According to scripture, a Church is a gathering of regenerate people (2 Corinthians 5:17) who are predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ, who were called according to His purpose and now justified (Romans 8:28-31), fearlessly pursue Him as the head of the Church (Colossians 1:17-18). The Church is a gathering of unified people (Ephesians 2:19-22) who have through the Holy Spirit been crucified with Christ, who have had a new course set for their lives (Galatians 2:20-21) and who now live to glorify and honor God (Psalm 96:1-3; Matthew 5:16; 1 COR 6:20; 10:31). They love God with their entire being because He first loved them (Luke 10:27; 1 John 4:19) and because they lean into Christ they are able to love people (1 John 4:10-11) to include their enemies in a like manner (Luke 6:32-36). They are committed to spiritual discipline (1 Timothy 4:7-10; 2 Peter 1:5-8) and the spiritual growth of their families (Deuteronomy 11:18-21). They readily respond to the command repeated numerous times in the New Testament to love their neighbors. The Church is made up of people who are committed to each other in spirit and make every effort to maintain unity through humility. (Ephesians 4:1-6, 11-12, 13-16). They build each other up by sharing and applying God's inspired and inerrant instruction manual for life to their daily lives (2 Timothy 3:16-17). They possess a capacity to readily hold each other accountable (Matthew 18:15-20; Galatians 6:1-2) because they are a tight knit group (John 13:34-35; 1 John 3:16-18). They strive toward this end for the sake of the mission which all take part in and because they genuinely care about each other. They serve each other and those outside the church sacrificially displaying God's grace in various forms in His strength (1 Peter 4:10-11; Acts 4:32-35). They strive, in the power of Christ, to be doers of the Word (James 1:22-25) and their primary mission is to love God, love people and to perpetuate hope to everyone all over the world (Matthew 28:19-20; 1 Peter 3:15; Acts 1:8-11) making disciples of all nations and baptizing them in His name.
My hope and prayer is that this biblical description of the Church is and remains foundational to your life, the life of your local Church and to Compass Life.
"People on mission do not go to church. People on mission are the church."
President, International Missions Board 1993-2010