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The Church’s Purpose

From Out of Ur comes some survey results regarding the purpose of the church.  1,000 people were asked, “Why does the church exist?”  What’s your answer?  See below to see a good quote regarding the survey results.

“In a recent survey of 1,000 church attenders, respondents were asked, ‘Why does the church exist?’ According to 89 percent, the church’s purpose was ‘to take care of my family’s and my spiritual needs.’ Only 11 percent said the purpose of the church is ‘to win the world for Jesus Christ.’” – Greg Laurie, senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California.

Our culture has a consumerist approach to church, in which the church’s purpose is to meet my personal and family needs.  This is a misunderstanding of church.

The church is God’s community of people, who meet each others needs and spread the good news of the gospel into the world.  When looking for a church, rather than looking at how a church meets our personal needs, I might suggest a different question to ask:  “Does this church give me and my family opportunities to use our gifts and talents in the service of others, both Christians and non-Christians?”

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  1. mikewittmer
    July 18, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    Wow. This article did not meet my needs at all. I’m out of here! 🙂

    Given that almost everyone has the wrong view of church, I would be worried if I was the pastor of a numerically successful church. I’m sure that many large churches are large for the right reasons, but surveys like this would be a wake-up call nevertheless.

  2. John Lemke
    July 19, 2010 at 10:14 am

    Mike, I’m trying to decide if having a big church means people are attending for the wrong reasons. But that could happen in a small church, too, if people’s driving desire is an intimate social club. So I think that we can have a wrong view in a church of any size.

    Full disclosure: I looked for the survey results online and could not find them, so I don’t know where the numbers come from – I can only find Greg Laurie’s original article, which is very good, here: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2460056/posts

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