The Church of Jesus Christ has a God given mission to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20). The church in Acts and the early church after Acts understood this and they gave everything to help make this happen. They willingly sacrificed their comforts, their fortunes and in some cases their very lives to ensure the church was making disciples of all nations. Their commitment to the mission Jesus gave them is the reason the Church went from being 120 disciples that lived in Jerusalem to being an enormous body of believers that spans the globe.
The reason you and I were given the chance to hear the Gospel and be saved is because the Church took the commission to make disciples of all nations seriously enough to do whatever was necessary to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Their commitment to the great commission resulted in Gospel preachers bringing the Gospel to America and planting churches in America. Their commitment to make disciples of all nations provided you and I the opportunity to go to church, hear the Gospel, believe the Gospel and then be saved.
The mission Jesus gave the church of making disciples of all nations is the same mission the early church lived and died for and it is the same mission that the Church is to fulfill in our time. This mission is the reason that the Church exists. The Church of Jesus Christ exists to make disciples of all nations. Or as I tell the folks in our church, our mission is to lead people to follow Jesus. This is THE mission of the church. A church that is not seeking to fulfill this mission should not be called a church.
I would say that most genuine believers who read their Bible’s at least nominally know this. Despite this, many believers in our day have no real commitment to the Church of Jesus Christ. We live in an interesting day where many people profess faith in Jesus Christ but have no real commitment to the Church Jesus Christ started. One of the things I hear frequently from people who are not actively involved in a church is that they just can’t find church that meets the needs they have. One person may think that a church as an awesome song service, but feel the preaching lacks depth. Another person may like the preaching in a certain church, but thinks the music is too slow, then again another person may think that same music is too fast. Still another person may like the music and the preaching in a church, but thinks the youth program needs some work. While these people are making different statements, they are all actually saying the same thing. What they are saying is, “We just can’t find the perfect church.” People’s ideas of the perfect church are as diverse as the people who have these ideas.
To one person the perfect church meets in a quaint little building that looks like it came out of a Norman Rockwell painting.
To another person the perfect church meets in a huge auditorium.
To one person the perfect church has an incredible youth and children’s ministry.
To another person the perfect church is a missionary sending machine, sending missionaries to every corner of the globe.
To one person, the perfect church uses the most contemporary of contemporary music in worship.
To another person the perfect church only uses traditional hymns in worship and no more instruments than a piano and organ.
No matter how different these perfect churches are on the surface, they share a number of key characteristics.
Every person in perfect churches is sold out for Christ.
They are never selfish.
Things like politics, personal preferences and personal agenda’s are always put aside for the greater good of the Kingdom of God.
People in perfect churches are always willing to give sacrificially, they evangelize tirelessly, they always love unconditionally and they are never judgmental.
Of course, perfect churches also have perfect pastors. Perfect pastors are always personable, never forget anyone’s name and never seem to have a bad day.
This week I’m going to write about the Church and our role in the Church. Part of my goal in this is to help us see that we should all be committed and active members in a local Church to help it fulfill the mission that Jesus gave to us of making disciples of all nations.
Tomorrow I’m going to write about the number one thing all perfect churches have in common. What do you think it might be?