The Great Ends of the Church

The Great Ends of the Church

What is the Church’s Mission? What does the Presbyterian Church (USA) believe and teach about our guiding principles? The Great Ends of the Church as outlined in the Book of Order (2017-F- 1.0304) are revitalizing and giving focus to Presbyterian Churches around the nation. Our six banners hanging in the sanctuary represent each purpose. But, do we know what they represent?  And, more importantly, how does this congregation live out these six principles? 

First, get to know the Great Ends of the Church.

  • The proclamation of the gospel for the salvation of humankind
  • The shelter, nurture and spiritual fellowship of the children of God
  • The maintenance of divine worship
  • The preservation of the truth
  • The promotion of social righteousness
  • The exhibition of the Kingdom (Kin-dom) of Heaven to the world.

Second, for fun, try to match these statements to the sanctuary banners.

Third, write down the ministries, groups, activities, and missions that we have in the church.

Fourth, how do you fulfill the principles listed?

In the magazine, “Presbyterians Today” (August/September 2018), “Don’t go to church. Be the church!” is the motto of the “Church Has Left the Building” movement that has spread like Holy Spirit fire to Woodstown Presbyterian Church in Woodstown , New Jersey”.   They act out the first principle by going into the community on Sundays.  One of my former congregation’s Sunday school classes went door to door collecting canned goods to wheel down the aisle just in time for the offering.   Maybe that is not the best way for us to “proclaim the gospel”.  Think outside the box or outside the church. Take seriously and literally the “Charge” to “Go out into the world….and proclaim the gospel”.  Use words if necessary.

Starting October 14th, I will preach on each principle of the “Great Ends” and ask you to write your ideas on six posters.  Who are we now?  And, who are we called to be today and tomorrow?  What does it mean to be relevant, vibrant, real and missional.

October 7 – World Communion Sunday          Peace & Global Witness

October 14 – Great Ends of the Church #1     “Be the Church in the World”

October 21 – Great Ends of the Church #2     “All Children Are Welcome”

October 28 –   Great Ends of the Church #3   “For All the Saints”   Prayers of  the People

Looking ahead-

November   4:  Great Ends of the Church #4                “The Truth is…”    “How Firm a Foundation”

November 11:  Great Ends of the Church #5   “Social Righteousness”     Justice and Mercy

November 18:  Great Ends of the Church #6   “Heaven on Earth?”

November 25:  The Reign of Christ (Sunday before Advent) 

                                                                        Yours in Christ’s Service, Pastor Deb