If you wanted me to break down the entire mission of the Church into a few simple statements, this is what I would say.
- Find lost people. The Bible describes people who have not made Jesus their Lord and Savior as lost. These people are separated from God and his family. Like a good shepherd, we must search everywhere to find them and bring them back home safely.
- Keep found people from getting lost again. In the classic hymn Come Thou Fount, there is a line that says, “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it. Prone to the leave the God I love.” That line describes all of us as believers. We love God, and yet we are prone to wander off on our own. The Church is to try and connect people with one another and help change them, never to desire to wander away again.
- Bring back the people who were found and now are lost again. Unfortunately, those who once came to know Jesus will sometimes walk away. Many times, this is the result of them getting too busy, entangled in sin, or just drifting aimlessly. I once heard a minister say that this is the hardest group to reach, but they still need great grace.
When I say these are things, “the Church” should be doing. I do not mean just the Church as an organization. I mean, these are the jobs of the people who follow Jesus. These are not only the responsibility of the staff, elders, deacons, teachers, and leaders. These represent the work of which every believer should be engaged. Perhaps you are more inclined to do one of these, and that is why we need each other. As your preacher, I cannot do it alone. All of us need to take seriously what God has called us all to do, today and every day.