This is a series I’m doing on churches that were planted during the new testament. Below are other posts in the series
How You View The Church Makes A Difference
The Church Of Jerusalem
The Church Of Antioch
The Church In Philippi
Have you wondered exactly what the local church has been commanded to do, versus what we sometimes get caught up doing? I have!
So I wanted to share this list of 11 tasks we find in scripture…
Now this isn’t the only list. But I wanted to present scripture that deals with the church. Sometimes we can get caught up in describing the local church by worship style, ministry
style, and even preaching style. We get caught up describing the heart and soul of the local church by the things we do rather than by who we are.
So I went old school and just used scripture…
The Tasks Of The Local Church
1. To love God: Rev. 2:4 ‘But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.
This is a big deal. We could support this in the ten commandments. I’m hoping you find some parallel reference between what the local church is about and what we are about as a people of God. For we understand that the local church is not the local pastor, building, or location. But it is you and I…
So we could say that our first task is to love God. I place this first because I have struggled with loving God at times.
2. To glorify God: Eph. 1:; 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved…11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the council of His will, 12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory…14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.
Ephesians 3:21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
2 Thessalonians 1:12 so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Another no-brainer when it comes to the local church. We could argue that the purpose of the local church is to bring honor and glory to God. Yet don’t see that in mission statements or purpose statements. Perhaps it’s an unspoken reality, but we could mention it somewhere in the literature we produce. We exit to bring honor and Glory to God!
3. To display God’s grace: Eph. 2:7; so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (Eph 3:6, 10; 1 Pet. 2:9)
If I was to instruct staff in a local church, I would focus on this one question. I would ask, “how do we display God’s grace?” What does that look like? How does the community experience this in the things we do?
4. To evangelize the world Matt. 28:19-20; “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Mark 16:15; Luke 24:47; John 20:21; Acts 1:8)
Sometimes we believe we are to evangelize the world. But this was a directive to the church as a whole. Now Paul perhaps took this to the extreme and went gangbusters to accomplish this task. Just looking at who he ministered too and the amount of churches he planted would place him as a great example of working out this scripture. But we can look at modern-day examples as well. With the new methods of planting missional churches and redefining what a “church” should look like. We might get closer to this than in any other time in history.
5. To baptize believers: Matthew 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
Although we usually look at baptism in this verse, I think it wise to take note that it also makes mention of making disciples. Something we normally equate to evangelism. This is not the time nor place to go into a complete rant about making disciples, but it is always good to know and understand how it relates to the church at large.
6. To instruct believers: Philippians 4:8–9 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. 9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (Matt. 28:19; 1 Tim. 4:6; 5:17; 2 Tim. 2:2, 24-25)
I think this is where we as a church find most of our worth in today’s setting. Just look at the amount of teaching opportunities we have for those who attend our church. I would suggest we expand our methods of teaching. I would also encourage the church to expand the idea of what we are instructing…
7. To edify believers: Eph. 4:11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; (1 Thess. 5:11; 2 Pet. 3:18; Jude 20)
With the rise of the missional church we are seeing this play out more and more. More models of leadership and understanding of how to apply this verse to the local church.
8. To provide fellowship for believers (Acts 2:42; 1 Cor. 1:9; 2 Cor. 8:4; 13:14; Gal. 2:9; Phil. 1:5; 2:12; 1 John 1:3, 6-7)
9. To care for its own in time of need (2 Cor. 8-9; 1 Tim. 5:1-16; James 1:27)
10. To act as a restraining and enlightening force in this present world (Matt. 5:13-16; 2 Thess. 2:6-7)
11. To promote all that is good Galatians 6:10 So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.
Let me know what you think of the list. And feel free to add the things that I missed.