How to Fulfill the Five Major Functions of the Church
Church is the spirit of God; it is
a community of life established through God’s Word. Church is also the body of
Christ, which God Himself (Christ) purchased with His blood (Acts 20:28; Rev
5:9; Eph 1:23). Church is also the house of God, the pillar and foundation of
the truth (1 Tim 3:15). Church is also the temple of God,
the house of the Holy Spirit (Eph 2:20-22; 1 Pet 2:5). Therefore, the church on
earth has the following five major functions: worship (worshipping God),
fellowship (loving one another), evangelism (preaching the Gospel), service
(serving God), and education (receiving admonishment).
How do we fulfill these five
functions? We must have the same mind as Jesus Christ. Humble ourselves before
the Lord and be submissive so that the Holy Spirit can guide us into the Bible
to understand the will of God. Also, like David, we delight to do God’s will
(Acts 13:22; Ps 40:8). By doing so, we will please God in whatever we do, be
blessed by Him, and glorify God through church, the body of Christ, just as what
Paul prayed for (Eph 3: 14-21).
The chosen people in the Old
Testament worshipped God by the letter of the law. It was of the outward
written code, and it was temporary; it did not please God (Heb 8:1-13; 10:
1-24; 9: 1-10). The worship in the New Testament is spiritual (Heb 12: 22-29)
The ministers of the New Testament (church) are
to do spiritual ministry (2 Cor 3:3-11)
It is of the Holy Spirit, not of the
letters. It is a glorious ministry (Acts ).
Our face having been unveiled, we behold
God’s glory in Christ (2 Cor 3:12-18).
True circumcision is to worship God with His
spirit in Christ (Phil 1:1-3; Col
Worship God according His will by relying on
the Holy Spirit (Rom -27;
Do not let anyone judge you on the matters
of worshipping (Col
Do not follow the world in self-imposed
Church is the spiritual house of holy priests (1
They are the chosen generation (1 Pet 2:9).
They are the royal priesthood (Rev 5:10).
They offer through Christ spiritual
offerings that are pleasing to God (Rom 8:26-27).
The worship before the throne is the spiritual
worship that is of the heaven (Rev 4:1-11; Acts 1:22-28)
The seven lamps of fire are burning (5):
guidance of the Holy Spirit.
The worship is guided by the four living
creatures (8-9): full-time workers.
The twenty-four elders support in worship
(10-11): church overseers.
Everyone holds a harp and a golden bowel
full of incense (Rev 5:6-14).
Every saint wears white rope, with palm
branches in their hands praising God (Rev 7:9-12).
They hold the harps of God and sing the song
of God’s servant Moses and the song of the lamb (Rev 15:2-5).
They praise God with Amen and Hallelujah (Rev
Teach and admonish one another with spiritual
wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in
your hearts to God (Eph 5:19; Col
Praise and worship must be emphasized. The
content must include praises, psalms, spiritual songs (lyrics of the hymnal),
and sing hymns with our heart.
Establish choirs to support worship services
(1 Chr 25:1-31; Ezra 3:10-11; Neh 12:27, 31, 38, and 41).
Edify one another with hymns, praising God
in our heart (Neh 12:46).
Praise and worship sessions should be
included in the formal worship activities; the worship sessions should be led
by the ministers (Rev 14:1-3).
Emphasis on prayer worship (Rev 8:3-5)
Praise the mighty works of God by praying in
the Spirit (Acts ; ).
Intercede for all saints through the Holy
Spirit (Eph 6:18; Rom 8:26-27).
Should be led by the ministers (Rev 4:8-11;
1 Cor 14:14-17).
Prayer and hymn-singing can be done
alternatively (Acts 16:25).
Emphasis on reading the Scriptures, the words of
God (Acts 15:21; Neh 8:1-9)
On the Sabbath day, Jesus went into the
synagogue, as was his custom, to read the Scriptures (Lk -21).
On the Sabbath Paul and Barnabas entered the
synagogue and sat down to read from the Law and the Prophets (Acts 13:13-15).
Speak from the Scriptures to exhort people
(Acts 13:16-44; 17:1-3).
Read the Scriptures clearly and give the
meaning so that the people could understand the reading (Neh 8:8).
Reading the Scriptures and praying can be
done alternatively (Neh 9:1-3; Acts 16:13).
Special emphasis on worship services on Sabbaths
Submit to the guidance of the Holy Spirit to
worship God on His holy mountain (Isa 58:13).
Pray in the house of God, enjoying joy in
the Spirit (Isa 58:14).
God shall nourish His children with the
words of His mouth and to give them eternal blessings (Isa 56:2).
Spiritual worship must emphasize on spirit and
truth (Jn 4:21-24)
Do not emphasize on the outward formality (Col; Mt 15:7-24).
With a reverent heart come to the throne of
grace in Spirit (Acts 10:30-33; Heb 4:16, 12:22-23).
In the name of the Lord worship God in the
Holy Spirit (Mt 18:19-20; Eph 5:20).
Spiritual worship must be like four living creatures
(Rev 4:6-8; Acts 1:4-28)
In the midst of the throne and around the
throne (Jn ).
Covered with eyes in front and in back (1
Cor 2: 14-16).
Praise the Lord God day and night (Eph 6:18;
Wings are connected and go wherever the
Spirit goes (Gal 5:25).
Fire moves back and forth among the
creatures (Rom 12:11).
Above the heads of the four living creatures
is the appearance of the likeness of God’s glory (Ezek 1:22-28; Eph 3:16-21).
Under the current system, how can the true
church implement spiritual worship? Are there any concrete plans that are
How can we enable the children to join in the
How can we enable the believers to join worship
services with a reverent heart?
Family is the most intrinsic and,
in nature, perfect fellowship unit God has established for men. It is a fellowship
between God and men, and between men and men (in the Garden of Eden). This
family is the household of Adam and also of God. It is a fellowship where all
things are in harmony with one another and it is filled with peace and joy.
After the devil tempted Eve to sin, this household was destroyed, until God
rebuilt it again through Christ the latter Adam. Today we have returned to the
house of God in Christ and the fellowship in this Garden of Eden is restored (1
Therefore, in order to fulfill the
fellowship within the church, we must understand that the essence of the
fellowship is like that of one family. Since the church is the house of God,
the fellowship within must become family-like.
Meaning of fellowship in Christ
The gentiles are fellow heirs,
fellow members of the body, and fellow sharers of what was promised in Christ
Jesus through the gospel (Eph 3:6)
Being fellow heirs—becoming of one household
All children of God (Gal , 4:4-7; Rom )
Have everything in common and share everything
(Acts 2:42, 44-45, 4:32)
Respect the elderly and love the young, devoted
to one another (1 Tim 5:1-2; Rom 12:10)
Being fellow members of the body—becoming one
body (Eph 1:23, 4:4)
Through the baptism of one Spirit we were all
formed into one body (1 Cor 12:13).
Every member is fitly joined and united together
through Christ (Eph 4:16; 1 Cor 12:27).
All members are combined together and have the
same care for one another (1 Cor 12:14-26).
Being fellow sharers of His promise—having the same
hope (Eph 4:5; 1 Pet 1: 3-4)
All are the descendants of Abraham (Gal 3:27-28;
All are called into fellowship with Christ (1
Cor 1:9; Eph 1:3-5).
All will dwell eternally with the Lord in the
heavenly home (Jn 14:1-3; 1 Thess 4:16-17).
Therefore, fellowship in Christ
must have the spirit of a family, sharing with each other the grace and truth
of Christ. They are of one body, sharing pains, sorrow and joy together. They
serve one another, have the lively hope of heaven, and strive together for the
gospel they believe (Phil 1:27, 2:1-2).
How to fulfill family fellowship
Establish Christ-like fellowship in the
household (Mt 18:19-20)
Start from the husband and wife—Read the Bible
together, pray, sing hymns, and share things with each other.
After the wife is pregnant, the fetus joins the
fellowship in the mother’s womb (Ps 22:9-10).
After the child is born, he/she starts learning
to live a life of fellowship in the family.
Children can be taught how to sing hymns, pray
in understanding and memorize verses.
When children start going to school, they can
try leading the fellowship and read the Scriptures.
After the age of ten, children can join the
During every fellowship, parents should bless
the children with prayers in understanding.
Each fellowship time needs not to be long and
can be adjusted based on the actual situation.
Babies and children can leave after they finish
When encountering difficult biblical questions,
jot them down and ask the ministers.
Establish regional family fellowships
A regional family fellowship can be established
by the 2-5 families that live closest to one another.
By rotation, hold a weekly fellowship at each
household at a fixed day.
All the members in a family should join the
During fellowship let the children present their
programs first, and then they can break for activities (can assemble in another
room, letting the older children lead).
Adults and youths can continue to share their
reflections from reading the Bible or experience about their life of faith.
We can invite friends or relatives to attend
this kind of fellowship so that they can share, in a very natural and relaxed
atmosphere, the benefits of our faith. Then we can further bring them to church
to seek the truth (Acts 10:24).
Members of the fellowship should share out the
work and cooperate with one another according to each person’s talents.
Outdoor fellowship activities can also be held
based on the actual needs, especially for the region where there are more
children. The activities can also be held jointly with other regional
The regional coordinator should follow up on and
pastor the truth-seekers or newly baptized members in his/her region.
Each region should have a coordinator,
responsible for communicating with the church.
The church should arrange ministers and board
members to guide and care for the weaker regional fellowships.
The church should hold a combined fellowship
monthly for all the regions.
Choose a time that is most suitable for everyone
Share the programs prepared by the children or
youths in each region.
Share the cream of Bible reading reflections or
testimonies of each region for the month.
The leader should prepare in advance a passage
to read and for exhortation during the fellowship.
Since the fellowship may take a longer duration,
tea times may be arranged to allow free communion time.
Target is church becomes
Establish every kind of fellowship based on
Fellowship for the ordained ministers and church
council members (Acts 13:1-3)
Pray for each other member at home at a fixed
time each day.
Fellowship session is to be held every Sabbath
an hour prior to the morning service. Share Bible reading reflections and
working experiences during the former half of the session, and fasting and
praying during the latter half.
Arrange a visitation trip to members’ or
truth-seekers’ houses every month.
Hold a one-day spiritual cultivation seminar every or every other season.
Attend the national training seminar every year.
Husbands and wives should attend the fellowship
Fellowship for RE teachers
The coordinator should lead and establish an RE
Hold the fellowship before and after RE lessons
Design the content of the fellowship according
to the teaching goals of the RE.
There should be an RE spiritual cultivation
seminar every season.
There should be a longer RE training worship
Teachers (of each class) can hold visitation
trips at appropriate times.
It is even better if parent-teacher meetings can
be held every term.
This type of fellowship plays an
important role in fulfilling the works of the RE.
Fellowship for the Junior 1 youths
Adolescence is a wonderful period to establish
fellowships (Lk 2:42-47).
There should be counselors helping the youths to
lead a life of spiritual fellowship.
J2 lessons ought to be run in the fellowship way
so as to achieve the best result.
Counselors should establish the fellowship
spirit of caring for each other, sharing, and learning to participate in
Counselors ought to have high fellowship spirit
and good leadership.
Fellowship for the Junior 2 youths
Having gone through the J1 youth fellowship, the
J2 class can establish a fellowship easily.
The fellowship activities are designed together
by its members who share responsibilities and serve one another.
Teachers participate in the fellowship as big
brothers, giving guidance and counseling when necessary.
Fellowship for the senior youths (including campus
This is a completely self-established and
It should be under the care of the ministers who
posses the gift of counseling.
The church should choose an appropriate family
to care for a campus fellowship.
The fellowship leaders should undergo training
for spiritual counseling.
Fellowship for the social youths
Establishing a fellowship for the
yet-to-be-married social youths is a great way to strengthen faith. In the
meantime, it also faces the most difficulties.
Must understand the situation of each individual
member and divide into small group fellowships.
From small group fellowships to form the
combined fellowship as a whole.
The format and content of the fellowship is
designed together by its members.
The church specifically arranges someone to
coordinate and design the combined fellowship. The time, content, and format of
the fellowship should be discussed and decided together by the coordinator of
Fellowship for the young married couples
Members of the fellowship should also include
the unbelieving partners, so that they can be led to believe in the Lord
through the fellowship.
Fellowships can be held once every season,
coordinated and designed by the church committee.
The goal of the fellowship is to share
reflections on how to establish Christ-like families.
If children are present during fellowship, the
church should arrange to have them taken care of.
Fellowship for the elderly
Formed by elderly members who are 65 years old
and older and have retired.
The purpose is to make use of the golden period
at the old age to serve the church.
At the same the church can provide special care
for the elderly members.
The fellowship needs not to be rigidly adhering
to its format, content, or time, which can all be flexibly designed based on
the goals of the fellowship.
Coordinated by the church committee.
Jesus Christ became flesh and
dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.
It is for the purpose of preaching that he had come forth (Jn 1:14; Mark 1:38).
Therefore, Jesus lived a life of evangelism on earth. He said to his disciples, “My food is to do
the will of Him who sent me, and to finish his work” (Jn 4:34). Jesus
clearly told his disciples that they must live a life of evangelism in order to
follow him. Paul said, “Now this I do
for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you” (1 Cor 9:23). Today,
how do member of True Jesus Church make evangelism a part of their life, preach
the gospel everywhere, and be testify to all nations? (Matt 24:1).
Prepare disciples for personal evangelism
Jesus instructed his disciples
before his ascension: “Go
into all the world and preach the gospel to every
creature, making disciples of all the nations, teaching them to observe all
things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with always, even to end of the
age.” (Mk 16:15; Mt 28: 19-20).
We should train the baptized believers to become
disciples, who are witnesses of the gospel (Lk 24:47-48; Isa 43:5-12).
Let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of
Christ (Phil ).
Be the salt and light of the earth, holding fast
the word of life (Mt 5:13-16; Phil 2:15-16)
Do not do anything that would hinder the gospel of
Christ (1 Cor 9:12; Gal 2:1-14).
Acquainted the disciples with the teaching about
righteousness, learn to rely on the Spirit to testify for the Lord (Heb
5:13-14; 1 Pet 2:9; Jn 15:26-27).
We cannot speak the things which we have seen
and heard (Acts ).
Freely as you have received, freely give (Mt
Put on the whole armor of God (Eph 6:10-18).
Practice personal evangelism
To our relatives (Jn -42).
To our companions (friends) (Jn 1:45-46).
To the people we encounter (Jn 4:3-26).
To truth seekers (Jn 3:1-21; 1 Pet 3:15).
To those suffering from illnesses (Jn 5:1-9).
To those living in sin (Mk 2:14-17).
To devout worshippers (Acts 8:26-39; 10:1-47).
Let all disciples shod their feet with the
gospel of peace to walk all over the world (Jn 13:17).
Practice family evangelism (Acts 10:24)
Use every believer’s family as the center for
preaching the gospel.
Encourage believers to invite their relatives,
friends, and neighbors to their house.
Ask the church to send workers to have an informal discussion there to
share the gospel.
In coordination with family fellowship, invite
truth-seeking friends to attend evangelical fellowships.
Plan weekly family services. Let the members volunteer their own house.
Hold evangelical services regularly, invite
members to share testimonies and encourage truthseekers to attend.
Can be held in the form of “Fellowship for
Follow up on truthseekers who attend
Use the truthseekers’
fellowships as opportunities to train more holy workers.
Encourage all fellowships to incorporate “gospel
Conduct receptions in a way that is suitable for
every fellowship members.
Let every fellowship initiate and conduct their own receptions.
The church should fully support the fellowships.
Can also hold gospel camps for students.
Establish a volunteer team for preaching of
gospel (Lk 10:1).
Gather all members who are talented in preaching
the gospel and form a fellowship to open up the way for the spreading of the
Support all types of gospel work.
To serve as the main force in long-term gospel
Follow the guidance of the Spirit to conduct regularly-scheduled
spiritual and evangelical services, and in coordination with all types of
gospel work mentioned above, do not let them become mere formalities.
In order to encourage service, we
must build up a sense of responsibility in all church members. Since the church is the body of Christ,
serving the church is serving the Christ.
All disciples all members of the body of Christ, but each has a
different function and serves the church as each member of the body does its
work (Eph 4:16). The church is also the
house of God and disciples members of God’s household. As each one has received a gift, minister it
to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God (1 Pet
4:10-11). Therefore Paul says, “for
if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon
me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel! For if I do this willing, I have a reward;
but if against my will, I have been entrusted with a stewardship”
(1 Cor 9:16-17).
How does the church build up a sense of
responsibility in service?
Teach the disciples to understand the grace of
God’s calling (Eph 4:1)
To each of us grace was given according to the
measure of Christ’s gift (Eph 4:7).
Think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a
measure of faith (Rom 12:3-5).
Receiving grace is a responsibility, do not to
receive God’s grace in vain (2 Cor 6:1; Rom 12:11).
Ask the glorious father to give us the Spirit to
enlightened the eyes of our heart (Eph 1:15-18).
God saved us through Jesus Christ, so that we
can do good works (Eph 2:8-10).
Understand that the dispensation of grace is the
giving of responsibility (Eph 3:2, 7:8).
The parable of the talents (Matt 25:14-30).
God assign to each his task, in according with
one’s gift (1 Cor 3:5; 12:4-11).
God chose people and appointed them to go and
bear fruit (Jn 15:16).
God has arranged the parts in the body so that
each part can does is work (1 Cor 12:18-21).
Do not neglect your gift (1 Tim 4:14-15).
Paul considered his life worth nothing, if only
he may finish the task the Lord Jesus has given him (Acts 20:24).
The arrangement of holy works must be followed,
assignments must be clear (Neh 3:1-31).
Ministers must each do their part, so that the
body of Christ may be built up (Eph 4: 11-12).
From Christ the whole body is joined and knit
together (Eph 4:16; Col
Members of the body must faithfully do their
part (Rom 12:6-8).
Each one should use whatever gift he has
received to serve others (1 Pet 4:10).
The organization of church holy work must
imitate the structure of human bodies, so that each member of the body can do
its part and serve the church (1 Cor 12:12-18).
The church’s organizational structure must be
complete (1 Pet 4:10-11).
Follow the examples in the Bible to appoint elders
as overseers (Acts 14:23, 20:28; Tit 1:5-7).
Follow the apostle’s instruction to appoint
deacons to serve the church (1 Tim 3:8-13; Acts 6:2-6)
The pastors should carry on the duty of the
apostles and give their attention to prayer and the ministry of the word (Acts
6:4; 2 Tim 4:1-5).
Pastors, elders, and deacons must keep hold of
the deep truths of the faith and uphold the passing on of the truth (Acts
15:1-2, 6-29; 1 Tim 3:9,15; Titus 1:9; 2 Tim 1:13-14).
Use the ministers as the coordination center for
the church. They are responsible for
sending up works to preach the gospel and taking care of the church (Acts
Each church should be independent and
autonomous, just like to seven churches in Asia
(Rev 1:11, 2:1-3:22).
All members must submit to the guidance of the
elders and deacons, holding them in the highest regard in love (Heb 13:17; Phil
2:12-13; 1 Thess 5:12-13).
Give double honor to full-time ministers (1 Tim
The church must return to the Bible
completely, follow theocracy. Everyone
should exalt the Lord as the highest, follow God’s will, and has an honest and
god-fearing heart. Each member should serve the church according to the gift
assigned to each by the Holy Spirit, as good stewards of the manifold grace of
God. Be a good, faithful, and wise
servant, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. Each
one will be rewarded for the goods he does (1 Cor 3:21-23, 11:3; Eph 6:5-8; Col
4:22-24; 1 Pet 4:10-11; 1 Cor 3:5-9).
Theocentric Religious Education
Religious education is based on Bible
study because all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching,
rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may
be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Tim 3:16-17). Therefore, religious education is theocentric
education which is unlike the anthropocentric education of the elementary teachings
of the world. Church is God’s house;
thus, we need to go back to the Bible in order to achieve religious education. We need to know and understand the holy Scriptures, which are able to make us wise for
salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
We must fear God and shun evil.
We need to walk on the way we should go and not turn from it even when
we are old. Then we will flourish and bear fruit in the courts of our God to
proclaim the Lord’s righteousness, love and faithfulness (2 Tim 3:14; Ps
How does today’s church achieve theocentric
Theocentric education is based on
the teaching from the heavenly Father to His sons. In the past God spoke to our forefathers
through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days He
has spoken to us by His Son (Heb 1:1-2). Today, He teaches us through the Holy
Spirit that dwells in His children (1 Jn 2:27). Hence,
theocentric education should be applied not only to the sons of God but also to
all mankind. It should be passed down from generations to generations as it is the
most complete life education.(Ps 71:17-18).
Practice Family Education
God gave the responsibility of teaching to Abraham
God commanded the Israelites to teach their
children with God’s words (Deut 4: 9-10, 6: 4-9).
Fathers should bring their children up in the
training and instruction of the Lord (Eph 6:4).
Church should prepare a Religious Education pamphlet
for the parents.
Introduce to the parents books on the history of
Jewish family education to be used as references.
Hold the couple’s fellowship and share the
experience of raising children.
The church should pay more attention and provide
more care to families with problems.
Church should counsel each family to
establish a family altar (Job 1:5).
Strengthen the Functionality of the Church’s RE
Upgrade teacher’s quality by setting up a
teacher training program.
See the importance bible study and teach
according to each student’s needs in order to enhance teaching result.
Establish a responsible Counselling system.
Older brothers and sisters should counsel the younger brothers and sisters.
Let the Religious Education be standardized and
be recognized by whole church.
Implement Education for All on the Sabbath Day
Hold worship service for all in the morning.
Hold separate classes and fellowships in the
Hold senior youth class in the evening.
Implement Special Education through various
Social youth fellowship for single brothers and
sisters should emphasize counselling on marriage, employment, and serving the
Social youth fellowship for married brethrens should
focus on achieving a balance on family life and serving at church.
Middle age fellowship should focus on servitude
Seniors’ fellowship should emphasize on the goal
of pursuing spiritual joy and the passing on of faith (Ps 71:5-9; 14:18, 21-24).
Hold Various Theological Trainings
Short-term theological trainings
Bible camps for college students
Sermon speaker’s cultivation seminars
Sacred worker seminars
Adult Bible seminars
Fellowship leader seminars
Full-time church workers’ trainings
For the church to achieve its five
main functions of worship, fellowship, evangelism, service, and education, we
must build up the church upon the truth.
We need to mature in the truth, attaining to the whole measure of the
fullness of Christ. In addition, the
church should be self-governing, self-supporting, self-propagating. The ministers must imitate Christ to follow
God’s will, do His work, learn to work with God, do his/her part, and build up
the body of Christ. So that through the
Head, that is, Christ, the whole body is joined and held together by every
supporting ligament and the body grows and build itself up in love, as each
part does its work (Eph 4:11-16).
Next, all saints must listen to
Paul’s exhortations to offer our bodies as living sacrifices—holy and pleasing
to God. In all things, do not conform
any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of
our minds. Then we will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good,
pleasing, and perfect will. At the same, we must not think ourselves more
highly than we ought, but rather think of ourselves with sober judgement, in
accordance with the measure of faith God has given us and serve God with
undivided attention, in accordance with the gifts we received. We must also
follow Peter’s teaching and serve with the strength God provides (Rom 12:1-8; 1
Pet 4:11). Lastly, we ought to be united as one body and heart in Christ and
labor for the gospel that we believe in.
We need to preach the Gospel as a testimony to all nations. By doing so,
we complete the great mission entrusted to the true church at the end times and
we confidently can wait for the second coming of Christ Jesus (Mt 24:14). Amen!