A church must be driven by a sense of purpose. Our sense of purpose is a ministry rudder that steers our church in a fixed course toward which we move with one mind (Acts 1:14; 2:46; 4:24; 5:12; 7:57-58; 8:6; 12:20; 15:25; 18:12; 19:29). This sense of purpose is important for at least three reasons.
- It dictates what is important to us
- It drives the development of our ministry initiatives
- It determines the best use of our resources
We are driven by three Biblically-defined missional priorities. We strive to…
“that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 15:6). The overarching purpose of every person (1 Corinthians 8:6) and church (Ephesians 3:21) is to glorify God. This is the ministry priority of worship. The well-known statement in the Westminster Shorter Catechism encapsulates this all-encompassing purpose
Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.
Gather the Lost
“And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled’” (Luke 14:23). This is the ministry priority of evangelism. Jesus’ final imperative before his ascension is found in Acts 1:8, “…you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” This was a command to His followers and His command is still our marching orders. We are to seek the lost and bear witness of Christ to them.
Grow in Christ
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen” (2 Peter 3:18). This is the ministry priority of discipleship. Healthy organisms grow. This is true for the Christian. Christians should grow in their faith over the course of their Christian life. Christian growth happens in times of personal devotion but it also happens in community. The Bible uses the term “one another” to refer to community. “One another” activity is not limited to Sunday. In fact, “one another” ministry often happens in one-on-one settings in a home or a coffee shop.
These three Biblically-defined missional priorities should be part of our congregational DNA. We must strive to do some core things well which means we do not endeavor to all things, even many good things. These ministry priorities help us to “keep the main thing the main thing.”