Church on Purpose
Who are we?
A caring group of people committed to Christ, his Church, and our community
What are we trying to accomplish?
Our vision is found in Ephesians 4:11-13:
It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith1 and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature,2 attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.3
- To bring people into unity with God and the body of Christ (his church)
- To develop people into spiritually mature followers of Christ
- To lead people into a lifestyle of complete surrender to the fullness of Christ
This is our F.O.C.U.S. – Fullness Of Christ, Unity, Spiritual maturity
How will we reach the goals?
Our mission is found in Matthew 22:37-39 and Matthew 28:19-20:
"Love the Lord your God1 with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: "Love your neighbor as yourself.'2
Therefore go and make disciples3 of all nations, baptizing them in4 the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey5 everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
- We will worship God
- We will serve God and others
- We will evangelize the lost
- We will fellowship with God’s family of believers
- We will disciple followers of Christ
On a more personal level, we believe and have seen that God is using Open Bible Church to heal hurting people and to equip and empower leaders. Our desire is simply to be and do all that God requires.
For a more detailed explanation of the notes above, please refer to the booklet, "Building the Church," by Pastor Phil Waldo.
Building the Church
To us, "building the church" doesn't mean putting up a building or increasing the number of people at our meetings. It means building and encouraging every believer in our congregation on the road toward the goals of unity, spiritual maturity, and Christ-likeness.
This diagram shows how we begin with the foundation of Christ, build on that foundation by spending time in the presense of God, then practice five key areas of activity, culminating with the goals: unity, spiritual maturity, and the fulness of Christ.
Definitions and Descriptions
Fullness of Christ: filled with the presence, power, agency, and riches of God and of Christ. Here is the ultimate goal for all believers: that we may be completely filled with and overflowing with God himself.
Spiritual Maturity: complete; whole; fully grown; one who has reached the proper height of virtue and integrity. Here is another goal of church life. We are to help everyone come to maturity and complete wholeness. This is the outcome of the process we call "sanctification."
Unity: having the same mind; being one; not uniformity. This is one of the goals of church life. As we grow closer to Christ we can’t help but grow closer to each other. We are to make every effort to maintain unity.
BecomingEphesians 4:13 & Colossians 1:28
Remember, we build from the ground up!
Discipling: "teaching them." This is the final part of the Church’s commission. We are to teach believers to obey and to mature in the faith. This takes place in Celebration; small groups; INSTE; various studies; mentoring.
Fellowshipping: "baptizing them in." This is another part of the Church’s commission. We are to help people belong. We are to meet together. We are the body of Christ. This takes place in small groups; potlucks; special events; individual hospitality.
Evangelizing: "go make disciples." This is part of the Church’s commission. We are to tell the Good News wherever we go. We should be adding to our number those who believe. This takes place in friendship evangelism; small groups; world evangelism.
Serving: "loving others." This is our second command. We are to show love to others in word and in action. Let unbelievers see our good deeds and glorify God. This takes place in outreach; small groups; various church ministries; acts of kindness; Hands of Mercy.
Worshipping: "loving God." This is the first and foremost call of the Church. Our focus must first be upon God. Our delight and duty is to bring him glory and honor. This takes place in Celebration; small groups; personal devotions.
Matthew 22:34ff & 28:18ff
Presence: our relationship with Christ. Everything we are and everything we do flows from him. This is the “one thing” of the Psalms; it is "that which is better" of Mary; it is the "first of all" of Timothy; and it is the "surpassing greatness of knowing him" which Paul emphasizes.
Beholding2 Corinthians 3:18
Christ: our foundation and source. He is the Head and from him we are being built into a holy temple. Without him the meaning and purpose of church life is lost.
Christ is our foundation. The Church is built upon him. Christ is a sure, solid and supreme foundation. The only thing that can limit the size of the foundation is our concept of him. As A.W. Tozer said, “Christianity at any given time is strong or weak depending upon her concept of God... What I believe about God is the most important thing about me.” The bigger and better our concept of him, the bigger and better our church can be. Just as a large foundation can support a large structure, so can our concept of Christ enable a larger, more powerful church. We must faithfully study the Scriptures to increase our understanding of Christ. Let us have a large and glorious concept of Christ and thereby build the Church on a large and firm foundation!
As we focus on Christ in relationship with him through the scripture, prayer and living in his presence we are transformed. Upon being transformed, we more naturally carry out the duties and move toward the destiny he has in mind for us. The destiny becomes more than just wishful thinking and the duties more than just laborious chores. Instead, they flow powerfully from a love relationship with him. They are driven by desire rather than discipline. It is easy to serve those we love. So it is with Christ and the Church. The more we develop our love relationship with him, the easier and more natural our service to him becomes. And, that service is imbued with power because it flows from his presence rather than our own strength. Let us prioritize our relationship with Christ and continue in his presence to draw upon his strength!
As we carry out our duties with a heart of love for Christ we impact ourselves and the world around us. The duties are designed by God to continue moving us toward the destiny. As food and water are fuel to the human body, so is his presence to the Church. However, just as the human body is made strong and builds muscle through exercise, so the Church is strengthened by carrying out its duties. The opposite implication seems obvious. Just as the human body can become out-of-shape and unhealthy without exercise, so can the Church be distorted and unhealthy if the duties are neglected. It is the combination of entering his presence and executing our practices that lead to a healthy, growing church. Let us be active in carrying out our responsibilities and thereby grow and build up the Church!
God desires the whole world to be unified in faith and the knowledge of Christ. It is his great desire for everyone to be saved and to personally know his son. He also desires his children to grow up and become mature. And ultimately, his desire is for the whole earth to be filled with his glory. He wants every person on the face of the planet to be completely filled with the fullness of Christ. This is the destiny that God desires for the Church and the whole world. This is the reason the Church exists. The Church is the instrument through which God desires to carry out his purposes on earth. Let us stay focused on the goal and bring unity, maturity and the fullness of Christ to a lost and dying world!
The Church is built upon the foundation of Christ. It finds strength and passion by abiding in his presence and enjoying a personal relationship with him. Then, the practices, or duties, flow naturally and build up the Church as each part does it’s work. All of this leads to unity, spiritual maturity and the fullness of Christ, not only in the Church, but in the whole earth.
This is what the Church is all about!
Ten Action-Steps to Building the Church
- Study the Scriptures to know him better.
- Pray and fast to develop your personal relationship with him.
- Worshiping: Honor God in the way you live as well as at church. Submit yourself to Christ.
- Serving: Honor others above yourself. Be a participator rather than just a spectator.
- Evangelizing: Tell your co-workers, neighbors, family and friends about Christ.
- Fellowshipping: Spend time with other believers. Help each other find a sense of belonging.
- Discipling: Be a life-long learner. Help others grow in their faith.
- Unity: Make every effort to strengthen and keep the unity.
- Spiritual Maturity: Keep on growing. Cooperate with the Holy Spirit to develop fruit.
- Fullness of Christ: Stay focused on the goal. Become less so that he can become more. Let his fullness consume you and shine through.