Consultant Looks at the Six Purposes of the Church
Let’s define these six
Discipleship is . . .
loving obedience. Jesus calls his disciples to follow his teachings through
self-denial. This attitude of self-denial is not particularly popular today,
but it was not popular during Jesus’ time either. Being a disciple of Christ,
however, demands it.
While discipleship is not a program, it can be encouraged through special
mentoring relationships and training classes. New Christians should have the
opportunity to learn how to study the Bible and how to develop a personal
devotional life. Older Christians should continue to mature while lending
guidance to younger Christians. In this manner, the entire body of Christ will
“. . . so that the body of Christ may be built up until we
all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become
mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ #8221;
Evangelism is . . .
“the proclamation of the historical, biblical Christ as Savior and Lord, with a view
to persuading people to come to him personally and so be reconciled to God . . .
The results of evangelism include obedience to Christ, incorporation into his church, and responsible service to
Evangelism is particularly important to the church that seeks true growth since healthy
growth comes primarily through new Christians. Just prior to Jesus ascending,
he gave the church a specific task: to be his witnesses beginning in Jerusalem
and continuing to the ends of the earth. Since not everyone on earth has heard
the good news of Christ, the church must still be involved in fulfilling our
assignment through effective evangelism. A healthy church must provide its
members with opportunities for evangelism training, and it must also provide
opportunities for doing evangelism as well.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my
witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the
earth.” (Acts 1:8)
Fellowship is . . .
communion with other believers in order to encourage each other in his or her walk with
the Lord. Christian fellowship is unique. It is something that occurs only as
we unite ourselves first with Christ and then to other Christians. Indeed, it
is only the love of Christ that can unite people from diverse backgrounds and
with distinctive personalities and who are still able to call each other
“brother” and “sister.”
It is important for leaders to provide tools for creating, maintaining, and evaluating
the unity within the fellowship of believers in the local church. While
addressing these issues, this will help churches consider ways to bring new
members into the body of believers.
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make
every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
Ministry is . . .
a Christian using his or her spiritual gifts for the edification of the church and in
service to a lost world. God uniquely gifts his people with abilities in order
that his Church may advance. Serving and ministering go together in God’s
Is a member’s reticence to serve due to a lack of training or a lack of willingness?
Does the church have a specific plan for ministering in times of death or in
other moments of need?
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully
administering God’s grace in its various forms.” (1 Peter 4:10)
Prayer is . . .
drawing near to God through faith in quiet contemplation and with bold requests. Prayer is
one of the most underused weapons in our spiritual arsenal. Paul encouraged the
Ephesians to put on the armor of God to fight the spiritual battle, but he
emphasized above all that prayer be made on all occasions (Ephesians 6:18).
Jesus also reminded his followers to pray through his example of often
withdrawing to a quiet place to pray (e.g. Matthew 14:23).
In many churches prayer has been relegated to a particular meeting or to a particular
group of members. Prayer, however, is one of the six primary purposes of the
church, and as such, should be fundamental to everything that happens in the
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with
thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6)
Worship is . . .
attributing the honor and giving the devotion to God that he alone deserves. True worship
has nothing to do with a particular style of worship or liturgy. It is,
instead, a matter of the heart.
The questions related to worship in the Church Health Survey™ seek to ask one
question of the church:
Are members inspired to worship in your church’s worship service?
To determine a church’s health in the area of worship, the survey asks questions related to
the preaching, to the music, and to the auxiliary services which support what is
happening during the worship service. Is the preaching relevant? Does the
preacher connect with the congregation? Are the songs which are sung worshipful
or are they mere routine? Is the order of worship conducive to the service and
setting, or is it distracting? All of these questions require thoughtful
refection by the church seeking to improve its health in worship.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his
holiness” (Psalm 29:2)
Here are some of my questions if you
want me to be your church consultant
Is the church’s teaching based on the
Bible? - A Christian Creed: I believe the Bible is the Word of God and
has the right to command my belief and action (2 Timothy 3:16).
Is the church a praying church? - A
Christian Creed: I pray to God to know Him, to lay my request before Him
and to find direction for my daily life. (Psalm 66:16-20)
Is the church driven by a Great
Is the church reaching non-believers?
- A Christian Creed: To evangelize, is so to present Christ Jesus in the
power of the Holy Spirit, that men and women shall come to put their
trust in God through Jesus Christ, to accept him as their Savior, and
serve Jesus as their Lord in the fellowship of his Church.
Is the church keeping the new
believers who join?
Is the church both locally and
Does the church have a strategic plan
for future growth?
Are the leaders committed to the
ministry of the church? - Are your lay leaders and laity hearing a clear
voice from its leaders saying: "How can I serve you?" (Mark 10:41-45) or
do the leaders believe they are in charge? As leaders we are granted
authority for building up the church, not for personal power. The basic
meaning of authority is freedom of action.
These are only a few questions out of
hundreds I will probe if you hire me as your Church Consultant.
In Christ's Service,
Rev. Jerry E. McKeehan, D.Min.
Thom S. Rainer, The Book of
Church Growth, Nashville: Broadman and Holman, 1993, 77-78.