Last week I decided to google “church mission statements”. The list I found was comprised of fifty churches recognized for their size and communication ability. The four “missions” that were most repeated were
1. Love God.
2. Love others.
3. Make disciples.
4. Impact the community/world.
Now, I don’t know about you, but none of those things light a fire in my belly. Yes, they are good things, but they don’t stir my deepest parts.
As I was pondering this with the Lord I had a thought, “The church’s problem is that her purpose is far too small.”
The purpose of the church is nothing less than Jesus Christ, Himself.
ALL of the things listed above and the million other reasons the church gives for existing are less than Jesus Christ. Far, far less.
Do you know that God is after more than your love for Him? Do you know that God is after more than your love for others? Do you know that God is after more than making disciples? Do you know that God is after more than impacting this world? Do you know that God is after more than anything our minds can conceive?
We have tried desperately to come up with God’s purpose. Our own purpose. And because we have used human intellect and reasoning to do so, we have come up with a purpose far below why we were actually created. I know that parts of scripture command us to do those things listed above, but this is the problem with proof texting and building an entire belief system off a few statements. God’s purpose is an entire story; a complete narrative. Without the whole we fall far short.
And the whole is found in one place. “For the fullness was pleased to dwell in Him.”
Try this example: I tell my daughter to wash the dishes. She decides to base her entire life and purpose off that one statement, instead of keeping it firmly planted in the context it was given. She believes that her purpose is to wash the dishes. She stops everything else and focuses entirely on washing dishes. Everything I say to her now is filtered through the lens of washing dishes. She even tries to convince her brothers that their purpose is to wash the dishes.
Silly, huh? Yet, the church has done this time and time again.
But, how can our purpose be a person? Human reasoning concludes that He’s our purpose because we are supposed to love Him more than anything else. Human reasoning concludes that He’s our purpose because He’s the model of how we are supposed to live. Human reasoning concludes that He’s our purpose because we are supposed to get everyone to believe in Him. These are still far less than Jesus Christ, Himself.
It wasn’t until I caught a glimpse of God’s Christ that it began to dawn on me. Jesus Christ is beyond human reasoning, and I cannot fit Him into my little paradigm. I simply take Him as my purpose by faith. Over time I have seen practical aspects of Christ being the church’s purpose, but there is still so much more to see.
As I was pondering this with the Lord I had a thought, “The church’s problem is that her Christ is far too small.”
The purpose of the church is nothing more than Jesus Christ, Himself.
The church’s true purpose is something so vast it cannot be fully contained in one sentence, book, volume of encyclopedias, library, or internet. Every single aspect of the Eternal Purpose of God, the church’s purpose, is found, fulfilled, and fleshed-out in one place. In One Person.
Jesus, the Christ.