Paul wrote, "so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Ephesians 3:10–11). The church is instructed to make known the wisdom of God. At the East Shelby Church of Christ we realize this is our mission. There is no other organization on earth with this same mission.
The Bible clearly identifies what God expects the local church to do. The work of the church was even misunderstood by some early Christians. Our brethren in Corinth were attempting to make a common meal of the Lord's Supper. They were attempting to bring in social recreation, an earthly concern, into a spiritual body. Paul let them know that this need can be fulfilled in the home. That was not the work of the church (1 Corinthians 11:17–34). According to the Bible, we see the work of the church to be the following three things:
- We see the church that Jesus built in the New Testament to be primarily concerned with spreading the Gospel of Eternal Salvation ( Mark 16:15–16; Acts 5:42; Acts 2:42; 2 Timothy 4:2–4; Colossians 1:23; Matthew 28:19–20).
- The church also was benevolent and gave aid to the needy saints (1 Corinthians 16:1–2, 15; Romans 12:13; Romans 15:26; Romans 16:2; 2 Corinthians 8:4; 1 Timothy 5:9–11, 16).
- The church also focused on the building up (Spiritually) of one another. To build up your brethren spiritually is called edification or edifying (Acts 9:31; Ephesians 4:11–16; Romans 14:19; 1 Thessalonians 5:11; Jude 1:20–21; 2 Corinthians 12:19).
There might be some things other groups do that are missing from this list such as social recreation, entertainment, political activism, business ventures, sports programs, etc. At the East Shelby Church of Christ we believe that the church we read about in the New Testament had a spiritual purpose instead of an earthly pupose. We seek to be involved in the work that has an eternal impact on every soul.