The Aim of the Church


Throughout history the church has time and time again faced persecution and loss from the outside and from within. As I write this, a church in Texas is mourning the loss of at least 26 of it’s members as a gunman brutally murdered them while they worshipped their Lord. The gunman was a devout atheist. The enemy deceives many people into atheism so that they never see their creator someday and others the enemy deceives into greater depths of depravity, such as this gunman. This is an example of the attack that the church will undergo from outside the church until Christ’s return.


The church will also suffer loss from within. The reformation is a key time in history where 500 years ago many men and woman gave of their lives and their comfort under the rallying cry- sola-scriptura. This was the greatest reform the church has seen and is a constant reminder to us today to always have the Word as the foundation for the church. The Word is very clear what the aim of the church should always be. It should be a single focus on making disciples for the glory of God.


Discipleship is a word that is often intimidating for believers. Many believers if they were asked have never been discipled. Riverside has broken this down into three simple statements- Bringing to Christ---Growing in Christ---Serving AS Christ. This is what discipleship is all about. We want people to come to know Jesus as their Savior through proclamation on Sunday morning, kids programs, small groups, and through relationship outside of our church. We then seek to help people grow in their faith. One way we seek to be intentional with this is through one on one or very small group discipleship. I am currently training our leaders at Riverside in a simple and yet profound discipleship program. It is only profound because it is grounded in scripture. I am not profound in any way. I am only a spiritually poor beggar (Matthew 5:3) who is seeking to show my brothers and sisters where the bread is.


This discipleship program first focuses on how we can defend and trust the Word of God. We then take someone through some hermeneutics or systematic way of correctly studying, interpreting, and applying the Bible to our everyday lives. The discipleship process then moves on to Identity as a believer, assurance, sanctification, connection to the body of Christ, and how to share ones faith. This takes time to train and will take time for people in our church to go through. However, it is time well spent and will deepen relationships with each other as well as our Savior. Our prayer is that this will result in multiplication. In our culture today the best way for multiplication and salvations to happen is through relationship and this is what discipleship is all about. Yet we know that the increase can only come from the working of the Holy Spirit in someone’s heart and so we remain reliant and expextant for our heavenly Father to bring fruit and heal our land.

Christ My Life,

Pastor TJ