Gathering, Transforming and Sending:
The Purpose and Work of a Congregation
All organizations have what might be called their “primary task,” that is, their reason for being: the focused activity that they uniquely exist to do. The primary task of a social service agency is different from an auto manufacturer which is different from an educational institution which is different from a Christian congregation. Being aware of and reminding ourselves about our organization’s primary task helps us to focus our efforts and define what our organizational “faithfulness” looks like.
One way of describing the primary task, the unique purpose and work of a congregation is to gather those called by God into Christ’s body, the Church, a community of transformation of mind, heart and action, and to send these same into the world to be and to act as God’s loving and transforming presence.
Another way of saying this is that the purpose of a congregation is to be the body of Christ and, with God’s help, to create and renew the Christian folk who in turn, create and renew a world that we believe both already is and is in the process of becoming God’s own realm-a realm of forgiveness, reconciliation, justice, peace and hope.
Portion of An Outline of the Faith, commonly called the Catechism,
from the Book of Common Prayer, page 855