What Is the Purpose of the Church?

It has often been said that “the church is God’s Plan A for working in the world, and there is no Plan B.” We don’t disagree with that. Similarly, third century theologian Cyprian of Carthage once said, “No one can have God for his Father, who does not have the church for his mother.”

Cyprian also said, “Outside the Church, there is no salvation.” While we don’t take his meaning literally, this axiom offers important wisdom. There is no way for people in the world to experience Jesus and be formed by his way of life apart from walking alongside other Jesus people.

But what exactly is the church? What is its purpose of the church and its and function in the world?

While most of us would agree upon a set of theological tenets when it comes to the church, there are also many fundamental questions that we often let go unspoken. And even without us talking about them, they provide a rubric for the practical concerns we think are important.

In this episode, we probe into some of those questions: Who is the church for? What should it be doing in the world? And where is allowable, and even healthy, to have disagreement over those questions?


READ: Why the Decline of Denominations Should Concern Us
READ: How to Know if Your Denomination Is the Right One
READ: Why I Still Call Myself an Evangelical

LISTEN: Can You Walk Away From Church Without Walking Away From Jesus?
LISTEN: Ecumenism: How United Should the Global Church Be?
LISTEN: Church as a Business?
LISTEN: Things in History the Church Got Right


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