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Clarifying the purpose of the church.

Why does the church exist?

Ask that question to a variety of people, and you'll get a spectrum of opinions. Ask it to a pastor, and he may say: "It's the people of God, brought together to worship, to grow, to witness and serve." To a lonely widow: "It's my one lifeline to sanity. I don't know what I'd do without my church to hold on to!" To the parents of young children: "In our hectic, off-kilter world, we need a good place for our kids to find values, to grow up with something to believe in." To a teen: "Hey, this is where my friends and I can kick back and be mellow. I feel accepted here — even challenged."

Ask the question to a weary lay leader, and you may hear: "I suspect the church is where committees go to spawn subcommittees."

Why does a church exist? Consider what Jesus said to his about-to-be church: "Go, and make disciples … " and what Jesus asked the Father in prayer on behalf of the church: "that they may become completely one, so that the world may know" that ...

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