The Church


The primary instrument God uses to fulfill His purposes is the church (world-wide). As we engage in mission, we desire to work side by side with others from His church to see people coming to faith in Christ and walking with God in the fellowship of other believers (i.e. the church). Disciples are to be part of a Christ-centered community.

AIM International’s mission statement is “With priority for the unreached, Christ-centered churches among all African peoples.” Our definition of a Christ-centered church is “an assembly of disciples who know and reflect their identity in Christ expressed through corporate worship and obedience.”

● Know what is meant by Christ-centered church
● Be able to describe characteristics of the New Testament church
● Be prepared to fully participate in the local church at your ministry location, accepting that it will be quite different than what you may be used to in your home country
● Cultivate a non-judgmental learner’s attitude towards different ways of doing church
● Seek to serve and build relationships with local brothers and sisters in your ministry location


Brian Woodford (Master Plan: Biblical Foundations for Christian Living) has said:
“So we come to our key question: What are the essentials of church – in every time and in every place? Whether we are working among nomads of Central Asia, the high rise dwellers of Madrid, or the villagers of North India, what are the common features that will allow us to say: Yes, here is the church that Jesus said he would build!”

Have a look at this short video about the church and discipleship and discuss your thoughts with your facilitator.


1. How would you answer Woodford’s question above?
2. What would a Christ-centered church look like, based on AIM’s definition above?
3. Compare your own church to the one in the video. What is Biblical and what is cultural about how your church ‘does church’?
4. What are the non-negotiables of ‘church’? Make a study of the characteristics of the New Testament church.
5. Church can be very different in other parts of the world. Consider what you could do if you find that the church you are serving under is in a different language, does not have the level of teaching and input you are used to, or believes ‘differently’. Are there any resources you need to take for you and your family (e.g. CDs, DVDs, activities) to supplement your personal and family worship?

Next Section: Cross-Cultural Connections