Many people—dare I even say, most people—have a totally warped understanding of what the Church is. When the word is mentioned, they immediately envision the Roman Catholic cathedrals of Europe. Tall steeples. Grand arches. The majestic voices of choir members in long, flowing gowns. You get the picture. Interestingly enough, the Bible never mentions any of that. No, when the Bible refers to the Church, it always refers to people, and more specifically, God’s people. The followers of Jesus Christ.
What’s the purpose of this group of people? If you’re a follower of Jesus, this is probably a question you’ve asked yourself before. Heck, it’s a question I’ve been asking myself for months as I’ve been preparing for this post. If we are to be effective members of the Church, we need to have a solid grasp on our purpose, our mission statement, our goal.
Boiled down to its utmost simplicity, the purpose of the Church is to enable believers to better worship our creator. But what is worship? Worship is the act of coming to terms with reality. It is the acknowledgment that God and God alone is worthy of our honor, glory, and praise. It is the realization that apart from God, we are nothing; that without God, we wouldn’t exist. Worship is when we fall on our knees in tears as we begin to grasp what Christ did for us on that cross.
The Church enables us to do this. Through the preaching of the Word, we grow in our understanding of who God is, what his personality and character look like. Through the raising of our voices in praise, we adorn his name with honor and glory. Through the giving of our offering, we support God’s ambassadors in making known the message of God’s mercy and grace to all nations. And through it all, we become more like Christ (Eph. 4:15).