Upon committing to follow Jesus as Lord, a believer becomes part of His body, which is the church (the people, not the building, and not the gathering). There is one universal church, composed of all those throughout the world who acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. The normal practice of the church since New Testament times has been to gather as the local church – those who are living in the same area – to be the expression of the universal church in that area.


This normally involves coming under local elder leadership (Acts 14:23), the mutual ministry to edify (build up) one another using the spiritual gifts God has given to each (Romans 12, 1 Cor. 12 – body life, Eph. 4:16), for prayer, teaching and the study of God’s Word (Rom. 15:301 Tim. 2:1James 5:161 Tim. 5:172 Tim. 4:2), for worship (Eph. 5:19Col. 3:16), for fellowship (Acts 2:42Heb. 10:24-25), and for the ordinances of baptism and communion (1 Cor. 11:17-34). The mission of the church is the great commission, to make disciples, this is the focus of all we do, for God’s glory (Matthew 28:16-20Romans 12:1-2).  The working of all believers, in a local setting is toward unity and oneness in Christ Jesus by humility and considering others more significant than ourselves (Phil. 2:1-13).