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Pastorís Pen cont.

Matt 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,† 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen. (NKJV) Further discussed by Paul in his letter to the Church at Ephesus: Eph 4:10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.) 11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head ó Christ ó† 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. (NKJV throughout)†

It is revealed in Jesus' prayer for the church when Jesus prayed for His Disciples. John 17:6 "I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word 9 "I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. 11 Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are.† 12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.† 15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.† 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.† 17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.† 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.† 19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.

These five facets of health were evident in the first church in Jerusalem, a Church that started out with a bang and then found itself persecuted and scattered; itís leaders martyred and its members in hiding. Acts 2:42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. 46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

We see them fellowshipping, edifying one other, worshipping, ministering and evangelizing. Church health can only occur when our message is biblical and our mission is balanced. When you study the reasons people choose a Church, how often is a Church chosen by for its doctrines and teachings?† And, we must be aware that is in our nature to overemphasize the aspect or purpose of the church we feel most passionate about.† We cannot neglect any of these five purposes of the Church.† We certainly don't do them all equally well, but we must not neglect a one!†

Let us grow warmer through fellowship, deeper through discipleship, stronger through worship, broader through ministry and larger through evangelism!


May God Bless You in Your Ministry!

Jeff Booth