Recently, I was involved in a discussion with a group of youth ministers about what the church should be doing. (We are reading Think Orange by Reggie Joiner and the discussion in chapter 2 of how we move our light as a church brought this discussion up.) This conversation got me thinking about a post I wrote back at the height of the healthcare discussion. The question I asked at that time was, “What should the government do?” What I was trying to get at is the question of what are the necessities. All the stuff that didn’t make the list I would consider distractions. The purpose of today’s post is to ask the same question of the church. What is it that we should be doing? All the other stuff is a distraction.
- Evangelism – Just to be clear evangelism means telling people the message that Jesus died for our sins. Our success in this is not determined by how many decisions we see, but how faithful we are with the gospel message. I would call this the most important function of the church
- Corporate Worship – From the earliest days of the church there has been corporate worship. Corporate worship is important. Though it can occur at a rally or at a parachurch function, it is best when done well in the body of local believers.
- Discipleship – The point of the Reggie Joiner book is that discipleship of youth/children lies with the family, but there is no question that the church should be in the business of trying to lead people closer to Christ.
- Ministry – Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (James 1:27) I am not for one second promoting the social gospel. Helping people with physical needs is only temporary. Telling people the truth about eternity has eternal consequences. But the fact is that it is the job of the church to minister to those in need. It demonstrates the Love of Christ in the world and it is the command of the Bible.
That is my list. I will be interested to hear your thoughts on this list and what you think I left out. I may write a post next week about the many things that we do in addition to this and why those things draw our attention.