Embedded within our church, Bethesda Chapel’s Memorandum & Articles, there is a section which stated the purpose and mission of the church. And in it, it states that it exists for the purpose of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
As we observe this month, August, as our annual mission month, we want to take the opportunity to remind ourselves, what should be the mission of the church.
The church is a creation of God (Acts 20:28), founded and owned by Jesus Christ. In Matthew 16:18, Jesus said, “I will build My church” and directed by the Holy Spirit (Romans 12:4-5). And God’s mission for the church is demonstrated in some of the following ways, which will translate into spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ:
1. The mission of the church is to make disciples.
Just before Jesus returned to heaven, He commissioned His disciples by giving this instruction: “Going into all the world, make disciples of all nations by baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19–20a).
A disciple is a follower, someone who attaches himself to his leader. As the church makes disciples, people can admire, worship, trust, follow, and obey Jesus as their Savior and Lord. For about two years now, we have tried to ensure that our newly baptised members of our church, are properly followed up by a senior brother or sister. And the senior will provide simple pastoral care (be it bible study, mentor-pairing fellowship, a pair of listening ear). In so doing, we pray and seek to ensure that young believers will continue in their walk and be good disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ!
2. The mission of the church is to glorify Christ.
One of God’s purpose for the church is to exalt Jesus Christ by the way that the church lives and by what it does. In His church, Christ shows to the world what a freed and forgiven people can be—people who are satisfied with God as the result of Christ’s joyful, triumphant self-sacrifice. He has planned the church’s values to be His values. He expects its lifestyle to reflect His character (2 Corinthians 6:14—7:1; Ephesians 5:23–32; Colossians 1:13,18; 1 Timothy 3:15).
Recently, my small group (The Well) studied the passage of Romans 8. And one of the questions we asked ourselves was “What evidence do we see our lives being controlled by the Spirit?” And some of the answers shared in the group were reasons that we as Christians can live to glorify our Lord Jesus Christ. Living a lifestyle that God has entrusted to us and to reflect the glory of God.
3. The mission of the church is to build up the saints.
Jesus is the chief cornerstone, and the church is likened to a building “joined together and to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit” (Ephesians 2:19–22). Christian nurture is feeding His lambs and disciplining His flock; ministering to the needs of men is continuing the work of the Great Physician.”
As we send out our own home-grown member into the mission field, let’s us continue as one people within this assembly, to remember that each of us too, has a mission field in the local church.
Elder Andrew Lim