Should the purpose determine the church model, or the church model the purpose?
By Ken Blue
Attempting to discover the purpose or model for a church from other pastors is like trying to find out from a lost man the plan of salvation. Each one has a different answer of what is to be done, and how to do it.
The obvious place to search for a church model would be in the writings of Paul, since he is the apostle who wrote the church epistles. We discover that churches ordained pastors to lead them, and that deacons were added when necessary. One will search in vain for the structure and order of the services.
The primary purpose of the church is found in Ephesians 4:11-13. “ And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:” Soul-winning, pastoring, and teaching are all within the text.
[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Perhaps the greatest error being perpetrated today is that the church building is only for the saved.[/pullquote]
Perhaps the greatest error being perpetrated today is that the church building is only for the saved. It is suggested that sinners should not be invited to church, but be led to Christ first and then brought into the building. This is total nonsense. What on earth could Paul have in mind when he said, “And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” 1 Corinthians 9:20-22. If you don’t want sinners mixed in with the saints, why are you giving an invitation to them every Sunday? Does it bother you that these sinners got past your ushers?
Of course, we don’t allow the unsaved to become members of the church. But you do everything within your power to get the saints out to the lost, and get the lost to come to church.
You will search in vain for the structure of the local church or for proof that lost people should not be invited and encouraged to come. I am fully aware of the parable of the “great supper.” Everyone was invited “that My house might be full.”
- Get the lost to come to church
- Preach the gospel and get them saved
- Take them through a membership class and get them to become members of the church.
- Teach them how to study the Bible
- Get them involved in a ministry
- Get them on the mission field.
If you do these, you will do well.
If you have a better plan, please let us know.
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.
Great, easy-to-follow simple steps! (I was looking for something like this, and here it is.)
Chuck Hanson says
Hello, Pastor Blue. I appreciate your post because it reminded me of the bus ministry days, going out on Saturdays and then picking the kids, (and some adults), up on Sundays. Points one and two is what that was all about…Speaks of community, and of the Great Commission. Then it speaks of teaching these kids, (and some adults), to do likewise.
No, I have no better plan! Anyone else?
Joel Hudson says
It is funny pastor, I read this and the steps you listed and thought that it was not they way we were doing it in our church plant. I guess when I read it I thought of how Open Door does each of those steps, as I started to respond to share what we were doing I realized that these sames things are the things we were actually doing. It may not look like most of the churches I grew up around, but it is the same gospel and same plan, just with a different coat on.