Jesus tells us what the mission for the church is in Matthew 28:18-20.
18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV)
We want to be a church that is about the main things. We want to avoid being bogged down by secondary issues, or becoming inwardly focused and program driven. We want people to be equipped and released into the world for ministry. We want to be faithful and obedient to the mission that He gives us, always moving forward in faith.
The Vision: Loving Jesus, Making Disciples, & Planting Churches
Jesus is the one who has loved us, and given Himself for us by dying in our place on the cross. Our first and most important responsibility is to love Jesus by receiving and treasuring His love for us, finding joy, satisfaction, and delight in Him. Because of sin, our hearts are idol-producing factories, drawing us to find ultimate satisfaction and meaning horizontally in things like possessions, comfort, money, self-image, being a good person, having a good family, etc. Loving Jesus is turning ourselves from our sin and towards Him, because He alone is worthy of our love, devotion, and worship. And as we receive the love of Jesus, we experience personal transformation, and He begins to change us to become more and more like Him.
The more we grow in loving Jesus, not only are we changed personally, but our relationships start to change. It’s impossible for us to see the incredible, self-giving love of Jesus, and all of the patience and grace He has for us, and then refuse to forgive someone, or hold on to a grudge. The heart Jesus has for us starts to become our heart for others, and we want them to know the same love and reconciliation we have experienced ourselves. In fact, Jesus tells us if we really love Him, we’ll love others as He has loved us, and ultimately make disciples by pointing others to Jesus and His offer of salvation. Faithfully giving ourselves to the work of discipleship is one of the active ways for us to love Jesus. As a church, we’re committed to making disciples, inviting and helping everyone to trust Jesus as Savior, and follow Him as Lord.
Largely because we live in a post-Christendom society, we suffer from a poor understanding of church, where church is viewed as a building, a service, or an organization. The truth is, the church is the gathered people of God, who are redeemed and loved by Christ. In the New Testament we see the church described as a body, a family, a bride, and a kingdom, the purpose of which is to both build itself up in love, and be ambassadors of reconciliation to the world, glorifying God. In Matthew 16 Jesus promises to build His church, and He entrusts the church with the Gospel that is able to save and redeem. The greatest need every community has is for a local, Gospel preaching church. Being convinced of this, we:
- are committed to serving and building up our own local church, carrying out the ministry of the Gospel.
- are committed to the work of planting new churches, both locally and globally.
- refuse to fall into competitive tribalism with other churches, instead celebrating and supporting those who are laboring faithfully in the ministry of the Gospel.