What We Believe
The Five Purposes of the Church
The five purposes for the church (found in Matthew 22 and Matthew 28) the focus of what drives the church as they work to be faithful to God and as the church seeks to do the will of God in every way. Matthew 22 contains what we call the "Great Commandment" and Matthew 28 contains the Great Commission.
The five purposes are:
In Matthew 22
1) Worship - The Bible says to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. The best way do this is by worshipping God, and there are two primary ways to worship God -- Corporately and Privately. One example of corporate worship is gathering together with other Christians on a Sunday morning at church. One example of private worship is having a Quiet Time (time alone with God) every day. Christians need to worship God to express that love and to grow closer to Him.
2) Ministry - The Bible also says to "Love others as yourself." When we do this as Christians, we are doing what we call ministry. Ministry is meeting the needs of people who have needs that need to be met. The needs could be a myriad of things - spiritual, physical, medical, financial, emotional, relational, and much more. Every Christian should pray about the ministry God would have them get involved in, and at First Baptist we encourage everyone to do just that -- find their ministry and get involved.
In Matthew 28
3) Evangelism - The Bible says "Go" into the whole world." The process of going into the world is for the purpose of telling people about Jesus and sharing with them how to get saved. Getting saved means that repentance takes place, sins are forgiven, and a person is then spiritually changed. They are given the promise of Heaven by God and have the assurance that they will escape the eternal pits of Hell.
4) Discipleship - We read that we are "to make Disciples of all Nations. Discipleship can be accomplished any way that instructs Christians in matters of doctrine, faith, Bible knowledge, living the Christian life, and in general teaching what the Bible says and how to obey it faithfully. It can be done in ministries like Sunday School, Prayer groups, new member classes, Bible studies, witness training, etc.
5) Fellowship - This purpose is found in Jesus' word to "baptize new Believers." Baptism is the symbolic act of obedience that a new Christian goes through for several reasons. Although not required for salvation, Jesus does tell Christians to be baptized. Why?
- It serves as a witness to other people
- It is being obedient to Jesus' command to be baptized
- It gives the new believer something to truly remember their conversion by
- It allows a person to go through what all others church members have been through, and via church policy , it allows them to officially become a member of the church. And, after they commit to membership, they need to be taught the things of the church, get involved, meet new people, start serving God, and become a more faithful part of the church. This involvement process is sometimes called being "assimilated," and this process is important for a new church member. If assimilation does not take place, the odds are very great that the person will stop coming and no longer be involved. So, the purpose of "Fellowship" is critical to the ongoing involvement of the new member