What Is the Goal of a Local Church?

It is my perception that some churches that are growing quickly see it as their purpose to facilitate as many conversions as possible. Just get people saved. This is a great goal! Churches that aren’t working hard to see converts are not being faithful.

At the same time, Ephesians 4:11-13 shows the opposite end of the goal of a local church–complete Christlikeness of every member.

he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,

Like I mentioned above, a local body of Christians is being unfaithful if they’re not working to see conversions. According to Ephesians 4, however, a local body is also being unfaithful if they’re not working to see their members grow to Christlikeness.

According to these two goals, which church is being more faithful, the one who spends all her time looking for conversions while neglecting the growth and health of the current members, or the one who neglects working for new converts and spends all her time on the growth and health of her members?

I contend that they are equally unfaithful churches. A church is called to make disciples–by starting relationships with people to evangelize so they will see conversions, AND to continue relationships within the body to encourage spiritual growth in Christians.

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