WHAT IS THE OBJECTIVE OR CORRECT PERCEPTION OF THE PURPOSE OF THE CHURCH
In the last blog that I was dealing with the Vision of the Church in 2014 and will continue with this blog.
A little background on this subject. Growing up I just took for granted the work of the church. I don’t know if I had any real insight into what made a church successful. Dad’s churches were always great and was always fun to attend as a child and as a young teenager. (Dad died in 1966 when I was seventeen)
When I went to Seminary I still didn’t have any real idea of what a successful church look like or even how to have a successful one.
When I took my first church to be the pastor, I really had no clue what to do in taking an already establish church. In 1972 I found a sermon tape of John MacArthur from Ephesians 4:11-16
For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.
I remember right after I had listen to the sermon, I had to preach at Victory Baptist Church, and I used that sermon, and what was funny I then went back to Madison Missionary Baptist and resigned. And I didn’t not pastor another church until 1980.
Then I went to First Baptist Church in Altoona, Kansas in 1980 a town of 500 and the county had 12,000, three or four towns) The church had 17 in attendance. Well in 1983 I went to my first Shepherd’s Conference at Grace Community Church, and for the first time learned what I was do to as a pastor-teacher and the work of the ministry in the local church. I went also in 1990 and 1993.
What I learned was this:
If you are here at this Shepherd’s Conference to learn how to build a church like Grace Community you have come to the wrong conference.
So from that time onward I have tried to adopt and develop the right philosophy of ministry that I learned at the conference.
A correct perception of the purpose of the church helps us to correctly understand biblical leadership.
Now what I learned was the goal is not to build bigger buildings, bigger crowed, great number of people getting saved and joining the church. What I learned is doing ministry:
Doing the Lord’s Work in the Lord’s Way
Of course that was totally different than what I had perceived was the right way.
Now here is what I have learned in the trying to accomplish this task. What you might think is going to happen and what happens are two different things. In my case I have had very small churches to begin with and they have stayed that way. I said once I will write a book:
HOW TO PASTOR A SMALL CHURCH AND KEEP IT A SMALL CHURCH
That seems to be my case where ever I have been as a pastor. While I have been an assoc pastor where we have had good attendance.
Now let me give you what I still today believe is the right way to be as a pastor/teacher of a church.
Ephesians 4:11-16 is the objective of doing the work of a pastor in the church, along with Acts 20.
11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of thesaints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the staturewhich belongs to the fullness of Christ. 14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15 butspeaking the truth in love, re to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.
Acts 20:28-30 28 Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which Hepurchased with His own blood.