TWO CONCEPTS OF CHURCH Revelation 1:10-11 THE PURPOSE OF CHURCH Why do we come to church? What can I expect the church to do for me? What is the primary goal of the local church? Is the primary goal to reach the lost for Christ or to reach the saved for Christ? A. Acts 20: 26-32 ( A Soul Winning Station) vs. (Soul-Building Station) We rejoice over every soul that is saved through the preaching services and do not minimize the importance of preaching the gospel. However, the primary purpose of the local assembly is to build up the believers in the faith. Ephesians 4:11-12 Paul the Apostle to the Gentiles makes it crystal clear that the job of Pastors, Teachers and Evangelists in the local church house is to 'equip' and build up believers for the ministry. B. Mt. 28:19-20; Acts 2:42 (Get Them Saved) vs. (Get Them Taught) When the main thrust of church services are to win the lost, the edification and equipping of believers will not be given its proper place. When God's word is properly taught, the few unsaved in attendance will definitely hear the Gospel and have opportunity to respond and receive Christ. C. II Timothy 4:1-4 (Preach The Gospel) vs. (Preach The Word) A faithful Pastor will be preaching the gospel and constantly pointing his listeners to Christ. At the same time, if he is preaching the bible he will be nurturing and growing the majority of his congregation, those that are saved. II Tim. 3:16-17; Heb. 5:12-14 When the scriptures are sufficiently covered in the services, believers can learn and understand the doctrines of the bible and be able to recognize false teachings. D. Jn. 21:15-17; I Pt. 5:2 (Evangelism) vs. (Indoctrination) We can never be opposed to the gospel message going forth at every opportunity. The preaching of constant evangelistic messages becomes an issue when there is apparently no other teaching or edifying for the believers to grow by. E. Mk. 16:15; II Cor. 5:20 (Bring Them In) vs. (Take The Gospel To Them) The bible message is crystal clear when it tells us to go into all the world and teach and preach the gospel to every creature. As believers are taught how and when to witness in our homes, jobs and neighborhoods, if our testimony is good and right we will be able to invite them to church where they can grow as newborns. F. Acts 6:1-4; Eph. 4:12; Col. 1:28 (Primarily For Sinners) vs. (Primarily For Saints) Once again we emphasize the word primary , the primary purpose is to teach and help the local assembly of believers to understand the doctrines and teachings of Jesus Christ and Paul the Apostle. The church is a hospital for the hurting, the bereaved, the confused and for those that have the great need to be saved. G. Rm. 8:29; Eph. 4:13-15 (That people Be Saved) vs. (That People Be Christ-Like) The priority of a church and its Pastor that faithfully teach the whole bible will never forget that lost people may be in attendance and will at the right time preach the gospel in order to give them a chance to be saved. H. II Tim. 3:17; II Pt. 3:18 (How To Be Saved) vs. (How To Live) All believers need to know how to be saved and how to have assurance of salvation. However, salvation is just the beginning of a lifelong spiritual journey in becoming a fully mature believer in Christ, able to teach others how to be saved and how to grow. The 'meat' of the word needs to be learned, nurtured and passed onto others. I. Acts 1:8; II Cor. 5:17-20 (Pastor & Evangelist ) vs. (Believers Ambassadors & Evangelize) In most churches the Pastor is the main source of witnessing and winning the lost to Christ. The primary goal of the preaching to believers should be to teach believers that they are to be witnesses and ambassadors of Christ to the world. I Corinthians 12:1-7, 12 In most churches the Pastor bears the brunt of the ministry load on himself and thus, a lot that needs to be done go un-done. The primary goal in the preaching services should be to get believers involved in exercising their spiritual gift in order to complete the church ministry.