The church comes together regularly for the biblical purpose of making the Gospel visible through biblical means and disciplines: teaching and preaching, worship, prayer, the Lord’s Supper, baptism, training in evangelism, Gospel fellowship, care, respect, encouragement, discipline, rebuke, counsel, love for each other. The visible Gospel ministers to the believer and this visible Gospel ministry actively supports the mission - (points A-G above).
• Aim at ministry; you never get mission. Aim at mission, and you get ministry—ministry is the means by which you support and do mission. Rally around what you do outside the church ( 1 Thessalonians 3:1-13; 5:14-22, Philippians 4:10-23; Acts 2:42-47; 2 Corinthians 1; Philippians 4).
• The church gathers together regularly (Hebrews 10:24-25).
• Community fosters a fuller understanding of the Gospel (Philemon).
• Gospel community forms in the context of ordeal and mutual love. It could kill you, but if it doesn’t, it makes you stronger (2 Corinthians 1; John 13:34-35).
• Community is formed in the context of Christocentric Bible exposition (Luke 24:27; John 5:39; 1 John 1:1-3; John 15:1-11). Our fellowship with Jesus because of our sonship enables us to fellowship with each other around Him.
• Community is formed in the context of multi-generational, missionally oriented, teams.
• Ministry is the means of doing mission. You have to do ministry along the way. You have to be loving, serving together to achieve your mission. If not, then the Gospel becomes a civil religion that affirms my lifestyle. We use family to “resolve” the tension (Philippians 4).
• Every member contributes to the health of the body using a variety of spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12-14).
• Every member ministers to encourage and work together for the holiness of the church (1 Thess. 4:1-8).
• There are four elements of discipline necessary in the church. ( Matthew 18:5; Titus 3:10; Ephesians 4:1-8; Proverbs 27:17)
• Worship includes: prayer, preaching, giving, singing, Lord’s Supper, baptism reading the Scriptures. Worship is not synonymous with singing, but includes singing.
Questions to investigate:
a. What spiritual gift has God given you to build up the body of Christ?
b. Why does ministry come after mission?
c. Why are each of the following important in the church: forgiveness, self-control, love, joy, peace, patience, obedience. Why?
d. What are some character traits that need to be eradicated from the church?
e. What should the church do with a person who has no interest in mission, church planting, or sharing his faith?