The Purpose of the Church
– Evangelism, discipleship, worship, ministry, and fellowship. The five-fold purpose of the Church.
– Last week we looked at evangelism, and the need to be living and sharing the gospel with lost people, praying that they will trust Christ as their Lord and Savior.
– The second aspect of our purpose is discipleship. We exist to reach others with the gospel (evangelism), and also to assist other Christians to become more like Jesus Christ (discipleship).
– The Church is in the business of making disciples. If any church is not making disciples then they are not fulfilling their purpose from God.
I) Ten essentials for making disciples
– Discipleship is not just passing on information
– The goal of discipleship is Christ-likeness – He is the standard
– A friendship is the foundation for discipleship – you need to earn trust
– Discipling necessitates being a worthy example – you should not do it, if you are not a growing disciple yourself
– Truth is learned best when it is seen lived and taught- no hypocrisy or abstractness
– To be discipled is to be changed – so they are better
– Discipling is never an end in itself – it is so they carry on
– Discipling takes time – growth does not come quickly
– Love and submission – these must be offered by the disciple willingly, not expected by the discipler
– Reproduction is expected in discipling – the disciple must become a discipler
II) What does a disciple look like?
· Trait #1 – A basic growing knowledge of the Bible applied to their life (Jn. 8:31-32)
· Trait #2 – A regular devotional time (prayer, worship) with God and their family (Jn 15:7-8)
· Trait #3 – A daily recommitment (putting Christ first) of one’s life to Christ (Lk 9:23-25, 14:25-35)
· Trait #4 – Regular church attendance and member in one of our S.S. small groups (Heb 10:25, Jn 13:34-35, 15:7-17, Acts 2:46, 5:42, 8:3, 20:20)
· Trait #5 – Understand his/her divine design, and as a result are involved in a ministry (1 Tim 4:14, 2 Tim 1:6, Eph 4:11-13)
· Trait #6 – Building relationships with un-churched people and sharing your faith with them (Matt 9:36-38, Lk 15; 19:1-10)
· Trait #7 – A generous, joyful giver (2 Cor 8; Phil 2:12-13; 4:14-20; 1 Jn 3:18; Jas 2:17-18; Eph 2:10; Heb 13:20-21)
III) What is our strategy to make disciples?
· Level one – interesting people in Christ (2 Tim 4:4, 1 Cor 14:22-25)
1. A friendly and comfortable environment in our services that will call un-churched lost and saved people (younger and older) to become disciples.
a. Sermon – relevant expository preaching of the Word of God from the pulpit
b. Worship – a blend of traditional and contemporary God honoring music, the reading of God’s Word, prayer, and drama
c. Prayer – a time of public prayer for the world, nation, and community
d. Evangelism – a regular presentation of the Gospel through sermons, drama, and other events
2. A small group (our Sunday School classes) to lead people to Christ and or orient them to the church (its expectations, beliefs, programs, and so forth). It loves and cares for them as well. These groups are in the early stages of initiating the disciple-making process. They are explaining what the church is all about and inviting those in the group to move on with Christ. Those who stay in the church move onto level two: growing in Christ (trait #4).
a. Basic small groups for people. These are communities that minister to all ages from Olympian club – adults. We will have not only teachers, but also caring group leaders who will minister to three – four individuals or couples. Whenever someone visits our church they will be assigned to a caring group leader who will sit with them, and encourage them in their walk with God.
b. Curriculum that will address relevant issues that are of interest to people.
3. Other events: cantadas, childrens’ concerts, vbs, friend days, outreach banquets, 3on3 basketball tournaments, etc…
· Level two – growing in Christ (Col 1:28, Eph 4:12-13, 1 Tim 4:7-8, Heb 6:1-3)
1. Our small groups (Sunday School class), seminars, and preaching from the pulpit
a. Scripture – gain a knowledge of the Bible, and how to study the Bible on your own (trait #1)
b. Prayer – to learn about and practice private and public prayer, also attend our Wednesday night prayer meeting for the opportunity to do so (trait #2)
c. Worship – to learn how to worship and to practice private and public worship (trait #2)
d. Evangelism – to train you how to share your faith in a simple and effective way with lost people that you know in your age bracket and relational circle (trait #6)
e. Giving – to learn about and practice biblical giving (trait #7)
f. Commitment – to learn the importance of and commitment to attending the meetings of the church, and to commit one’s life to the Lord daily (traits 3&4)
· Level three – ministering in Christ (Eph 4:11-12, 1 Tim 4:14)
1. The person will continue in their small group (Sunday School class). This will provide them with genuine relationships, and true biblical community. It is practically impossible to grow without a group of believers to encourage you.
2. The individual will take a spiritual gifts evaluation, and fill out an interests sheet which will allow the pastors to place the individual in a ministry that will best suit them.
· Level four – leading in Christ (Acts 6:1-7, 2 Tim 2:2)
1. The leader must meet certain requirements for leadership (1 Tim 3, Titus 2, Acts 6) depending on his/her anticipate ministry: care group leader, prayer ministry, teen club, Olympian club, college and career, Sunday School teacher, etc…
2. The leader will be trained, and first serve as an apprentice to someone already leading in that kind of ministry.
IV) What is the cost of making disciples?
· Suffering – it made lead to emotional, and physical affliction
· Servanthood – you may have to serve your disciple in order to earn and build personal credibility to be used to significantly change that disciple. Be a servant first.
· Time – one on one discipling may be tedious, and even keep the discipler from doing other activities he/she may want to do. It may take years, not weeks.
· Hard work – planning, time, and interaction are needed.
· Patience – stick with it, and have a positive attitude with the disciple
· Consistency in life – live according to God’s Word, being genuine
· Personal interests – the disciple must know that you care
· Transparency – be honest and vulnerable with the person you are discipling
· Planning ahead – use good curriculum and materials
· Flexibility – sometimes you don’t finish the lesson, because the disciple needs time to digest what they are learning
· Love – they need to know that you care
· Disappointment – not every disciple will continue on
· The Rewards – 2 Cor 5:10-11, 1 Pet 5:4, Phil 1:3-7
I) What does a disciple look like?
II) What is our strategy to make disciples?
III) What is the cost of making disciples?
How do you become a disciple? – You must be born again!