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Which one is it? If the church is the ends, then the goal is to bring people into the church, where they will be “saved” from the world. If the church is the means, then the goal is for the people of God to show God’s intention to redeem the world.
If the church is the end, then we can be content with waiting for everyone to come to us. If the church is the means, then we are called to go and make disciples.
If the church is the end, then we can the goal is the building up of the church. If the church is the means, then the church is willing to die to itself so that we might live for Christ and God’s mission in and for the world.
What else happens when we change from thinking of the church as the end to thinking of the church as the means by which God proclaims good news to the world?