stripped of everything

The Goal of the Church

with 5 comments

Yesterday at the office I had an opportunity to sit down with a co-worker and discuss our passions.
One thing that I stated was that I desperately wanted to help the church discover and grasp their purpose.
I believe fully the goal of the church is not to change people.
I do not believe that it is my job or your job to take someone and change their beliefs or the way they think.
I went on to say that I believe fully the job of the church is to love people.
To love the community.
It’s people.
It’s buildings.
It’s land.
I believe that through the church body’s love for the community God will change the lives of people.
She disagree’d with me. She felt that it was the church’s job to change the lives of it’s people. That not only was it our job, but it was our responsibility to change those people. That we are to also love them, yes, but God was calling us to change people.
I have a truly hard time with that concept.
I believe that if I am loving the community because I want the community to know Christ, that it’s wrong.
That it’s not love.
No matter what the agenda is placed on that love, it shouldn’t be there.
Is it okay that we desire that for them, yes, and we should desire that.
We should also seek change in our community..
However, I believe that when our goal becomes to change someone, and because of that we love them, then the church has failed.
The church has then introduced this conditional love into the community.
We should want change, and we should seek change for the better of His kingdom.
However, our love for the community should not only be active just due to our desire for change.

You tell me, what is the goal of the church?

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Written by vagabondrunn

October 11, 2008 at 1:45 pm

5 Responses

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  1. I agree with you that the church should love the community. But the ultimate goal is to lead the community to the cross. I agree with you that we can’t change people or force them to believe what we believe, but the most important thing is for them to hear the Gospel. Only God can change a person, but He commands us to reach them with His Gospel. We are His hands and feet. 🙂

    micey

    October 11, 2008 at 2:51 pm

  2. @micey Yes I agree with you completely that we are to bring the people to the cross. That is definitely the goal of the church. However, I don’t think we do that by focusing on wanting to change people. I think we do this by loving them.

    Something like…

    Changing them due to your love for them. Not loving them because of your desire to change them.

    What comes first…the change? or the love?

    vagabondrunn

    October 11, 2008 at 2:59 pm

  3. We are to live by Christ’s example. His example was to speak truth and love all. Plain and simple.

    Did he judge? Occasionally – but that is his role as God, not ours as human. (except of course the church leader vs church member example in Timothy)

    The most basic human need is love. If a person feels loved and accepted, their fight and defense response disappears. They are open to seeing the truth around them.

    If you live your life with truth, and love someone (despite their behaviours), it is your love that will reach them and your truth that will show them.

    You don’t need to change anyone – it’s not your job. And I”m sorry, but the deep down truth is that you CAN’T change someone else. They can only do so themselves. The question is what can you show them to make them want to change something?

    Truth and love. That’s it.

    So I”m sorry – but I’ll have to disagree with your friend on this one and side with you. I love all those that are in my life (I try to) and so far, the score is much higher than when I sat in judgement and tried desperately to change them.

    Christ’s example is always the best one in my book.

    NikkiJo

    October 12, 2008 at 9:02 am

  4. @nikkijo Thanks for the comment! Really. I agree 100% that we have no way of changing people. That it’s through our love that the people we come in contact with will experience the truth and changing of God’s love.

    Love is only real when it doesn’t have an agenda. When we have an agenda, we stop creating an avenue for God’s truth to be spoke.

    Kyle

    October 12, 2008 at 2:01 pm

  5. Great post my friend. Keep up the great work!


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