Church Consulting:

A Church Consultant Looks at the Six Purposes of the Church (Acts 2:42-44)
  • Discipleship
  • Evangelism
  • Fellowship
  • Ministry
  • Prayer
  • Worship

Let’s define these six purposes

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 be edified.

“. . . 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; (Ephesians 4:12b-13)

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 the world.[1]

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.”  (Ephesians 4:2-3)

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 kingdom.

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 church.

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
  1. 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).
  2. 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)
  3. Is the church driven by a Great Commission focus?
  4. 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.
  5. Is the church keeping the new believers who join?
  6. Is the church both locally and globally minded?
  7. Does the church have a strategic plan for future growth?
  8. 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. 

(951) 310-7438

[1]Thom S. Rainer, The Book of Church Growth, Nashville:  Broadman and Holman, 1993, 77-78.