The Non-Numerical Purpose of the Church

Church growth pundits have numbers on their minds. Glory for them is statistical increase. They deceive pastors and congregations into believing success and failure is based on numbers. When Christians gather, this is sure to be part of the discussion. The American church has long been run as an American corporation. Show me the numbers!

Jesus Christ promised to build His church (Mt 16:18), but His biblical methods (Word preached, Spirit regeneration) are mostly foreign to the church in America, today. “We need more programs, more events, more conferences in darker rooms, with louder music, in order to reach the next generation,” is the logic of church growth masters.

All of this frenetic activity does have the effect of more people in the mega-dark rooms, formerly known as, “church sanctuaries.” The domain of dark gathering places is designed to be worldly, on purpose. Instead of presenting something other-worldly, today’s church does everything possible to be as worldly as possible. Is this the purpose of the church?

The church of Jesus Christ is His body. The church is the sheep of His pasture. The church is the one holy nation under God. The church is a royal priesthood unto God. The church is the temple of the Holy Spirit. The church is the people of God’s own possession. The church is the Israel of God, a called-out gathering of God’s elect people from every nation, tribe, and tongue. The church is the bride of Christ. The church is the city of God, set on a hill, a place of refuge for God’s people in a dark world.

The church is comprised of the children of light, who bear witness to Jesus Christ, the Light of the world. The church proclaims Him, as Savior and Lord of all. The church is indwelt, filled with the Holy Spirit, who exalts the Son of God for all men to know Him. Most do not comprehend His majesty, but the Word has not failed.

Christ is made known in the heart of the believer, and He is praised in the gathering of regenerate believers. The Christian life is one of being transferred to, and then transformed by a life of worship. This is the purpose of the church.

When the church worships God the Father, in Spirit, and in truth (in Christ), then the purpose of the church is manifested. The world has no interest in this kind of worship. Entertainment for self-pleasure and self-satisfaction is the way of the world and the world is happy to provide the means and methods for self-worship…in the name of Jesus, of course. This is the fake church, led by false shepherds, desiring their own kingdoms, employing Jesus-lite to gain the whole world for themselves, if possible.

The true church, Christ’s little flock, the remnant, is awkward in the world. With spiritual maturity comes a heavy fleece, the product of God willing and doing His good pleasure. The greater the work of God in a sheep, the more peculiar a spectacle he is in the world. This is foolish to the world. It is glorious in the sight of God because His ways are higher than all man-made ways. We are fools for Christ, alien sojourners, a peculiar people, so unlike the world.

Christian, come out of the mega-nonsense, depart the caverns of darkness, refuse to listen to the false gospel of numerical growth. Fulfill your purpose in the church, that the church would fulfill its purpose. That purpose is to watch for, and then to bear witness of the Christ of God, doing His work of building His church, by His Spirit. The preaching of God’s Word, in the act of true worship, is the very means of producing true worshipers, for the glory of the Lord, who does all things well. That the world may know it is Him, not us, that willed and has done all things for His glory.

David Norczyk

Spokane Valley, Washington

October 9, 2021

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David Norczyk

Some random theologian out West somewhere, Christian writer, preacher