Our Purpose
 

In the New Testament, Jesus called for all of His followers to be one in Him, for His Church to be unified together as one (1 Corinthians 12:12-17; Galatians 3:28; Ephesians 4:1-3). Sadly, many have not heeded this teaching of Christ. There is much religious confusion and division in today’s world. There are over 30,000 different denominations in the world that claim to be following Christ while teaching different and often conflicting doctrines. The West Concord Church of Christ, however, is not a denomination. We are a local congregation of the Lord’s one Church. We are a small part of the one Church that Jesus founded and died for on the Cross (Matthew 16:18; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14).

At West Concord, we attempt to follow all of Christ’s instructions exactly, using only the Bible as our guide (See section on Doctrine). So what does the Bible tell us about the purpose of the Church? What is our purpose as a local congregation of the one Church? What is the purpose of the Church as a whole?

Before we answer these questions, it is important to note that being a member of the Church, a Christian, is much more than simply attending the weekly church services. Christ called His followers to be people of action. Christ’s Church is meant to be active. Being a member of the Church, being a Christian, is a lifestyle, and an active one at that. Christianity involves much more than merely attending worship services and Bible studies, as we will soon discuss.

So what is our purpose as a Church? Our mission as a congregation of Christ’s Church can be broken down into the four action groupings seen below. We will address each one of these activities in more detail.
 
Works of the Church
 
1) Worship God
2) Evangelize the Lost
3) Edify the Church
4) Engage in Benevolence

Worship

Christians are called to collectively offer up worship to God as a Church (Luke 4:8; John 4:21-24; Revelation 4:8-11; Revelation 14:7). There are many New Testament examples of Christians gathering together to worship God. From these examples, we can easily see how God wants us to worship Him today. For a full discussion of the worship of the Lord’s Church, see the Worship page.

Congregational Singing
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evangelism

Evangelism

Evangelism, the preaching and teaching of the Gospel, is an important work of the Church (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8; Ephesians 3:10-11; 1 Peter 3:15). God has commanded that Christians share the good news about the salvation that God offers us through Jesus with the world. We are told to actively share the Gospel with others through teaching (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; 2 Timothy 2:1-2; 2 Timothy 4:2-3). We are also to commanded to share the Gospel and bring people to Jesus by showing others how to live through our good example (Matthew 5:14-16; Philippians 2:15). We are to be consistent in letting our lights shine to the world that is filled with darkness. The Church has been tasked with taking the Gospel into all the world (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15). To share the Word of God with all the world, it is necessary to have individuals in the Church who are willing to travel across the country and to foreign nations to preach and to teach (we typically call these individuals missionaries). The Church can also evangelize by financially supporting these missionaries and their works (Acts 20:34-35).

Edification

The Church is to be active in the edification of the members of the Church. Edification is the act of building up the Church by promoting the spiritual growth and development of each and every Christian. Edification takes on a variety of forms in the Church. First and foremost, Christians edify each other by showing genuine love towards each other (John 13:35; Romans 12:10; Philippians 1:1-4; 1 John 3:11). This love can be demonstrated in a variety of ways, from being kind and compassionate towards your fellow Christians (Ephesians 4:32) to encouraging one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11; Hebrews 10:25). Christians can edify each other by engaging in fellowship and by forming strong bonds of friendship (Acts 2:42; Romans 12:10). Christians are told to actively teach one another and build one another up in the truth of God’s Word (Acts 2:42; Romans 15:14; 1 Corinthians 4:6; Ephesians 4:12-16; Ephesians 5:19; 2 Timothy 2:1-2; 2 Timothy 2:15; 2 Timothy 4:2-3). Christians are to encourage each other to do good works for Jesus (Hebrews 10:24-25). As humans, Christians are susceptible to temptation and sin. We are to help each other avoid being polluted by the sin of the world (James 1:27). When Christians give themselves over to sin, we are called to enact discipline on them in hopes of saving their souls (Matthew 18:15-17). All these acts of edification serve to improve the spiritual condition of each member of the Church. The goal and purpose of edification is to help the Church grow spiritually, working to become more and more like Jesus every day.

 
 
Edification
 
church fellowship
 
helping hand
 
 
Contribution

Benevolence

Benevolence, helping those in need through acts of kindness, is an essential work of the Church. The Church is commanded to love all people (Matthew 5:43-48; Matthew 22:39; John 13:34; 1 John 4:19-21). This love is must be demonstrated through kind deeds done for our fellow humans, not the mere verbal expression of love (Matthew 25:31-46; Philippians 2:3-4; James 2:14-17). There are many Biblical examples of ways to do good to others. Giving to the poor (Romans 15:26); helping the burdened (Galatians 6:2); and attending to the needs of those who are hungry, thirsty, lonely, naked, sick, or imprisoned (Matthew 25:31-46) are all ways through which we can show love for others. In James 1:27, James tell us that true Christians will take care of those who are orphans and those who are widows or widowers. The Church is to help others, both through the actions of individual Christians and through the actions of the collective Body of Christ. The early Church often took up a collection of money and resources from its local members to provide for the needs of others (Acts 11:27-30; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2). This is in no way an exhaustive list of the benevolent acts of the Church. There is no limit to the ways in which we can show our love for others. Christians are to employ the “Golden Rule” by treating others in the best manner possible, in the way in which you want to be treated (Matthew 7:12). We are told to be ready for every good work and to be ready to do good to all people (Ephesians 2:10; Galatians 6:10; Titus 3:1-2).

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West Concord Church of Christ | 7587 Lock 17 Road, Bessemer, AL 35023 | webmaster@westconcordchurchofchrist.com | 205-491-7990 | 2016. Copyright. All Rights Reserved.