"I Thought Church was for Believers"
I received an email last week with this question:
"I appreciate your views on church but am confused. I thought church was for believers. I thought church was the believers and we spent time edifying, learning, living, etc. Have we not turned our churches into our mission field because we have grown scared and timid to speak about Jesus in our daily lives? I have seen many churches change to “seeker” formats at the expense of growing Christians. Making disciples has turned into a numbers racket in many churches and the aftermath is a multitude of baby Christians. What do we do to change that?"
A great question. And I loved the way in which it was asked...someone really seeking to learn. I replied...
I love the way you ask the question! As I'm sure you know, there are all kinds of philosophies on why the church exists. I believe that the purpose of the church comes down to five things, and they are found in the great commission (Matthew 28:19-20) and the great commandment (Matthew 22:37-40). We have built our ministry at Granger around doing these five purposes. They are...
- Worship (expressing our love to God)
- Ministry (serving others, meeting their needs)
- Evangelism (sharing the good news about God's kingdom)
- Community (fellowship for support and accountability)
- Discipleship (growing people up in Christ)
I totally agree with you...it is easy for a "seeker" church to lose their focus on growing followers of Christ closer to Him. For Granger, keeping these five purposes in front of us helps us stay balanced. We measure effectiveness around these purposes, and it helps us know if we are out of balance. As you may know, we've discovered recently that we aren't doing so well with the purpose of discipleship. We're making some changes so we'll do better. But that doesn't mean we are going to stop worshipping or introducing people to Christ. No, we'll keep doing those things, and focus on discipleship even more.