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Find Your Place EMIM Discovery edition
Session 1: The Purposes of the Church


"We believe Godís purpose for Lakeview Baptist Church is to love the Lord God and to express that love by making, nurturing, and equipping disciples of Jesus Christ in Auburn, and throughout the world."

Church growth advocates point to 5 overall purposes of the church, derived from Acts 2:42-47. These 5 purposes are: discipleship, fellowship, ministry, worship, and evangelism. Some church growth advocates include prayers as a 6th purpose, and I tend to agree. I would also point out that fellowship should not be a priority in planning ministries, because it is a natural bi-product when Christians work together in ministry.

Here is how those 5 purposes are contained within the purpose of Lakeview, and how they are accomplished:

1. Love the Lord God
      Worship is an act of love.
      Love is also the basis of the Gospel:
            You can not worship a God you do not know.
            Loving God is the greatest commandment: Mark 12:29-31

2. Making Disciples
      Evangelism
            FAITH
            Annual Crusade
            The Lamb and other special events
            Sunday School
Studies have repeatedly shown that a vast majority of people who accept Christ have done so as a result of an established relationship. Sunday School is the primary relationship-arm of the church.
      International Missions Projects
            Short-term projects (ongoing--gave several current examples)
            Career and long-term projects (currently serving missionaries)
            Sunday School
Each Sunday School class should have adopted a missionary. Each person at Lakeview can use this as an opportunity to be involved in international missions through prayer and nurturing the missionaries.

3. Nurturing Disciples
      Ministry
            Benevolence Ministries
            Prayer Meeting
            Sunday School
While John Dale Rector and the laypeople who help him in the benevolence ministries do a great job of ministering to Lakeview members, the primary ministry arm is the people in the Sunday School class. Each class should be in continued contact with the members in order to meet needs and notify the church staff of needs beyond the class members' abilities. You are more effectively ministered to by those who know you best, and your Sunday School class will generally know you better than the staff.
      Fellowship
            Church-wide events (picnics, etc.)
            Sunday School
Your Sunday School class will be your primary avenue of fellowship with other believers. You will find that as you share other areas of ministry with those in your Sunday School class, your fellowship will grow stronger and more meaningful.

4. Equipping Disciples
      Discipleship
            Worship Service (preaching, quality music, testimonies, etc.)
            Sunday School
The Sunday School is the primary discipleship avenue in the church through quality Bible teaching in a small-group setting. If each Sunday School class member has reviewed the lesson prior to attending class each week, the discipleship process will be maximized.
            Small Groups (ladies Bible studies, D-groups, etc.)
            FAITH - continued training
The FAITH program is an on-going discipleship process in which a new level of training is offered each semester. Currently, 5 levels of training are available, with a new one to be introduced in the fall. FAITH is more than evangelism training, it's training in the Christian walk in order to maximize your daily witness.
            LIFE classes
            Seminars and special classes (EMIM Discovery, Perspectives, etc.)
            Every Member In Ministry (training in your area of ministry)

5. In Auburn
      Various ministries on Lakeview's campus
      FAITH
      Food Pantry (more than 5000 pounds given away in 2000)
      Other Benevolence (Lakeview gives more to help the needy in Auburn than any other church.)
      College Ministry (In a college town, this outreach is essential)
      Daily lives of Lakeview members
There is no greater witness to the community than the daily lives of Lakeview members. As our members live lives of godliness in the darkened world, and actively seek to invite people to Jesus, our ministry in this community is maximized.

6. Throughout the World
      Career Missionaries
            60+ Currently serving overseas, nearly half in closed countries.
            Pastoral vision of 200
      Short-term mission trips
      Financial gifts
            General giving
                  SBC Cooperative Program
                  Other missions causes
            Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong
            Other special projects

Miscellaneous additional information from class discussion:
      The worship attendance card is an excellent source of communication with the staff. These cards are not ignored. If you write a prayer need on your card, the staff will pray in Tuesday staff meeting. If you have a comment about a ministry area, it will be considered and dealt with accordingly. Please take advantage of this opportunity to help the Lakeview staff.

      Did you notice the pattern? Sunday School is the #1 essential ministry in the church, as all other ministries emerge from it. If your Sunday School class is not addressing these ministry areas, please let Phil Swearingen know, so he can address the issues appropriately in his Sunday School leadership meetings.

      For many churches in America, church membership means nothing. When we look at the church in the first 5 or 6 chapters of Acts, the very birth of the church, we see high expectations for the church. Ananias and Sapphira fell short of these expectations with their lives. As members of Lakeview, God is calling us to a high level of commitment in service to His Kingdom.

Copyright ©2001 Andrew P Kulp

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©2001, BuildingChurch Ministries