Mission: its what the church is all about. As we said in the last article, “Motion without direction is delusion.” In this article we will talk about how ‘the purpose of the church’ guides our philosophy of ministry. God longs to provide the direction necessary for your church to accomplish it’s God-given mission. How does God do that?
Purpose produces direction when we understand Ephesians 4.11-16 …
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. Ephesians 4:11-16 (ESV)
- The purpose of the pastor provides direction for the church. His task is to bring you to Heaven as closely resembling the character of Jesus as possible: loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, gentle, kind, humble, self-controlled. How does he do this?
- The tasks of the pastor provide direction for the church. The pastor’s tasks are to (1) Equip you so that you can, (2) do the work of the ministry so that, (3) your work can build up your church! Why does he do this?
- The results of the pastor’s ministry provide direction for the church. When the work of the pastor is successful, several results reveal the direction of God for the local church. God provides six results through the pastor’s ministry: So that the congregation (1) will work in unity and (2) act like Jesus. So that the congregation (3) will not act like children any more and (4) not get trapped by deceitful doctrine. Your pastor is given to you so that (5) you might grow up to be like Jesus and (6) the maturing congregation will grow the local church because of what each person does.
God longs to grow people into the image of his Son, Jesus Christ. He does this through the maturing process God has implanted in your pastor’s heart. Like a coach seeking to bring his team to victory, the pastor tailors the training process for the local congregation so that they can imitate the character of Jesus. The question is, ‘Are you listening to your coach?’
Adapted from Dr. Smith’s new book in process, “The Tantrum-Driven Church.”