Driving With Purpose

A church without a sense of purpose is like a car without a driver, for it does one of two things: either it rolls to oblivion because it is not controlled, or it sits in the front yard getting rusty from lack of care. Consider what is written, “And I do all things for the sake of the gospel, that I may become a fellow partaker of it. Do you not know that those who run in the race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. And everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not with aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air…” (1 Corinthians 9:23-26). It seems that everything the apostle did was for a purpose, with an intent. He never wandered through his Christian life aimlessly or lazily, but took hold of his goals with drive and purpose. And too many of us have allowed ourselves to amble through life uncommitted to the task at hand. Does it ever seem like some Christians are just going through the motions? Do some of our brethren still not realize the race has started and they are being left in the dust? What about you?

“Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do; forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14). Does this describe your Christian life? A church needs to have a sense of purpose and direction:

The congregation needs to see personal evangelism as necessary to its survival;

Everybody needs to be on the same page with Bible classes, worship activities, and duties;

Every member needs to feel the same sense of purpose. Do you wake up every day seizing your Christianity? Do you come every Sunday prepared to participate in the most holy of all activities? Do you approach every facet of your life with the same determination as Paul? Are you devoted to the work of being a Christian?

Where is our church going? Are we growing or not? Very few things feel quite as bad as having the sense that you are the only member working hard at evangelism or worship.

Healthy churches are always characterized by their zealous love. Without it, everything we do is in vain (1 Corinthians 13:1-3). Members should be wholeheartedly devoted to one another in love (Romans 12:10), giving preference to one another in all honor. Hospitality should abound, not only between members but to outsiders as well. The kind of hospitality we show to unbelievers can go a long way toward developing a relationship that will lead to their conversion. “Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of every opportunity” (Colossians 4:5). A congregation filled with love will be a place that is desirable – people will want to become a Christian! It will be a place of mercy and forgiveness, “for love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8). It will be a family of souls, dedicated to helping each other make it to Heaven. “If one member suffers, all the members suffers with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it” (1 Corinthians 12:26).