Communicating the purpose of your church

by Rick Warren Pastor, God has established your church for a purpose. Too often, though, we fail to communicate that purpose to the people who would be most interested in hearing about it – the church itself. The most powerful way to communicate the purposes of your church is to personalize them. The purposes of the church can be stated as God’s five goals for every believer. These goals express what God wants each of us to do with our lives while on Earth. Help your people If you are a pastor, use understand – personally – that: your pulpit on purpose! God wants me to be a MEMBER of his family. This is the purpose of fellowship. The Bible is very clear that following Christ is not just a matter of believing. It also includes belonging. The Christian life is not a solo act. God has given us the church as a spiritual family for our own benefit. Ephesians 2:19 (LB) says, “... You are members of God's very own family ... and you belong in God's household with every other Christian." Where else do you get everyone’s undivided attention on a weekly basis.
Rick Warren, from The Purpose Driven Church

God wants me to be a MODEL of his character. This is the goal of discipleship. God wants every believer to grow up to become like Christ in character. In 1 Timothy 4:12, Paul gives us several specific areas where we are to model the character of Christ: “... set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity.” Notice that maturity is not measured by one’s learning but by one’s lifestyle.

Purpose Driven Church Conference, May 16-19
To learn more about building a church around God’s eternal purposes, don’t miss the 2006 Purpose Driven Church Conference, May 16-19, on the Saddleback Church campus. At the conference, Rick Warren will teach you how to attract a crowd, reach out to your community, build up your church members, and mobilize your congregation for ministry. After you discover these core lessons of the Purpose Driven paradigm, you’ll also have the opportunity to attend special one or two-day seminars on Preaching for Life Change, Purpose Driven Small Groups, creating an HIV ministry in your church, and more.

God wants me to be a MINISTER of his grace. A third responsibility of every Christian is service. God expects us to use the gifts, talents, and opportunities he gives us to benefit others. 1 Peter 4:10 says, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.” God intends for every believer to have a ministry. At Saddleback, we are very up-front about this expectation when witnessing to unbelievers. We don’t “bait and switch.” I tell unbelievers, “When you give your life to Christ you are signing up to minister in his name for the rest of your life."

God wants me to be a MESSENGER of his love. This is the church’s purpose of evangelism. Once we have been born again, we become messengers of the Good News to others. It’s part of the job description for every believer. 2 Corinthians 5:19-20 says, "For God was in Christ, restoring the world to himself, no longer counting men's sins against them but blotting them out. This is the wonderful message he has given us to tell others. We are Christ's ambassadors. God is using us to speak to you: we beg you, as though Christ himself were here pleading with you, receive the love he offers you – be reconciled to God.” (LB) We each have a mission on Earth and part of it includes telling others about Christ. Paul said, "Life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord

Psalm 34:3 says. “I just got it for the first time!” Unless it is reinforced. we use as many different channels as we can think of to keep our purposes before our church family. always look for the opportunity to say something like. At Saddleback. usually in January." (Acts 20:24 LB) God wants me to be a MAGNIFIER of his name. banners. our purposes and corresponding verses are etched into the glass foyer for all to read as they enter. I say.. we will find a replacement. You must restate your purpose on a regular basis. his family. That’s why the very first commandment says. or that by printing your purposes in the bulletin everyone has learned them. There is an inborn urge to worship in every human being. the vision of any church fades with time.” In addition to preaching and teaching. bulletins. Teach it over and over – and fan the fire of purpose in your people! Until next week. Like a rudder on a ship it will determine the direction of a church either intentionally or unintentionally. "O magnify the Lord with me. videos. It is always a review of our five purposes. a sport. use your pulpit on purpose! Where else do you get everyone’s undivided attention on a weekly basis? Whenever you speak. Utilize as many different media as you can. or even himself. folks!” Many pastors do not understand the power of the pulpit. We believe that if we keep saying the same thing in different ways one of those ways will capture the attention of every member. I preach an annual “State of the Church” message.” While fulfilling the five purposes of the church are a responsibility of every Christian. Don’t assume that a single sermon on the church’s purpose will permanently set the direction of your church. articles. evangelism helps me fulfill my mission.. we’ve used brochures. If we don’t worship God. and relational benefits. Often. ministry helps me find my talents. emotional." (NASB) We are called to worship God. after presenting the purposes in a new way.Jesus – the work of telling others the Good News about God's mighty kindness and love. and cassettes. money. . He may worship his job. And let us exalt his name together. “Thou shalt have no other god’s before me. they also provide spiritual. or even read them! One widely known law of advertising is that a message must be communicated seven times before it really sinks in. newsletters. The church provides people with things they cannot find anywhere else in the world: Worship helps me focus on God. Once a year. At the entrance to our worship center. “And that’s why the church exists . someone will say. fellowship helps me face life’s problems. discipleship helps me fortify my faith. If you are a pastor. “It’s that time again. and we’ve even written songs to communicate our purposes.

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