HOME | Site Map | Contact | Site Search | Bible Search | Feeling Alone?
Spiritual Disciplines
Find Your Place
Main
Intro: P M P
Spiritual Gifts
Temperament
Talents & Skills
Experiences
Heart's Call
EMIM
Bibliography
Class Notes
NorthStar
FYP Index
Session 1:
Purpose of
the Church
Session 2:
Spiritual Gifts
Session 3:
Spiritual Gifts
Session 4:
PMP
Session 5:
EMIM
Gifted2Serve
Church Planting Vision
APK Architecture
Links
About Us
Your Most Important Relationship

FYP logoNorthStar
Find Your Place NorthStar Edition
Session 1: The Purposes of the Church


"Our Mission: To bring people to Jesus and membership in His family,
develop them to Christlike maturity, and equip them for their ministry in the church
and their life mission in the world, in order to magnify Godís name."

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 6 purposes are contained within the mission of NorthStar, and how they are accomplished:

  1. Evangelism: To bring people to Jesus
    • Inviting others to church
    • Servant evangelism activities
    • Coffee House
    • Women's Hike
    • Developing small groups
    • Miscellaneous other "involvement" activities

  2. Fellowship: Membership in His family
    • Friendly and comfortable atmosphere
    • Developing small groups
    • Sunday dinners (upcoming)

  3. Discipleship: Develop them to Christlike maturity
    • Small groups - Wednesday
    • Small groups - Sunday dinners (upcoming)

  4. Ministry: Equip them for their ministry in the church and their like mission in the world
    • Servant evangelism activities
    • As-needed basis
    • Developing small groups

  5. Worship: In order to magnify Godís name.
    • Sunday mornings - "We rock"

  6. Prayer: ?????
    • Small groups

If you notice, the small-group setting is the strongest avenue in which the ministry of the church takes place. Being involved, and getting others involved in small groups is the key to effective ministry in the local church.

Part 2 - The Individual in the Church

  • What is the primary purpose for each person's existence?
    • Glorify God
      • "The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever." - Westminster Catecism
      • "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-for this is your spiritual act of worship." - Romans 12:1
  • How do we do this?
    • Don't conform, but be transformed!
      • "Do not conform any longer to the patter of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing, and perfect will." - Romans 12:2

  • You mean we can really know exactly what Godís will is?

  • How can I be transformed, then?
  1. Spiritual Gifts
    • Romans 12:3-8
      • Each part does its function - just like a body. A finger can't exist without a heart to pump blood to it. The heart pumping blood is useless without the lungs putting air into the blood.
      • "According to the grace given us" - means that we must be recipients of God's grace. In order to be recipients, we have to accept it. In order to have spiritual gifts, we must have our salvation nailed down.
    • 1 Corinthians 12:1 - "Now about spiritual gifts, I do not want you to be ignorant." - I think Paul is pretty clear here. He then goes on and gives extensive instructions inf chapters 12, 13, and 14 about what the gifts are and how they should be used.
    • 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 - "just as he determines" - we are not the ones who choose what our spiritual gifts are. God knits us together for a specific purpose, and he directs us, or calls us to fulfill that particular function.

    Working definition: A Spiritual Gift is the particular ability given to individual Christians to accomplish a specific role or task within the ministry of the body.
                Notice all the individualistic words: "particular," "individual," "specific." That is the key to understanding spiritual gifts, they are given to individuals for the purpose of a specific role in the body.

  2. Spiritual Disciplines
    • Romans 12:9-16
      • "Keep your spiritual ferver" - although the english translation ends this thought with "serving the Lord." and adds a period, I believe that the entire section gives us instructions on how we can keep our spiritual fervor. By practicing spiritual disciplines, we are kept in an intimate relationship with God and will be neergized for ministry.
      • Just like when we feed and excercise children as they grow up and mature, we must feed and excercise our spiritual lives in order to mature and be healthy as Christians. Without food and excercise, we will waste away and die. The same goes for our spiritual lives.
    • Richard Foster: Celebration of Discipline - I highly suggest this book for further understanding about spiritual disciplines. Foster not only gives excellent biblical reason for why we should practice each spiritual disciple, but he gives simple, practical steps that we can take to begin the discipline. He also gives some insight into what we can expect as we begin to practice the disciplines.
    • Donald S. Whitney: Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life. - This book is a little more difficult read, but I include it mainly because Foster does not include evangelism as a disciple, while this book does.

    Working definition: Spiritual disciplines are those activities that every Christian should be involved with in order to be in a place to mature in faith and bear spiritual fruit.
                Notice the universal word: "every."

  3. Spiritual Fruit
    • Romans 12:17-21 - while these actions can be characterized as disciplines, we must all admit that we have no desire to work this way on our own. As we practice the spiritual disciplines and are active in the ministry God has gifted us for, the fruit will be that we are enabled by the Holy Spirit to accomplish these kinds of things.
    • Galatians 5:22-23 - this is the primary scripture for spiritual fruit. Listed here are the basic characteristics of the fruit that results in a maturing Christian life: "For the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law."

    Working definition: Spiritual fruit is the tangible results of living and growing in the Christian life--the changed attitudes, actions, and thought-patterns that result from a transformed life in Christ.

Therefore: Let us Find Your Place!-The Personal Ministry Profile:

  • Understanding yourself:
    • How God has made you
      • Psalm 139:13-16 - whenever you begin to feel useless, this verse is an excellent encouragement, as it explains that everything in our lives has a purpose: God knew they were all going to happen before you were even born . . . and He has a reason for it.

Be a functioning part of the Body!

Click here to return to NorthStar FYP Index Page

TOP

Copyright ©2001 Andrew P Kulp

©2004, BuildingChurch Ministries