May 11, 2021
And God has put all things under Christ’s feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is Christ’s body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
What is the purpose of the church?
In a way, the answer is easy. The purpose of the church is laid out by the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Ephesians. The purpose of the church is to be “Christ’s body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.” Perhaps the Christians in Ephesus knew just what Paul was getting at right away. But for the rest of us mere mortals, that is going to take some unpacking.
To be Christ’s body means that we must strive to collectively do that work that Christ would do were he walking the earth today. Whew, I’m really giving the subjunctive mood a workout there. Let’s put this another way. The purpose of the church is to do the work of Christ, and to be embodiment of Christ living in the world today.
A tall order!
Thankfully, no individual congregation is responsible for the entire achievement of that lofty, spiritual state. We are not fullness of Christ who is all in all. But we do have our part to play in the great purpose of the church. And it is critically important for this church (for any church!) to know and embrace its purpose as part of Christ’s living body in the world.
The world is beginning to open up again. We as a church are discerning what our work shall be in the coming year and beyond.
In this month’s Messenger Bell, you will read a piece co-written by me and Moderator Sallie Smylie. We are reporting on a process being undertaken to define and codify a statement defining our purpose as a church. We aren’t starting from scratch. We are beginning from the foundational documents of the church and the teachings of Scripture on how we can strive to embody and do the work of Christ. And we are building on our constitution. As we work on a revised expression of the church’s purpose, we want for you to be involved, we want this conversation to be engaging and spiritually rich.
There will be opportunities for you to engage in the coming months, but for today, I want to leave you with the big question: What is our purpose as a church? Why is it that we exist?