Purpose of the Local Church:
God is a relational God. He wants to have a relationship with us. He wants us to have relationships with one another. When we are planted in a local church, we are able to build relationships and live out the commands addressed to Christians in the New Testament. We can love one another and meet one another's needs proving to the world that we really are His disciples. There is the protection of accountability. There are stronger Christians who we can model our lives after and weaker Christians we can help grow to maturity. Small groups foster relationship building.
While the is a common purpose and goal shared by all local churches (making disciples, worshipping God, reaching the lost), each local church has an unique calling and purpose. One local church might be very strong in teaching the Word of God and strong doctrine. One local church might be actively reaching a poor neighborhood meeting practical needs and sharing the love of Jesus. One church may be filled with gifted artists, actors, and musicians who are winning the lost to Christ through the arts: drama, music, paintings, and sculpture. Most local churches attempt to be balanced, but truthfully, one church cannot do all there is to do.
Experiencing the Call on your Local Church
The local pastors, elders and others leaders attempt to hear from God and determine His vision for the church. Then they motivate and equip the rest of the congregation to fulfill that vision.
There will be a desire to care for the flock, reach the unsaved and love the Lord through worship, but these things may have an unique flair or style that is different from other churches. One local church's worship may be especially enthusiastic and demonstrative. Another church's worship may be more formal and dignified. One church may feel called to make disciples of the nations by reaching out to international students, taking lots of short-term mission trips and spending lots of their revenue on foreign missions. Another church may just support one missionary but be very active in training their congregation to share the Gospel and do lots of contact evangelism.
Small groups are a place to learn what beats in the heart of the church.
Living out our Family Responsibilities: