What does the Bible say about the mission of the church?
Jesus said He would build His church (Matthew 16:18), so the mission of the church comes from Jesus (Acts 20:28; 1 Corinthians 3:9, 17; 15:9).
First, to understand what Jesus wants of the church, we must know and understand Jesus. To do so, read the Bible—His Word (John 1:1–14). Jesus is "the sun about which the whole mission of the church revolves," as W. C. Robinson writes in Baker's Dictionary of Theology. He goes on to say, "Public worship is the encounter of the risen Redeemer with His people; evangelism is calling men to the Savior; publishing the law of God is proclaiming His lordship; Christian nurture is feeding His lambs and disciplining His flock; ministering to the needs of men is continuing the work of the Great Physician."
Jesus calls us, the church, to make disciples—followers of Jesus. He provided the "Great Commission" to His followers as He prepared to return to heaven, send the Holy Spirit, and start the church. He said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:18–20).
Part of the mission of the church is to glorify Jesus—meaning to emulate and honor Him, and replicate His mission. "In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory" (Ephesians 1:11–12). The church is designed to point others to Jesus, to care compassionately for others, to proclaim the truth, and to show what a free and forgiven people look like.
The lifestyle of those who are part of the church should reflect Jesus' values. Colossians 1:13–14 says, "He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." See also 2 Corinthians 6:14—7:1; Ephesians 5:23–32; 1 Timothy 3:15).
Another part of the mission of the church is growing the maturity of Jesus' followers. "Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing" (1 Thessalonians 5:11). The church should show the world what the family of God looks like on earth (Mark 3:35; Ephesians 2:19–22; 4:4–32).
"By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:35).
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