Acts 2, 5; Matt. 28
Healthy churches are those that fulfill
their biblical purpose.
(Duct tape illustration using a roll of
tape) Many of you here are familiar with this
product. You have probably used it many
times for many different purposes. Years
ago, thousands of dollars were spent in research
to develop this product. It is the invention
of two men. Today, we use it on tons
of things. You can use it to temporarily fix
pipes. If you get a hole in your pants while
hiking, you can use it to tape up your pants.
It is even used on the space shuttle to temporarily
fix problems. I used to have a friend
who claimed the world was held together
with duct tape and baling wire.
But duct tape was created with a specific
purpose in mind. It was designed to be
used in heating and air conditioning applications
to seal joints on metal ductwork. Have
any of you ever tried to use it on ductwork?
This is some of the sorriest tape for ductwork
I have ever seen! You try to use it on
the insulation around the duct, and it sticks
for about two minutes. It doesn’t really stick
to the duct either. It was created for a purpose,
but it does everything but what it was
designed to do!
Too many churches are just like duct
tape. They do everything except what they
were created to do. The question before us
is this: Is [name of your church] a ducttape
church? Is your church fulfilling the
purposes for which God created it? Healthy
churches are those that fulfill their biblical
This message is not just for the leadership
of the church; it is for every person
who is a baptized member of the church
because all members of the church have a
part in helping it fulfill the purpose for which
it was created. Let me say that again: All
baptized members of the church have some
part in fulfilling its purpose. Church is not a
spectator sport, even though some people
think it is.
Many people have opinions about why
the church exists and what its purpose is. If
you ask five church members to define the
purpose of the church, you will probably get
five different definitions! Church is for fellowship,
to win souls, and other things, but
this is not the whole answer. Sometimes you may even hear people make the audacious
statement that “the church exists to meet
To get a true picture of what the church
was created to do, we need to go to the Bible.
There are at least five biblical purposes for
the church. Healthy, growing churches will
strive to fulfill all of these purposes in a balanced
way. Let’s look at them together now.
I. Healthy churches celebrate
God’s presence in worship AND UNITY
(ACTS 2:46, 47)
Worship is a personal encounter with
God in which one expresses love for God
and surrenders completely to Him. (It’s not
just a mental thing. Love doesn’t flow from
the mind; it flows from the heart).
True worship includes the total person,
both mind and emotion, in a way that calls
him or her to praise God for who He is and
what He has done and, in so doing, to reach a
new awareness of and learn more about God.
Worship does not have anything to do
with style or form; rather, it involves the
attitude of our hearts. Worship is not accomplished
only through acts; it is also accomplished
through godly living and service
(Rom. 12:1). Any church that places little
emphasis on worship will experience little
II. Healthy churches share God’s
love in ministry (ACTS 2:44, 45)
Ministry is meeting the needs of the total person (spiritual, emotional, social, and physical), and this doesn’t just mean members of the church! Our problem is that we want to limit the definition of who our neighbor is.
I believe the Bible would define a neighbor
as anyone whom God loves. Since God
so loved the world, that would make our
definition of neighbor invalid. The world
outside the church walls doesn’t care how
much you know. They want to know how
much you care!
III. Healthy churches are involved
in evangelism (matt. 28:19, 20)
The church is God’s agent of redemption
to bring the message of Jesus Christ
to the world. God is on a mission to redeem lost humanity and calls His church to be on
this mission with Him.
We are given the privilege of being
ambassadors for God’s kingdom. Being
an ambassador carries with it not only the
command to share the gospel but also the
obligation to live the gospel! Churches will
not grow substantially if the membership
doesn’t share the gospel.
IV. Healthy churches grow in
membership (acts 5:14; 2:46, 47)
Membership means a lot more than
just putting someone’s name in the church
books; it is about making people a part of
the family (or the fellowship). Membership
is an essential part of building fellowship
within the church.
Fellowship is an essential element of a
healthy church and a necessity for personal
growth. Churches that don’t have healthy
fellowship or that fail to assimilate new
members will grow cold.
V. Healthy churches educate in
discipleship (matt. 28:19, 20; 2 pet.
Contrary to popular belief, the ultimate
end of the Christian faith is not just salvation.
We are to “grow in grace and knowledge of
our Lord Jesus Christ” so that we can go
back into the world and make a difference.
We are to be more than those who simply
believe just the facts. We are to be followers
(disciples). That requires discipleship.
Sadly, discipleship is something that
most churches do poorly. We tend to “dunk
‘em and forget ‘em” and never equip people
to do the work of the ministry (even the fundamentals
of the faith). Discipleship (equipping)
is the main function of the leaders
and one of the most important works of the
church (Eph. 4:11, 12).
Worship. Ministry. Evangelism. Membership.
Discipleship. Is [name of your
church] fulfilling these five purposes?
Healthy churches are those that fulfill their
biblical purpose. Let’s all do our part to be
an intentional healthy church!