In a blog post on Monday and then in staff meeting yesterday Ridge Church’s Senior Pastor Steve Conger raised the following question – what’s the purpose of church?
Historically, he argues, the point of the church has been to save people from hell so that they can get into heaven. It is easy to convince people to come to church, participate in the life of the church, and contribute financially to the church when their ultimate destiny depends on the degree to which they do these things.
However, in my opinion, faithful Christianity in this 21st century can’t be primarily concerned with the life after this one. There is too much hurt and brokeness in this world that needs to be addressed in the here and now.
As I have begun to wrestle with Steve’s question(s) I think in a word I would say “transformation.” The point of the church is transformation of individual’s hearts and lives, as individuals are transformed into the people God would hope for them to be the church can help facilite the transformation of relationships and ultimately of local communities, countries, and eventually the world.
Whether you are a churchgoer or not, what do you think the purpose of the church is?