God, by His Word and Spirit, creates the Church, calling sinful men out of the whole human race into the fellowship of Christ’s body. By the same Word and Spirit, He guides and preserves that new redeemed humanity. The Church is not a religious institution or denomination. Rather, the Church is made up of those who have become genuine followers of Jesus Christ and have personally appropriated the gospel. The Church exists to worship and glorify God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It also exists to serve Him by faithfully doing His will on earth. This involves a commitment to see the gospel preached and churches planted in the entire world for a testimony. The ultimate mission of the Church is worship, and the means by which this is accomplished is the making of disciples through the preaching and embracing of the gospel. When God transforms human nature, this becomes the chief means of society’s transformation. Upon conversion, newly redeemed men and women are added to a local church in which they devote themselves to teaching, fellowship, the Lord’s Supper and prayer.
All members of the Church are to be a vital and committed part of a local church. In this context, they are called to walk out the New Covenant as the people of God and demonstrate the reality of the kingdom of God. The ascended Christ has given gift ministries to the Church (including prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers) for the equipping of Christ’s body so that it might mature and grow. Through the gift ministries, all members of the Church are to be nurtured and equipped for the work of the ministry. In the context of the local church, God’s people receive pastoral care and leadership and the opportunity to employ their God-given gifts in His service in relation to one another and to the world. (Ephesians 5:23; Romans 12:1; Acts 2:42-46; 1 Corinthians 14:26; Matthew 28:18-20).
Wherever God’s people meet regularly in obedience to this command, there is the local expression of the church – under the oversight of elders and other supportive leadership. The church’s members are to work together in love and unity, intent on the ultimate purpose of glorifying Christ (Ephesians 4:16).