As previously stated, the church is meant to be a hospital for sinners, not a museum of saints, and this means that as a church we are dedicated to making sure everyone is increasingly restored to spiritual health. We are definitely a come-as-you-are church, but if after a year of coming together with us you are still the same as you were, we have failed you. How utterly tragic it would be that after a year of being rooted in the fertile soil of worship and prayer, regularly nourished by God’s Word and Sacraments, that you were found fruitless as a barren fig tree, having the looks of health and growth but never actually producing fruit (see Matt.21:19; Luk.13:6-9).
Everything we do is done so that God’s people can be equipped to bear fruit and do the work He has called them to do continuing “until we all come to such unity in faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ” (Eph.4:12-13). Jesus said, “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples” (Jhn.15:8). Thus we, as a church, exist in order “to heal wounds, to unite what has fallen apart, and to bring home those who have lost their way” so that we all can become Christ-like, God-glorifying followers of Jesus seeking to bear good fruit and to become zealous for good works (see Phil.2:13 and Tit.2:11-14).