Ecclesiology 101 (Part 1)
The other day I overheard a mother tell her teenage son that they were going to go to church on Sunday. The son, obviously not a big fan of the idea, defiantly asked why they would want to do such a silly thing. After grasping for a reason for a few moments, the mother mumbled something about praising Jesus and then assured her son that he was going to be in attendance the following Sunday. What struck me about this conversation wasn’t the fact that a teenager didn’t like the idea of going to church, surely that is nothing new. And I don’t think we can fault the mother for saying that church is about “praising Jesus,” for that is an integral part of being the Body of Christ. Rather, what was troubling to me is the reality that this mother, like most of us, didn’t seem to know why we should go to Church. A few weeks after I eavesdropped on this conversation I had a friend ask me why he should bother with church, and I am ashamed to say that I did not have a much better answer than the mother did.
As followers of Christ we all know—or should know—that church is a vital part of our spiritual lives. But articulating why it should be the case, or even what the purpose of church is, seems strangely elusive for most of us. After some thought, I have come up with five functions that the local church should be doing on a weekly basis. Additionally, there are at least four different types of arguments that validate our weekly attendance of our churches. I will simply introduce the various pieces of the argument today, and will expound upon them in the following weeks.
The Corporate Purposes of the Church
Reasons for Church Attendance
Check back in the following weeks as we will fill out a robust ecclesiology (doctrine of the Church), and feel free to leave your comments as well!