The Purpose of the Church
The common response to the purpose of the church would be to carry out the Great Commission given by Jesus in the Gospels, but why do we need the local church to do that? Certainly being organized helps carry out any mission, but I think the real answer goes much deeper.
In Luke 24 and Acts 1, Jesus tells his followers to wait. Wait? Why? For what? This instruction to wait follows the command to go and tell. So Jesus is saying, “I want you to spread the gospel far and wide, but not yet.” First they had to be empowered by the Holy Spirit. Many churches seem to have forgotten this part. They try to go out and evangelize without power and are thus ineffective. Our most impacting witness is our day to day behavior, and without a constant filling and empowering of the Holy Spirit we will fail.
The main purpose for believers assembling together on a weekly or some other regular basis is for empowerment. As we come together as individuals seeking and worshiping God, our spiritual energies (ooh that sounds mystic and new age, doesn’t it?) come together in a way that God simply cannot resist. His presence will come down supplying fresh excitement and power. The result is strength to live holier, to be more like Christ, to know Christ more, to spend more time with Him. Then we get back together and do it all over again. Each time we should leave desiring more of Him and to be more like Him.
That’s what going to church every Sunday, or whenever you go, is supposed to be like. It was the key to the success of the early church, and it will be for us.