man in praise

For disciples of Christ there is one, and only one, reason for our existence. Many of us who labor in Christian ministry often fall into a common trap—we believe that the raison d’être for the church of Christ is small groups, or outreach, or benevolence, or . . . (our favorite ministry area at the moment).

The fact of the matter is that the sole reason we exist is to glorify God. He chose us as a people in order to bring glory to Himself. (1 Peter 2:9-10).

Of course the things mentioned above (small groups, outreach, etc.) can and do bring glory to God when done properly; however, we must always keep in perspective that it is the honoring of God and not the humanly-measurable results that are of primary importance.

That is why, in my mind at least, it all boils down to one thing: discipleship. As the church of Christ, being and making disciples is what we are all about. Imitating Christ is the goal for which we strive; teaching others to do the same is the reason we are still living on this earth.

The challenge is that Christian service (to God and to others) that truly imitates Christ demands the heart of a heavenly slave, not the ego of an earthly ruler. Because of the selfish desires of our deceitful hearts we seek (and often receive) personal recognition for doing good. How difficult it is for us to deny ourselves, humble our egos, and quietly serve alongside our fellow-disciples. How seemingly impossible it is for us to truly allow God to receive the glory as we quietly live our lives out in community with Him.

Ironically, it is only the unselfish, harmonious, and communal living modeled by the family of God that will attract a self-centered, competitive, and lost world to Him. That kind of living is only attained when discipleship is taken seriously.

Therefore, the reason we live is to glorify God. And we can only do that when we imitate Christ