In this post-series, we will explore the concept of the church paradigm. We will look at what the church is, its purpose, and its function. We will also examine some biblical passages that shed light on the church paradigm. So, grab your Bible, and let’s dive in.
What is the Church?
The church is a group of people who have come together to worship God and follow Jesus Christ. In the New Testament, the word “church” comes from the Greek word “ekklesia,” which means “called out ones.” The church is a community of believers who have been called out of the world and into the kingdom of God.
The Purpose of the Church
The purpose of the church is to glorify God by making disciples of Jesus Christ. In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus gives his disciples the Great Commission, which says,
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you.”
This commandment is the primary purpose of the church. The church’s purpose is not to entertain people, provide social events, or make people feel good. While these things can be a part of church life, they are not the primary purpose. The church’s purpose is to make disciples of Jesus Christ who will then go out and make more disciples.
The Function of the Church
The function of the church is to carry out the purpose of making disciples of Jesus Christ. The church accomplishes this in several ways, including:
Preaching and Teaching the Word of God
The church is responsible for preaching and teaching the Word of God. In 2 Timothy 4:2, Paul instructs Timothy to,
“preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.”
Preaching and teaching the Word of God is essential for the growth and maturity of believers.
Fellowship and Community
The church provides a community for believers to fellowship and grow in their faith together. In Acts 2:42, we see that the early church,
“devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”
Fellowship is an essential part of the church’s function because it allows believers to encourage one another and build each other up in the faith.
The church is responsible for providing a place for believers to worship God. In John 4:23-24, Jesus says,
“But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people, the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Worship is an important part of the church’s function because it allows believers to express their love and devotion to God.
Evangelism and Outreach
The church is responsible for reaching out to non-believers and sharing the gospel with them. In Mark 16:15, Jesus says,
“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”
The church’s function includes evangelism and outreach because it is through these activities that people come to faith in Jesus Christ.
The Importance of the Church Paradigm
Understanding the church paradigm is important because it helps us to know what the church is and what it is supposed to do. When we have a clear understanding of the church’s purpose and function, we can better fulfil our role as members of the body of Christ.
The church paradigm also helps us to avoid confusion and misunderstanding about what the church is supposed to be. For example, some people might think
that the church is just a building or a place where people go to sing songs and listen to a sermon. But the church is much more than that. It is a community of believers who are called to make disciples of Jesus Christ.
The church paradigm also helps us to prioritize what is most important in the life of the church. When we understand that the primary purpose of the church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ, we can focus our resources and energy on activities that support that purpose. This means that we can prioritize things like preaching and teaching the Word of God, building relationships with others, and sharing the gospel with non-believers.
In conclusion, the church paradigm is an essential concept for believers to understand. It helps us to know what the church is and what it is supposed to do. The church’s primary purpose is to make disciples of Jesus Christ, and its function includes preaching and teaching the Word of God, fellowship and community, worship, and evangelism and outreach.
As members of the body of Christ, we have a responsibility to fulfil the church’s purpose and function. This means that we must prioritize activities that support making disciples of Jesus Christ and avoid getting sidetracked by activities that are not essential to the church’s mission.
Let us commit to being faithful members of the church, using our gifts and resources to support the church’s purpose and function. And let us always remember that the church is not just a building or a place we go to on Sundays, but it is a community of believers who have been called out of the world and into the kingdom of God.
We will continue with the Church paradigm in the upcoming post.