I was just reading EWF's very interesting thread, "Dissect This Church." On that thread it was said, "Isn't church about developing relationships?" I was surprised that no one picked up on this. I'm here to say that no, church is not about developing relationships per se, though you might find some way to justify this way of phrasing it. So what is church for? Here is a start. (I'm sure others can add to this Biblically.) (1) An assembly to learn to serve Christ. The job of the pastor and other preachers is to train and fit the believers to serve Christ. Check this out in Eph. 4:11-12. Here is my maybe overly literal translation of the Greek of v. 12: "Towards the perfecting of the saints for the purpose of the work of the ministry, (which is) for the purpose of building up the saints." (2) An assembly to "exhort" and encourage one another, in Heb. 10:25. The Greek word for that is parakalew, the verb form of parakletos, the word for the Holy Spirit as Comforter/Encourager in John. (3) An assembly to reach the world for Christ. Would anyone deny that the Great Commission is incumbent upon the church? In particular, the Luke 24 Great Commission was given to the 11 and those believers who were with them (v. 33), and that was on a Sunday morning--the church! (4) Above all, an assembly to glorify Christ: "20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen" (Eph. 3). So, is church about developing relationships? No. That is simply a wonderful benefit of doing the things church is really for.