I will begin by answering this question in the simplest form. The charge given to us by Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20 is clear: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you..” Mark 16:15 expands on this command: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Luke 24:46-47 summarizes it: “Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”
Now, the command is clear as to the mission of the Church. However, are we, as individual members of the Church, carrying out this command in the society in which we live? Are we representing as the Body of Christ (the Church), the example of what it means to be part of this Body? Finally, how is the influence of the Church affecting the society in which we live?
We may differ in the answers to the above questions based upon our own individual experiences. However, it is more than clear that we are living in a time of great peril with a demoralizing affect and the progressive destruction of our communities. This greatly in part caused by the breaking down of family values. You see, everyone is called to be an evangelist to their own families first. As the Church, we are attempting to reach the world, while we loose our own families in the process. Thus we are expecting others to be the message carriers for our own, while we launch out and do the same for others in the Church. Our greatest harvest is to be found within our own families. It is our greatest challenge because our families know us. It is much easier to impact the life of a stranger who can only see what we portray to them in the exterior. However, our families are aware of the intimate details of our lives. They know the failures and struggles that we have, or are experiencing. However, this also creates the greatest opportunity to impact the life of a loved one. If we live a truly born again life, dedicated to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the change would be evident and real. This change can be the appealing factor in drawing our family members to a place of hope, and fulfilling the command of preaching repentance and remission of sins.
So, what is the role of the church in society? For each member of the church to live a life worthy of the call in order to reach their own first, and in turn impact the world around them. Only then can our families be saved, our communities put back together, our nations healed, and our world impacted by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Society begins in the homes of each individual member of the Church. It is interesting that Luke’s summary of the great commission call to preach the gospel to all nations, however, it also commands to begin in Jerusalem first. In other words, the commission begins at home.
Keep in mind that society is a reflection of the homes they proceeded from. Society today has suffered the affects caused by the destruction of family values and moral teachings. It has spread like a disease throughout our communities, influencing and determining the world viewpoints of many, including the future leaders and legislators of our society, the children.
So, let us not just open the doors of our church buildings every Sunday morning, but let us daily open the doors of our hearts to those around us so that they may see the change in us brought about by the love of Jesus Christ being abundant in our lives. This is the role of Church in our society.