As a church, we are called to be a place that works differently from the world around us. In order to be faithful Christians, we almost have to become “countercultural.” If the world is frantic, we have to be an island of peace. If the world alienates, we need to be loving and hospitable. If the world is lonely, we need to be a place of intimate community. If the world is selfish, we need to be a safe place willing to share one another’s burdens. If the world is cynical, we must be people who trust one other.
People don’t come to church for more of the same old world. They come seeking God. They come longing for peace. They come to be adopted into a family of faith where they will be embraced for who they are and given the opportunity to use their abilities to glorify God and worship Him.
God is glorified when growth and Christ-likeness is seen among Christians. The primary way to encourage holiness is through the teaching of Scripture. Once disciples are made, they are to be taught all things that Christ has commanded. The primary way in which a church exalts Christ is through the use of God-given talents and abilities. It is through the interaction of the body of Christ and each believer exercising his spiritual gift for the benefit of the common good (1 Corinthians 12:7) that the whole gives glory to God and exalts His name. (Acts 2:42; 1 Corinthians 14:26; Colossians 1:28).
The New Testament church gathered together primarily for the purpose of edification, and then scattered for the purpose of evangelism. The primary way to encourage holiness is through the teaching of Scripture. The goal of our worship service is to nourish, build up, and train the saints so that they can go out and become effective witnesses. Therefore, the main focus of our worship is to strengthen and equip Christians, not to attract and win the lost. That is not to say that there will never be an appeal to the unbeliever, but that the focus of worship is to equip the saints.
The Great Commission gives the church the great responsibility and privilege of evangelizing the lost world. Evangelism is to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the whole world. This must be done clearly, accurately, consistently, and humbly. We must dependently and passionately pray for God to grant people repentance (Acts 1:8; Romans 1:14-16; 2 Timothy 4:5; Matthew 28:18-20).