:5-6
- Hebrews 10:24-25
- 1 Peter 2:1-5; 9-12
What others can you list?
What do you consider success? What does God consider success?
15. Take a careful look at the various ministries of your church, even if they are not engaged. Ask what is distinctive and unique about them. Include:
h. Community relationships
k. Youth Ministry
l. Children's Ministry
n. Married couples
o. Elderly ministry
Which ones are strong programs? Which ones are weak?
16. Fine-tune your Purpose Statement. Make sure that it is Biblical and has your style, philosophy, and unique family personality. Keep it simple so people can remember it.
17. Can you list a series of statements or write a summery paragraph?
18. Expand your statement into a Mission Statement, which contains your purpose statement with added detail and specifics. Keep it to one page if possible. For larger churches, more pages may be needed.
19. Remember worship! You must know how to lead the church deeper in the heart of God to worship and glorify Him!
Remember to pray a lot. You are creating a philosophy of ministry that will be a template for how and why you do ministry. This will keep the focus on the main thing, and hone your energies to the target needs. This focuses the energies of the church to what God has called them to do, so that they do not find other things to occupy them, such as the diseases that corrupt and destroy.
How much time was spent in prayer?
© 1986, 1988, 1998, completely revised 2002 Richard J. Krejcir Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.com