An Army nurse was infamous in medical circles because of her tendency to wander away from the medical camp onto the battlefield itself. Occasionally, she would personally drag in a soldier who was in dire need of medical attention. More than once, she was reprimanded because she brought in not only American soldiers but also enemy soldiers. One day, an officer discovered her on the battlefield and asked her what she was doing there. Her answer was a classic statement of purpose. She said: "I'm looking for the wounded, sir. That's my job."
Oh, that we in the church of Jesus Christ had such a clear understanding of our purpose! If you have gotten the idea that Christians have often turned the church into a special club it may not just be your imagination. In fact, any group called into being for a purpose, needs to continually assess its pressent progress in light of its mission statement. It is so easy to become "something else." Our mission statement has three unifying ideas. Simply put they are: 1. Win people to Christ, 2. Help them grow up spiritually, and 3. Train them to minister to others. That doesn't mean we don't do other things also. But all those "other things" had better be related to numbers 1, 2 and 3 or we should change our mission statement.
I am not only concerned about the church as a body understanding its purpose, but each person within the body as well. The Lord hasn't called each of us just t0 be a better parent, or mate, or employee (as important as that is). He also put His Spirit within us so that we become interested in the eternal welfare of others as well. Jesus spoke often about our purpose and even established the priorities for us: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." (Matthew 22:37-40). A child of God who has begun the blessed task of learning to love the Lord with all his heart, soul and mind usually proceeds to learn to love his neighbor as himself. In other words, he can't help but stray out onto the battlefield looking for the wounded. That's his job. Bring some wounded with you to church this Sunday and let us help you love them into the Kingdom.
Senior Pastor of Cactus Christian Fellowship