In mission school, they teach future missionaries the basic nature, function, and purpose of the local church according to Scripture. Why? Because clearly understanding God’s intention for the church impacts the effectiveness of His primary mission: to reach the world for Jesus Christ. Jesus changes everything. As a believer, you have experienced that, even though you might confess, with me, “I’m still a work in progress.”
With that confession, we want to learn all we can about being church. Healthy churches develop believers who carry out the mission of Jesus: that all people come to know Him. They become part of His movement to reach others for eternity. Then we will be one step further in our work in progress!
For now, if you’re breathing, you want to be the best version of “church” you can be. You know lost people matter to God. Jesus died for them. He has called us to live for them—to reach them. These are our marching orders, our most important mission. We join hands with the King of the universe—who, through the Holy Spirit, empowers us to point others to Jesus. Then, miracles occur: Lives are changed, the world is a better place, and the population of heaven grows.
A key element of God’s salvation plan is that Christ-followers become “church” in the authentic way Scripture describes. Unfortunately, the world seeps into the lives of church people—even people like us. The enemy attends church as well, not to worship Jesus, but to corrupt God’s plan. The enemy is there to get us off track.
Jesus promises: “I will build my church, and the powers of hell can’t stop it” (Matthew 16:18). Yet, the battle is constant. The enemy is wise. He knows how to corrupt the church and disrupt God’s plan. This is the tension with which Christ-followers like you and me live every day. We celebrate that Jesus won the victory, but the battles remain.
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