Why Does the Church Exist?

Why Does the Church Exist?

In 1995 a pastor named Rick Warren wrote a book called “The Purpose Driven Church.” In it he set out to answer this very question. He outlined five purposes that, according to scripture, the church was designed to fulfill. These five purposes are:

  1. Worship
  2. Fellowship
  3. Evangelism
  4. Ministry
  5. Discipleship

I could take time and break down each one of these, but that book has already been written. But there is a bottom line that all five of these have in common. Most churches these days have a purpose statement. In that statement they try to outline, in a sentence or two, why they exist. Most of them will come down to this simple truth:

    The church exists to help people come to Jesus and to grow in their relationship with Him.

That’s what the five purposes that Pastor Rick outlined are all about. Jesus said, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost.” (1) References such as this, to the “Son of Man” refer to Jesus. So, Jesus is saying that the reason HE came was to seek and to save the lost. The lost would be those that don’t yet have a relationship with Jesus. If this is why Jesus came, shouldn’t the church He created share in that purpose?

Paul, one of the writers of the New Testament, the second section of the Bible, reinforces the importance of this when he wrote, “…I have become all things to all people, so that I may by every possible means save some.” Clearly Paul, who God chose to write most of the New Testament, was passionate about helping people have a relationship with Jesus. 

So, why does the church exist?

The church exists to help people come to Jesus and to grow in their relationship with Him.     

So, if this is why the church exists, shouldn’t everything we do be focused on this purpose? 

As we seek to start new church, I think it is important that we understand that THIS is why we exist.

Footnotes:

  1. Luke 19:10
  2. 1 Corinthians 9:22