WORTHY GOALS FOR THE CHURCH
By David J. Riggs
A. If one were to start a business, he would need to set goals so
that his business might succeed.
1. Goal oriented people accomplish more than those who set no
B. As a church of the Lord, we will succeed to the extent we are
able to set worthy goals and follow them.
C. We need to make a distinction between "worthy" and "worldly"
1. Some only desire a nice building, large Sunday morning
attendance, or a prominent name in the brotherhood.
2. Such goals, by themselves, indicate carnality.
D. Here are some worthy spiritual goals for us to attain.
I. A WORTHY GOAL IS TO BE A LOVING CHURCH.
A. First of all, we need a genuine, whole-hearted, sincere love
for God. Mark 12:30
1. We need to love the Lord, Jesus Christ who died for us.
a. The Jews looked for a lion, but Jesus came as a lamb,
and they missed Him.
b. They looked for a warrior, but Jesus came as a
peacemaker, and they missed Him.
c. They looked for a military king, but Jesus came as a
servant, and they missed Him.
d. They looked for liberation from Rome, but Jesus
submitted to the Roman stake, and they missed Him.
e. They were looking for their temporal needs to be met,
but He came to meet their spiritual needs, and they
2. For what are we looking, a lion, warrior, military king,
liberator, physical provider?
a. He came as a lamb to be sacrificed for our sins, will we
b. He came to make peace between God and man, will we
c. He came that we might have true liberty, will we miss
d. He came to model service for others, we will miss it?
e. He came go give eternal life, will we miss it?
B. We need love for the truth. Prov. 23:23; Eph. 4:14-15
1. The church is the pillar and ground of the truth. 1 Tim.
a. Let us continue to defend, uphold, and proclaim the
C. We need love for one another. 1 Pet. 1:22
1. It would be terrible to have no one who cared for our soul.
2. Love is a means of identifying the true disciples. John
3. If we love one another, God dwells in us. 1 John 4:12
4. The one who does not love his brother abides in death. 1
II. A WORTHY GOAL IS TO BE A LOYAL CHURCH.
A. We need to be loyal in attitude.
1. We must avoid the attitude of indifference. Rev. 3:15-16
2. We must avoid the attitude of self-righteousness. Luke 18:9-
3. We must avoid the attitude of constant censureship. Matt.
7:1-5; Mark 7:2
a. An old proverb: "He who is looking for faults in his
brethren shall surely find them."
B. We need to be loyal in attendance.
1. Disciples of Christ assemble together. Acts 11:26
2. Forsaking the assemblies carries serious consequences. Heb.
C. We need to be loyal in stewardship.
1. Every member has a function, a place, and a part. 1 Cor.
12:20-22; Eph. 4:16
2. The obligation of the whole is met by the parts.
3. Let us do our part so that the whole can function properly.
D. This is an old Aesop fable: "One day it occurred to some of the
members of the body that they were doing all the work and that
the belly was having all the food. So they held a meeting and
after a long discussion decided to strike work until the belly
consented to take its proper share of the work. So for a day or
two the hands refused to take the food, the mouth refused to
receive it, and the teeth had no work to do. But after a day or
two, members began to find that they themselves were not in a
very active condition. The hands could hardly move, the mouth
was all parched and dry, while the legs were unable to support
the rest. Thus, they found that even the belly, in its dull
quiet way, was doing necessary work for the body, and that all
must work together or the body would go to pieces."
III. A WORTHY GOAL IS TO BE A LABORING CHURCH.
A. By works, our faith is made perfect. James 2:22
B. We need to labor in the interest of saving souls.
1. The Lord Jesus came to save souls, and we need to diligently
follow Him in His work. 1 Cor. 15:58
a. This is an area where we definitely need improvement.
b. It is an area where we need to put emphasis.
c. Let's look for new and greater opportunities to render
service to the Lord.
d. A high school in Virginia offered a course called "Home
Economics for Boys." Needless to say, it got very little
attention. The following year it was renamed "Bachelor
Living." The effect was overwhelming -- 120 boys
promptly signed up. The curriculum had not changed. It
still offered traditional instruction in cooking, sewing,
laundry, and money management; but it needed the right
image before the students would give the class a second
e. As we present Christ to the world, let's not forget that
the message must never change; but our methods of
delivery may vary. Jesus said, "...Be wise as serpents
and harmless as doves." Matt. 10:16
C. The people's responsibility in Nehemiah's day was to rebuild
1. They had enemies who opposed them. Neh. 4:1-3
2. They worked under great stress. Neh. 4:7-9,17
3. The wall was finished because the people had a mind to
work. Neh. 4:6; 6:15-16
D. Let us be loyal and faithful to the Lord in all things even
when we do not fully understand His purpose and intent.
1. Let us be faithful in the work even when we can't see any
2. An ancient story tells about a king who needed a faithful
servant and had to choose between two candidates for the
office. He took both at fixed wages and told them to carry
buckets of water from a nearby cistern and dump them into a
large basket which he had placed a short distance away. He
said that he would come in the evening to inspect their
work. After dumping a few buckets of water into the basket,
one of the men said, "What is the good of doing this useless
work? As soon as we pour the water in, it runs out the
The other answered, "But we have our wages, don't we?
The reason for the work is the master's business, not ours."
The complainer replied, "I'm not going to do such fool's
work," and throwing down his bucket, he went away.
The other man continued until he drained the cistern.
Looking down into it, he saw something shining at the
bottom. It proved to be a very valuable gold ring that had
been lost in the cistern. The servant thought: "Now I see
the reason for pouring water into the basket! If the bucket
had brought up the ring before the cistern was dry, it would
have been found in the basket. Our work was not useless."
(From 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching, by Michael
P. Green, p. 144)
3. Let us never give up, give in, or give out in the Lord's
work even when we don't fully understand God's purpose, and
even when we can't see any visible results.
A. Thus, we have suggested a few worthy goals: to be a loving
church, a loyal church, and a laboring church.
1. They center around the very purpose for the church to exist.
2. They involve the purpose for us being in the church.
B. Let us not lose sight of them, but let us press toward them.