“If the goal of instruction for children and adults is primarily outreach to the unchurched, service to the neighborhood, or even building a sense of community and fellowship, we will have churches full of people who do not know what they believe or why they believe it but who nevertheless feel an intense burden to do more things that they feel unprepared to do well. Yet if we meet together regularly for “the apostles’ teaching and fellowship…the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:42), the gospel creates community around Christ rather than around itself and provides exactly what is needed for well-informed and motivated witness and service to our neighbors…
“…To be sure, the local church involves fellowship among the saints, which includes works of service to the household of faith. But we have confused the priesthood of all believers with the ministry-hood of all believers, as if Christ had never instituted the offices that we find in the epistles. In this approach to ministry, every sheep must be a shepherd. The call to the sheep to become self-feeders is the natural consequence of this impoverished line of thinking.
“The church has a very narrow commission. It is not called to be an alternative neighborhood, circle of friends, political action committee, social club, or public service agency; it is called to deliver Christ so clearly and fully that believers are prepared to be salt and light in the worldly stations to which God has called them. Why should a person go through all the trouble of belonging to a church and showing up each Sunday if God is the passive receiver and we are the active giver?”
-Michael Horton in Christless Christianity, p 226-228, 2008.