Monday, January 24, 2011

The Four Foundations of the Church

Life goes better when we function as designed!
So....... church design????? church function?????
On one hand there is no scripture with a list. BUT, there is plenty of scripture to construct a list.



#1. If
these are functions of the church, then they are functions of a church.
#2. A church functions only as well as its individual members.
#3. If you want to be part of a functioning church, then the body has to be functioning as well.

I. WORSHIP - to ascribe worth to/declare value of something or someone.
It is usually visible/audible (sing/shout/praise/give thanks/give money)
Not everyone is wired to naturally worship. BUT, all should worship - no one is exempt. John 4:23-24

A. Corporate worship begins with gathering (attending)
B. when you come, you should bring an offering. Deut. 16:16-17
(worship is more about giving than receiving)
C. God is not the one who gains (benefits) when we worship Him. The ones who benefit are other believers, non-believers, and the one giving worship!

II. Nurture - to supply nourishment/aid in development/promote growth and well being/build up/raise up/care for..... and is mainly aimed at other Christians. Not just spiritual.
Example: Jesus "nurtured" the 12 disciples/Paul "nurtured" Timothy.... Eph. 4:11-16
Everyone needs nurturing.

Obviously - teaching/training/resourcing....
But also - greeting/encouraging/praying for/transporting/modeling/making feel welcome, valuable, significant...

On one hand it is reasonable to expect your church to nurture you... On the other hand, it is reasonable for the church to expect you to nurture!!!!
Too many times, people come to church with an "entitlement attitude". It's all about what's in it for me.

III. Ministry - to help/aid/serve/do good to PEOPLE - all people. This means acting on God's behalf to help PEOPLE. (physical/emotional/spiritual/relational/financial....)

Jesus is our role model and teacher: Acts 10:37-38 - because
A. Portrays the Father - Matt. 5:43-48
B. Benefits mankind (created in His image/for whom Christ died)
C. Softens the hearts and minds of non-believers (opens eyes/doors)
D. Develops the minister (you)

IV. Evangelism - the attempt to introduce people to God through Jesus Christ! That's all we can do. We are to make the effort.
Must have the Spirit convicting/Father drawing
But, evangelism is our part int eh salvation process - Rom. 10:13-14, Rev. 22:17
Just a social gospel without evangelism.

Evangelism is central to the Christian life and church function.... whether it is:
A. direct - verbal witness
B. indirect - evangelistic support - AWANA/missions, prayer support, etc.

To be a healthy, balanced, functioning church, we (as a church group) cannot overlook or exclude any of these functions.

To be a healthy, balanced, function church, YOU (individual member) cannot overlook, exclude any of these functions.

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