THE VALUE OF CHURCH
Involvement in a local church is essential in order to walk with God and grow spiritually. The Bible instructs us to “consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together . . . ” (Hebrews 10:24–25).
WHAT IS CHURCH?
The church is not a building, but an assembly of people who make up the body of Christ (Colossians 1:24; Romans 16:5). The universal church is not limited to any denomination. Rather, it consists of genuine Christian believers of all ages, both on earth and in heaven.
IS IT NECESSARY TO JOIN A LOCAL CHURCH?
Although we are all members of the universal church in the body of Christ, it’s very important for a Christian to identify with a body of believers in a local church. We need healthy relationships with one-another in order to develop fully as Christians (1 Corinthians 12:4–27). We are also disciples who are commanded to make disciples (Matthew 28:19). In order to accomplish this, we must spend time regularly with other believers.
WHAT MAKES A CHURCH EFFECTIVE?
When a body of believers surrenders to the Lordship of Christ and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to understand and obey the Word of God, then and only then, will they be an effective church. Jesus told His disciples, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Only a spirit-filled church can be an effective church. (Also see: “What We Believe: The Holy Spirit” and “What We Believe: The Baptism of the Holy Spirit.”)
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE CHURCH?
The purpose of the church is threefold: To know God through salvation; to grow in God through sanctification; and to be used of God through service. The Bible exhorts Christians to live, “to the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:12).
WHAT IS THE PRACTICE OF THE CHURCH?
There are four essential functions that a church should practice: To be a learning church; to be a loving and united church; to be a worshiping church; and to be a praying church. We find the trademarks of a healthy church in the book of Acts: “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine, and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayer” (Acts 2:42).
WHAT ARE THE ORDINANCES OF THE CHURCH?
Ordinances of the church are outward rites or symbolic observances commanded by Jesus, which set forth essential Christian truths. We observe the ordinances of water baptism and Communion. (Also see: “What We Believe: Water Baptism,” and “What We Believe: Communion.”)
WHO IS THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH?
The Bible says that the head of the church is Jesus Christ Himself (Ephesians 1:22; 5:23). Jesus told His disciples, “On this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).