Why Does the Local Church Exist?

Why does the local church exist?

In the Bible we find commands to equip the saints and disciple believers. We also find a command to evangelize. Local church services on Sunday mornings (or whenever they happen) often focus on one of these at a time. What does Scripture say about the function of the local church service or gathering?

This topic becomes even more complex when we consider things like operating in the charismatic gifts of the Spirit (such as tongues, prophecy, and healing). How do these things affect the church’s purpose in discipleship and evangelism?

Join the conversation! We do ask that you comment and contribute to this discussion here in the comment section rather than on social media. Answering with only one word or a short sentence is okay, but if you can provide some rationale as to what you think, it will help others grow through the conversation.

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6 Comments on "Why Does the Local Church Exist?"

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Scripture, especially throughout the NT and the start of the early church, has many instances where they were gathered together for prayer, for teaching, and in many cases for everything. It wouldn’t be necessary for us to gather together if there wasn’t an appointed position for a pastor or teacher. Since there is a leader named, there must be a group of individuals they lead. Since we are commanded to evangelize and bring people to know Christ, then where would we bring them to? Are we to only witness to them on the street or in the grocery store and hope they make it through life ok? It is vital for us to meet together to grow together, to expand our view of who God… Read more »
Michael Daugherty
I would ask that you do a study on the “command to evangelize” part. Most notably the “great commission” you are most likely referencing. Does it even exist? How did it come about? What was the push politically, socially? Do the most ancient documents include this “commission”? How does the scripture before and after “the great commission” affect the context of the passages? Was it for the entire world to christianization one another or possibly only for a few in the presence of Christ at the time to market and sale an idea? It wasn’t written in English…how was the remaining portion of the population on the other side of the world (everybody outside of the middle east essentially) supposed to understand a greek written,… Read more »
I have studied the longer ending of Mark a bit and if it isn’t original (which there is a good chance it’s a harmonization) it doesn’t concern me. There is an account of Jesus sending out his disciples in every gospel. Everything in Mark is more abbreviated than the other gospels so I don’t think it should be a concern that the ending is more abrupt. Other gospels record multiple encounters with Jesus after his resurrection just because the short ending of Mark ends with saying the women didn’t tell anybody of Jesus’ resurrection doesn’t mean there weren’t other encounters with Jesus that weren’t written about in Mark. None of the gospels are an exhaustive biography of Jesus. John notes at the end of his… Read more »
Mark could never be a harmonization due to the mere fact it’s the first gospel written on the subject. Was it then a harmonization during the years the other gospels didn’t exist? And if you agree it’s a harmonization at the very least you then agree that the Bible than isn’t what we thought due to people adjusting or harmonizing scripture after the fact. It’s widely accepted among theologians in and out of religious colleges and universities that the other gospels borrowed from Mark and stamped their own feeling/spin to their narration of the “stories”. That’s not even a debate at this point. I see the blogs and sites of apologetics and conservative authors/theologians attempting to rationalize but it just never takes hold in my… Read more »
Brandon isn’t saying that the entire book of Mark was a harmonization. Only the longer ending. I’m sure you would agree that that is most certainly the case, as the earliest manuscripts do not include the longer ending. This means, as the book was translated and distributed, it was added to include a more comprehensive ending, like the other gospels that came after it. This isn’t a big deal. The issue isn’t whether or not it’s a harmonization or which came first. The issue is whether what the gospels record really happened or not. If you want to call into question the gospel’s testimony because of some source criticism for which we will never be able to know (speaking to your analogy of know where… Read more »
Michael Daugherty

“How does adding a couple of extra words, that only strengthens the theology of the text not detract, take away from what they say?”–Chris Lamberth