Every Sunday in the United States, over 120 million people go to a church worship service. More people in the United States go to a church service in one single weekend, than will go and attend every single professional sporting event in an entire year.
Why do people go to church? A lot of people have no clear reason why they attend church. Some go out of habit or tradition, some out of pressure from someone else.
As we answer the question Why The Church, if you will take to heart what we’re teaching, years from now, you’ll look back to this post and say, “That’s when God started something very powerful in my life.”
Let’s take a look at the DNA of our church. We’re going to tell you who we are, what we are and why we do what we do. These are our foundations. We believe, God wants to meet your deepest needs and He can only do that through Jesus and the Church.
Depending on your background, your definition of church will vary. Let’s start with what the church is not.
The church is not a building. Many churches have a building. However, many churches meet in all kinds of venues, but they are still churches. Jesus didn’t die for a building. Churches have buildings, but they aren’t buildings.
The church is not an institution. We often think of the institutionalized church. A church has structure and leadership, but that’s not what the church is.
The church is not an event. The church gathers together and has events, but there’s a higher calling.
A church is not a place I go to, nor an event I attend. It is a spiritual family that I belong to.
The church is somewhere we are planted and build our lives on. Take a look at Acts chapter 2, and the description of the very first church in Jerusalem.
“Those who believed…were baptized and added to the church… They joined with the other believers and committed themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to the fellowship… They worshiped together regularly at the Temple courts and met in small groups in homes for communion, and shared meals with great joy and thankfulness.” Acts 2:41-42, 46
Why the Church is the Most Important Group on Earth
1. The Church is God’s family.
“God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.” Ephesians 1:5 NLT
You become a part of the human race by being born into the world. You become a part of God’s family by being born again and, through Christ, God adopting you into his family.
“That family is the church of the living God, the support and foundation of the truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15 NCV
If you don’t have good support and foundation, you will crumble. You are building a house that is your life. Build your life on Jesus and His Church.
God is not using the Church for his plan. The Church is God’s plan.
2. The Church is the reason God created the universe.
God created the universe, just so he could create this galaxy, this solar system, this planet, the human race. He did it so that those who choose to love Him, could be part of His Church.
“Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.” Ephesians 1:4 NLT
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 NIV
3. God is using his Church for His eternal purpose.
Far bigger than our plans, there is an unseen reality. God is using His Church to show off to spiritual authorities and powers.
“God’s intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to all the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Ephesians 3:10-11 NIV
There’s an unseen factor that’s bigger than us. One reason He will share His glory with the Church is that it’s on display even to what we can’t see.
“Through Christians like yourselves gathered in churches, this extraordinary plan of God is becoming known and talked about even among the angels!” Ephesians 3:10-11 MSG
4. Jesus died for His Church.
He didn’t die for a nation, a business, an organization or a tradition. He died for the Church.
“Christ loved the church and gave himself for it…He died so that he could give the church to himself like a bride in all her beauty. He died so that the church could be pure and without fault…” Ephesians 5:25, 27 NCV
5. It’s the only thing on earth that will last forever.
No business will last forever. No sports team will last forever. No nation lasts forever. The United States won’t last forever. The only thing on earth that will last forever is God’s church. That’s what he created it for.
“Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:21 NLT
This is why when you serve the church, you store up treasure in Heaven. When you give to the church, you store up treasure in Heaven. When you bring people to church, you make a difference for eternity.
“…we will be with the Lord together forever!” 1 Thessalonians 4:17
6. The Church is the only group Jesus said would succeed.
Jesus: “I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it!” Matthew 16:18 NLT
The church is the most powerful force in the world. It has survived every crumbling culture for 2,000 years. Jesus is not interested in building nations, businesses or organizations. Have you read the last book of the Bible? The Church wins!
7. The Church is the only group big enough to solve global problems.
The government, Congress, the UN are not big enough. No business or nation is big enough. The Church is.
There are about 600 million Buddhists, 800 million Hindus, 1.5 billion Muslims and 2.3 billion Christians. The Church is bigger than China. The church was global hundreds of years before anyone started talking about globalization. We are the only true global thing on the planet.
“This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace.” Colossians 1:6 NLT
8. The greatest privilege in life is to be part of God’s Church.
“God has given us the privilege of being born again so that we are now members of God’s own family.” 1 Peter 1:3
The word “member” is a biblical term. It’s talking about how the hand is a member of a body. If you cut off a hand, what good is a hand detached from a body? It has no value. What good is a Christian detached from the body? Nothing.
We find our strength and support in the church. Sometime people say, “I’m just a part of the global church.” Almost every time the word church is used in the Bible, it’s talking about a local congregation.
Jesus said I’m building the church. The Holy Spirit came and birthed a church. The Acts of the Apostles were planting churches. The New Testament letters are written to churches and pastors. Revelation Jesus is talking to churches. The person who says they can do ministry alone, detached from a church, is wrong.
“Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?” 1 Corinthians 3:16
What is a Purpose Driven Church?
Every business, every nation, every organization, every city, every life, every church is driven by something. If you look up the word “drive” it means to guide, control or direct. Our church wants to be Purpose Driven.
Churches can be driven by many different things:
A Purpose Driven Church has traditions, personalities, finances, programs, events, buildings. But what drives us and our mission, is to balance and emphasize five eternal biblical purposes.
“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but is it the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21
The only way to make something that will last and to do something in someones life is to do it according to the Lord. Here are some benefits of belonging to a Purpose Driven Church Family.
The Benefits of Belonging to a Purpose Driven Church
1. It will help me focus on God.
It’s easy to lose your focus. We need to consistently refocus our focus. Meeting together with your church family and small group will help focus your life.
Focus changes everything. The bigger God gets in your mind, the smaller your problems become. The purpose of worship is to continually refocus on God.
2. It will help me find freedom from life’s problems.
Life is tough and God never meant for you to go through this life on your own. Life is a series of problems. You’re either coming out of a problem, in the middle of one or going into one. The solution: get something bigger than your problems to live for. Then, problems become mere distractions. How do you face addiction? How do you face a parenting problem? How do you face a marriage problem? How do you find freedom from all those things? This is the purpose of fellowship.
The life that God intends for you is not a solo act. Life-change happens in the context of relationships.
3. It will help me fortify my faith.
Fortify means to strengthen. When you get with other people in God’s family, you set-up right values, get the right support and establish your priorities. This is what helps you fortify your faith. This is discipleship. it fortifies your faith.
4. It will help me find my place to make a difference.
We weren’t here to just take up space and then disappear. God has something unique for you to do. He wants you to make a difference with your life. He wants you to leave a legacy and learn how to serve God by serving others.
The best way to learn how to do that is in a church family. When we get to heaven, God is going to ask you two questions. “What did you do with my Son, Jesus Christ?”
The second question is, “What did you do with what I gave you?” What did you do with what God has entrusted to you. This question determines your effectiveness as a believer and your rewards. This is the purpose of ministry.
5. It will help me fulfill my life mission.
You were put on earth to make that difference in the church, but also outside the church. If you don’t fulfill your life mission, it won’t get done. This is evangelism. To Go & Tell the people in your life about the Good News.
These are the things that drive the church and meet your biggest needs: Worship, Fellowship, Discipleship, Ministry and Evangelism.
Check back on your discussion from last week. Do you have any more thoughts, questions or conclusions about the message on ordering finances? What will you remember most about the STRAPPED series?
Hear the Word
Read Acts 2 & Ephesians 1-3
What is a church? It is not a location. It is not an institution.
A CHURCH is a group of baptized believers who’ve joined together in a commitment to help each other fulfill God’s purposes for their lives.
It is a spiritual family where people can focus on God, find freedom from life’s problems, fortify their faith, find their place to make a difference and fulfill their life mission. (Worship, Fellowship, Discipleship, Ministry, Evangelism.) The church is the most important group on earth.
- Do you recall what first brought you to a church?
- God is using the church as a vehicle to invite his family to spend eternity with him in heaven. Just as God died for the church, we die to ourselves when we are born again. Share the details of how and when you accepted Christ to secure your salvation. What steps have you taken on your journey with Christ to become more like him?
- How does God fortify faith through the church?
- How is the church a place that helps people find freedom from their problems?
- What are some barriers that can prevent the church from being a support group to others?
- How has being part of a church family has helped you to live more fully?
- How can knowing the church will last forever increase the faith of its members?
- How does the church honor God by reaching its full potential?
- Why is it a privilege to be a member of God’s family and do God’s work?
Have you been baptized? You can be baptized this weekend at Rock Brook. Sign-up at RockBrook.org/Connect/Baptism
Tell Someone Else
Who do you need to share this message with? Who do you need to invite to church? Who does the group need to pray for?