|This 3-part article deals with ecclesiastical expectations. It is a two-way relationship between you and your church. Here are the questions we will be focusing on: |
What do you expect from the church?
What does your church expect from you?
What does the Bible teach in regard to these expectations?
This post will address the first question: What do you expect from the church? More specifically, What do you see is the purpose of the local church? Why do they exist? Most likely, you expect more than one thing from the church. So, we may decide the primary purpose of the local church but also look at other things you think the church should be doing.
First, we need to define our terms for the discussion. Who are “YOU” in relation to the local church? This is difficult already because the church is so broad in regards to what it does, but for this conversation let’s just look at Sunday morning worship attendance.
YOU could be a Christian who is a Member and attends Sunday service weekly (Church Member)
YOU could be a Christian, but not a member of your local church, but attend weekly anyway (Attendee)
YOU could be not a Christian but attend on a regular basis (Attendee)
YOU could be someone who attends Sunday services occasionally (Visitor)YOU could be someone who attends only on holidays. (Visitor)
YOU could be someone who just lives in the community.
Already, we can see expectations of your local church could differ drastically based on one’s relationship with the local church body. For example, a father might buy his daughter a new car for her birthday, but only a card for the neighbor boy. That relationship is not the same. Same with the church. Everyone has a different relationship with the church.
The next term to define is “church.” Here are some other concepts people think of when they hear the word “church.”
The white building with the steeple on top
The Pastor and his staff
The Elders who lead the church
The people who attend the church on Sunday mornings
An online podcast / sermon / service
The denomination worldwide (i.e. Catholic, Methodist, etc)
Any combination of the above
Back to our question now: What do YOU expect from the CHURCH? Click on the question and give your answer. I’ll share your answers in a follow-up post/article.