Earlier this week I posted on the first part of our mission statement at LifePoint. We exist to glorify God. But how does this inform how we work with people in the local church setting?
LifePoint exists to glorify God as a community being transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ.
At LifePoint we talk about our process of “making disciples” of Jesus as “learning the gospel, living the gospel, and leading others to the gospel.” A follower of Jesus is someone who is constantly learning, living, and leading others to the gospel.
The “why” of our lives and our church is glorifying God. The “how” is forming people into obedient followers of Jesus.
I was talking to a friend last week about this subject. He told me about a term he uses in the context he leads called the “sweet spot.” He said “the sweet spot for an individual Christian is the place where their passions and giftings intersect. At that point the kingdom of God happens through their life in the most dynamic possible way.”
I thought this was a great point when applied in the context of a local church. The goal of leaders in a local church is to equip every person in their church to find that “sweet spot” in following Jesus. As each individual in the church grows into that place in their own life, the church community will be a dynamic context where transformation occurs through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.
God builds the church to glorify himself and to create a context in the world within which he can carry on his mission.
God uses people in the church to build the church. First Peter 4:8-11 talks about this:
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies- in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Church leader, get this in your soul:
We are not here to maintain an institution; we are here to build a people into the church.
We are here to build people to the glory of God.
As we build people into the church, equipping and empowering them to live in their sweet spot, the following misconceptions will be destroyed:
- The church is not a product to be consumed.
- The church is not an organization to be supported.
- The church is not an event to be produced.
The church is a people building each other, engaging a mission.
Paul says in Ephesians 4 that the church is “joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, [it] makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”
We exist to glorify God. God is glorified in the church when people are formed into followers of Jesus, utilizing the gifts he bestows by his grace to carry out his mission in the world.