What Is the Work of the Church?

Determining what is the work of the church is not a simple task. First, one has to read through the whole New Testament and look at the commands and examples that are given. Usually an attempt is made to categorize each command or example to simplify understanding the basic end results and group specifics under those categories.

There have been many attempts to categorize the work of the local church. Most of the attempts I have seen are arranged like this:

  1. Edification
  2. Benevolence
  3. Evangelism

These are part of the work, but I am not sure if they really include everything. Our brother, Mike Wilson, of California, USA, makes the list like this:

  1. Unify
  2. Edify
  3. Glorify
  4. Supply
  5. Multiply

As you can see, Brother Wilson breaks it down a little more. Unity is a critical part of the Lord’s church as a whole and in local churches. I believe that this could be left under the idea of edification, since effective edification should bring unity. But unity certainly is something that takes a lot of work and Brother Wilson points out that unity comes from relationships together, not just teaching. I will only address “Unify” in the section that deals with how the work is done.

Glorifying God is the other addition to the list. This is primarily the idea of worship. It is one of the main purposes of the church and I am not sure why it is generally thought of separately from the work of the church. It is a work and we will consider it along with the other work that the church must do.