In the first chapter of the book of Order of the Presbyterian Church, there is a small section entitled "The Great Ends of the Church". That is old language, which means the goals or the purposes of the Church. Of course, the main mission of the Church is to give witness to Jesus, the Lord and Savior. This brief paragraph in the Book of Order serves as a guide for how the Church is to live as a witness to the Lord Jesus Christ. There are six Ends of the Church: "the proclamation of the gospel for the salvation of humankind; the shelter, nurture, and spiritual fellowship of the children of God; the maintenance of divine worship; the preservation of the truth; the promotion of social righteousness; and the exhibition of the Kingdom of Heaven to the world". Each of them is important and should be pursued by those who would be the Church.
The second one is the focus of my commitments: "the shelter, nurture and spiritual fellowship of the children of God." I understand this to mean that the Church is to be a home (shelter) where its members find safety and security among those who love each other. Members are helped (nurtured) to be good and faithful disciples of Jesus by the teaching and preaching of the Scriptures and the Christian faith. Along with these, the Church is a spiritual fellowship, a gathering of people who claim and confess faith in Jesus Christ as Son of God and Lord. Much goes into meeting these lofty goals.
- Rev. Dr. Edward B Newberry