The Aim, Action, and Attribute of the Church
Said Alice to the Cheshire cat: “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” Said the cat: “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.” “I don’t much care where…,” said Alice. “Then,” said the cat, “It doesn’t matter which way you go.”
One of the most important questions we can ask is “which way should we go?” As applied to the church, we must ask ourselves questions like—Why do we exist as a church? What are we supposed to be doing? What is our purpose; what is our identity? In other words, which way should we go?
Unlike other organizations, a church does not have to figure out its own purpose or identity. We don’t just discuss it among ourselves and come up with a purpose statement. It’s not up for debate; it doesn’t matter what we think about it. The Bible tells us very clearly why the church exists and what it ought to be doing. The Bible gives us our identity and our purpose. Unfortunately, many people who attend church, and even members of a church, may not have a very clear idea of what that purpose or identity is.
When we know our purpose and identity, we can easily see what we need to do, what priorities we should have, and how we should do things. Only when we know who we are and what we should be doing can we go on to do what we should be doing in the way we should be doing it.
Because we are having our annual meeting today, it is appropriate that I speak on matters concerning the local church. Today, I want to briefly define what the church is, and then I want to look at the purpose of the church in terms of the church’s aim, action, and attribute.
Hopefully, this will be review for most of us. I trust that we have a good understanding of these issues. But for those who don’t know or may be not quite sure about some of this, it’s good for us to review this biblical teaching.