The Great Ends of the Church


The Great Ends of the Church

January 11 - February 15, 2015

More than one hundred years ago, our denomination adopted a set of statements collectively referred to as The Great Ends of the Church. Even now, in the twenty-first century, these statements capture so well the purpose and function of the church in the world. It is an extraordinary challenge to keep these "great ends" in focus as we go about our life and work as a local expression of the body of Christ, but each of them represents an essential task, and to the extent that any one of them is neglected, we fail to be who God has called us to be.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Bryant Anderson

mp3 | Video | Ephesians 2:1-10

The Great Ends of the Church (Part 1)

The proclamation of the gospel for the salvation of humankind.

"Proclamation" is often thought of as the domain of the bold and the well-spoken (and, all too often, the crazy).  But proclamation does not have to mean shouting from the rooftops; instead it's something far more subtle, and critical to what it means to be the church.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Bryant Anderson

mp3 | Video | Colossians 3:12-17

The Great Ends of the Church (Part 2)

The shelter, nurture, and spiritual fellowship of the children of God.

The church is called to be a community that cares and provides for one another; that welcomes and shows hospitality to the stranger; and that provides a place of safety for all.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Bryant Anderson

mp3 | Video | Romans 12:1-13

The Great Ends of the Church (Part 3)

The maintenance of divine worship.

Paul speaks of worship in two ways:  offering our lives to God and being transformed by the renewing of our minds, both of which happen in the context of a community that gathers together regularly to give thanks and to be shaped by the good news of God's coming kingdom.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Bryant Anderson

mp3 | Video | Deuteronomy 6:1-9 & 1 Corinthians 1:18-25

The Great Ends of the Church (Part 4)

The preservation of the truth.

The task of preserving the truth is more difficult (and more critical) in a world in which our shared understanding of the meaning of "truth" has changed so drastically, and for the church much hinges on how we answer the question: "What is truth?"

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Bryant Anderson

mp3 | Video | Isaiah 58:3-10 & Matthew 5:6

The Great Ends of the Church (Part 5)

The promotion of social righteousness.

The phrase "social righteousness" has carried two primary meanings for Christians in 20th and 21st century America:  either it means individual uprightness, or it means social justice.  But as far as the church is concerned, both of these ends are two sides of the same coin - together they form a critical task for the church in any age.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Bryant Anderson

mp3 | Video | Matthew 5:13-16

The Great Ends of the Church (Part 6)

The exhibition of the Kingdom of Heaven to the world.

The final great end of the church is, in many ways, a summation of the five that precede it. At the end of the day, God has called the church to give the world a taste, a sample, a glimpse of God's coming kingdom, and we do that by being a particular kind of people—by being salt and light.