Every organisation has a purpose - a reason why they exist. Churches are no different. Without an idea of what you're there to do you will stagnate. In a different context the Bible states, "Without a vision the people perish".
So, what is the Congregation of Yahweh here for? To give us something to do at the weekend? To sing a few songs, meet a few friends and go away in a happy mood? No, indeed! We have a real reason to exist and members will be expected to follow that purpose and further it.
Why should members do that? Well, why be a member if you don't like what the group you're a member of does? Why be a member if you are bent on following your own agenda? Let's make it clear - the Congregation of Yahweh is not a dictatorship, telling everyone what to do in every aspect of their lives. But it does reasonably expect its members to share its aims and help it promote them.
So what is the purpose of the Congregation of Yahweh? What's it there to do? What are members expected to follow? Our purpose is based on two statements made by Yahshua. They summarise everything we do. You'll notice: IT'S NOT ABOUT US!
The Great Commandment: “Yahshua replied, ‘Love Yahweh your Elohim with all your
heart…soul…and mind’. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second
is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’. All the Law and Prophets hang on these two
commandments” Matthew 22:37-40.
The Great Commission: (Yahshua said) “...go and make disciples of all nations, baptising
them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them
to obey everything I have commanded you” Matthew 28:19-20.
We go about this in a number of ways and it would be good for members to be familiar with them:
“The Father seeks worshippers…and His worshippers must worship Him in spirit and in truth”
John 4:23-24 (paraphrased).
Worship plays a big part in expressing our love to Yahweh. When we come together this is a big focus of our gathering.
“They joined with the other believers and devoted themselves to ...fellowship”
Acts 2:42 (NLT).
“All the believers met together constantly and shared everything they had” Acts 2:44
We're not a group of individuals - we're the Body of Yahshua. We love Yahweh by loving each other. In acring for each other we care for Yahshua, who says whatever we do for the least of His brethren we do for Him.
“...Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Messiah” 2 Peter 3:18.
“Yahshua has given some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare Yahweh’s people for
works of ministry, so that the Body of Yahshua may be built up until we all become mature
like Yahshua” Ephesians 4:11-13 (paraphrased).
We don't want people to get saved and remain spiritual babies all their lives. We place an emphasis on leading members to maturity in Yahshua. Members must want this and align themselves to it, taking opportunities to be involved and learn from others. By growing in grace and knowledge, members show a love for Yahweh (a desire to know Him) and a credibility in witness (their lives back up the gospel they proclaim).
“Each one of you should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully
administering Yahweh’s grace in its various forms” 1 Peter 4:10.
“Now Yahweh gives us many kinds of special abilities and there are different kinds
of service to Yahweh’s ministry. All of you are a separate and necessary part of it” 1
Corinthians 12:4-5, 27 (LB).
Members should take but must also give. By using the gifts Yahweh has given us we love Him through showing His grace to others. As we serve others we are serving Him. As we serve others we are ministering to them as a demonstration of Yahweh's grace.
We need to reach out to unchurched people - they matter to Yahweh (2 Peter 3:9; Luke 15:3-10) and He commands us to (Luke 14:23; Acts 1:8).
“Anyone who calls upon the name of Yahweh will be saved. But how shall they ask him
to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have
never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?”
Romans 10:13-14 (LB).
It's not about building up the Congregation of Yahweh - it's about extending the Kingdom of Yahweh. Yahshua said He will build His church and we want to be a part of that!
We believe the New Covenant community, as seen in Acts 2 and onwards, lived out its life on the foundation of these purposes. It made that community dynamic, mobile, attractive, and an agent of change in the world. Our intention is to recapture the life, vitality and power of the early New Covenant congregation; our vision and purpose is to build ‘Dynamic Church Communities’ bringing change to the wider community. And we need our members to devote themselves to that.
For just as each of us has one body with many members...