What Is Church?

The ChurchIn week one of our series, “The Church,” we asked ourselves the question, What did God intend the Church to be? From Matthew 28:16-20 and Acts 1:6-11, we came up with this definition:

The Church is a movement with a message on a mission for God’s majesty.

I. Movement
Church is a movement because it consists of a community of believers. The two most commons descriptions of the church in the Bible are as the bride of Christ (Eph 5:25-27) and as the body of Christ (1 Cor 12-14). Being the bride of Christ shows both God’s love for the church, but also the church’s love for God. Being the body of Christ, show that we need to be connected to God, but also connected to each other. Jesus died for a people, and not a place.

II. Message
The church movement didn’t explode when people all of a sudden had a better understanding of the His Sermon on the Mount, but rather when a group of ordinary people believed in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and their lives were filled with the Holy Spirit. The word gospel means, “good news,” which should encourage us to tell of this news to everyone around. As Christians it is not our job to save, but to share of the forgiveness, freedom, and eternal life found in Christ.

III. Mission
Bill Hull defines discipleship as “the process that involves life-changing learning in the context of relationships that leads to Christ-likeness.” As Christians, we’re called to go and make disciples. I remember in high school, we would often have pep rallies on Friday afternoons. Now, these rallies were great for getting people excited, but they were not suppose to be an end in and of itself. The purpose of a pep rally is to get people excited about the game. I believe our Sunday gatherings are to be just that… we’re called to encourage and challenge one another to live out our faith on a weekly and daily basis (i.e. the game). At the end of the day, if we’re not making disciples within the Ignite High School Ministry, then we are not fulfilling our calling to be the church!

IV. Majesty
This last point of the defining the church has actually been the most enlightening and encouraging to me. You see, Christ is the cause, catalyst, and culmination of the church. God’s greatest creation was not sunsets, mountains, or oceans (although each can take our breath away). God did not give up His Son to die for a mountain or a pretty view. Christ died for his bride, the church!  God loves His church. And if God loves His church, as well as His glory is ultimately shown through His church, then we CANNOT and WILL NOT fail! Think about it… despite all its imperfections, sinfulness, and brokenness, the church has never been stronger, bigger, and more influential in any time during history! Be challenged and strengthened today because if you’re a part of a local church, then you have joined a victorious movement of a community of believers with the message of hope, joy, and freedom found in Jesus Christ, on a mission to make disciples and transform lives, all for the glory of God!

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