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5 functions of the church

July 16th, 2010

5 Functions of the church
Long before Rick Warren wrote The Purpose Driven Life, we wrote “the purpose driven church.” For the past 15 years, Warren has been coaching pastors on leading churches with purpose. I can still remember reading that book when it came out and how deeply the words resonated with me. I had been looking for those thoughts for a long time. In the book he outlines 5 basic functions of every church. Warren gives good structure to what is a timeliess biblical explanation of the church.

When I had lunch with Kevin Joyce a couple of weeks ago (fractals.tv), he referenced the 5 functions and it set off a chain events in my mind. What is the church supposed to do?

The 5 functions are:
Evangelism: Telling the story of your changed life
Worship: A lifestlye of reverence toward God
Discipleship: Commitment to growing and raising others
Mission: Doing what God has called you to do
Fellowship: The unity of Christians as they follow Jesus

We can quickly run through the list, add our own justifications, and use it as a check list about whether our church is doing what it should, but the church is not a thing. We are the church. The 5 functions of the church are not a list of what each congregation should be doing. They are in fact a list of what should be inside of each congregant (that’s you and me).

We have to stop thinking of the church as a place we go. We have to stop judging different congregations on what they have or do not have. We need to see these 5 functions as a mirror to review our own calling. If indeed you are the church, how are you doing on each of these 5 functions?

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