by Jerry Vines

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CHURCH 2000 (3 of 12)
Acts 9:31
Jerry Vines

Soon after I finished school and was in my first
church after going to school, I became a frustrated
young pastor. I knew God had called me to preach. I
knew He had called me to be the pastor of a church,
but I found myself involved in so many different
activities I wasn't really just exactly sure what I
was supposed to do. I really wasn't sure exactly what
a church is and what a church was intended to do. In
my frustration I was led to the New Testament and I
began to study trying to find out what a church is and
what a church is intended to do. My church led me to
the book of Acts and there I found the answer to my

The book of Acts has been called Infant's
Progress because this book tells us about the birth
and the growth of the baby church. As I began to
study about the church of the New Testament in the
book of Acts, I found out what the church is. I also
found out what the church is not. I found out that
the church is not primarily a social institution.
Now, there is a social aspect to a church, of course.
I talked last Sunday night about the matter of
fellowship. But a church is not primarily a social
institution where physical needs are met and where
inner personal relationships occur. If that's all it
is then the Red Cross or a local civic club could
fulfill the bill.

It is not primarily a recreational institution.
The church has no primary responsibility to its
members to provide for its recreation. Recreation is
my own personal responsibility. However, I do think it
is possible in our day to use recreation and athletics
as an effective evangelistic tool to reach out and
lead other people to faith in the Lord Jesus. But
that is not the primary function of a church.

Nor is the primary purpose of a church to be an
educational institution. Of course, we know that
educ ...

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