The mission of the local church is:
- Preaching and teaching
- Making disciples
- Missions and evangelism
- Maturity of the believer
- Ministry in the home
- Ministry to material needs.
Ministry in the home:
The mission of the Church – generally and locally – extends into the home and the family. God instituted marriage and family when He created Adam and Eve, telling them to have children. This is His plan for mankind. When He spoke the blessing over Abraham, He said that all the families of the earth would be blessed through Jesus, the Seed of Abraham. The devil has tried to destroy people, marriages and families. Only God has the answer for a successful marriage and family, and the Church has a big part to play in ministering the truth in this area, so that people can live free and blessed lives.
Jesus loved and was concerned for the well-being of children:
Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them. Mark 10:13-16 NKJV
In his epistles, Paul gave special instructions to Christians concerning marriage and family:
Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. Ephesians 5:33 NKJV
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord. Ephesians 6:1-4 NKJV
Wives, be subject to your husbands [subordinate and adapt yourselves to them], as is right and fitting and your proper duty in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives [be affectionate and sympathetic with them] and do not be harsh or bitter or resentful toward them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is pleasing to the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke or irritate or fret your children [do not be hard on them or harass them], lest they become discouraged and sullen and morose and feel inferior and frustrated. [Do not break their spirit.] Colossians 3:18-21 AMP
The promise of the Holy Spirit was to believers and their children:
For the promise [of the Holy Spirit] is to and for you and your children, and to and for all that are far away, [even] to and for as many as the Lord our God invites and bids to come to Himself. Acts 2:39 AMP
And afterward I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. Joel 2:28 AMP
In the Book of Acts whole families and even whole households received salvation and were baptized in water and the Holy Spirit at the same time:
- In Acts 16:15, Lydia and all her household were baptised.
- In Acts 16:34, the keeper of the prison received salvation together with his whole household.
- In Acts 18:8, Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord, with his entire household; and so did many of the Corinthians, who heard, believed, and were baptised.
Church leaders were required to have well regulated families:
One who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?). 1 Timothy 3:4 NKJV
Let deacons be the husbands of but one wife, and let them manage [their] children and their own households well. 1 Timothy 3:12 AMP
[These elders should be] men who are of unquestionable integrity and are irreproachable, the husband of [but] one wife, whose children are [well trained and are] believers, not open to the accusation of being loose in morals and conduct or unruly and disorderly. Titus 1:6 AMP
The Early Church met mostly in homes, where the Gospel would have influenced the whole family:
Give my greetings to the brethren at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the assembly (the church) which meets in her house. Colossians 4:15 AMP
[Remember me] also to the church [that meets] in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who was a firstfruit (first convert) to Christ in Asia. Romans 16:5 AMP
The churches of Asia send greetings and best wishes. Aquila and Prisca, together with the church [that meets] in their house, send you their hearty greetings in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 16:19 AMP
And having looked up the disciples there, we remained with them for seven days. Prompted by the [Holy] Spirit, they kept telling Paul not to set foot in Jerusalem. But when our time there was ended, we left and proceeded on our journey; and all of them with their wives and children accompanied us on our way till we were outside the city. There we knelt down on the beach and prayed. Acts 21:4-5 AMP
On the morrow we left there and came to Caesarea; and we went into the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the Seven [first deacons], and stayed with him. And he had four maiden daughters who had the gift of prophecy. Acts 21:8-9 AMP