Our mission statement isn't just pretty words to put in the weekly bulletin or post on the church walls. It's a guideline or a filter for everything we do as a church. Each meeting, class, activity, event, and service project should be in support of this mission in some way. If it's not, well, then we need to carefully consider whether or not that thing should be done at all.
There are five key aspects to our mission statement, qualities that need to be balanced in our individual lives as well as in our church. Let's take a closer look at each of these five elements...
Worship tops the list of what we do as a church because it is the foundation for all that we do as individual Christian believers. Until we are in touch with God we cannot effectively minister to one another.
Jesus prioritized the importance of worship in our lives when He said:
Worship is more than just singing in church on Sunday mornings, it is all that we do with respect to the Lord. It is our act of surrender to him, and can take many other outward forms, such as:
Worship of the Lord builds a firm foundation from which we are able to extend ourselves through different areas.
Just as worship is the foundation of our relationship with God, prayer is an extension of that foundation. Jesus said, "without Me you can do nothing" (John 15:5). Prayer is our lifeline to God. It is our source for the miraculous. Prayer changes lives, our own and those around us. Jesus also said that God's "house to to be called a house of prayer" (Matthew 21:13). Although prayer should be a continual personal conversion with God (Matthew 6:6 and 1 Thessalonians 5:17), we also pray together in small groups and as a congregation for following the example of the New Testament church (Acts 2:42, Acts 4:31, Acts 12:12).
Once we have established the vertical relationship with the Lord through worship and prayer, we can begin to develop the horizontal relationship of fellowship, reaching out to one another.
It's all too easy to become isolated these days. In search of better jobs, we often move far from established friends and family. Television gives us hundreds of options to substitute for social interaction. We drive through restaurants for lunch. Many spend hours each evening, addicted to the wealth of information and entertainment available on the internet. Why, some grocery stores even have self-service checkout stands, so you don't even have to talk to the cashier at all!
God has created the church to be a place where people can grow closer to him and also to one another. After all, very early in the Bible we learn that "the LORD God said, 'It is not good that man should be alone'" (Genesis 2:18).
Everyone one of us has a desire to have contact with other people. We have a desire to care for and be cared for by others. For some, it is this desire that drew them to a relationship with God in the first place. Fellowship is more than just ďsmall talkĒ over coffee and pastries in the church basement; it is opening our hearts to one another, sharing our hurts as well as our joys with those around us (Philippians 2:1).
As we begin to develop relationships with one another we realize that we donít know it all. There are areas in our life that could use a little development. That is where discipleship comes in.
Our model for discipleship is Christ. "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me" (Matthew 11:29a), he said. When Jesus began his ministry, he chose disciples to teach, so that they would be able to carry on his message. Our goal in discipleship is much the same; we "pass on" the truth of God's word (2 Timothy 2:2). In this way we help each other mature so that we will be able to effectively serve God.
Author Richard Krejcir says:
Discipleship is not the same as "hitting the books;" it's a lifelong learning process that requires action, not just learning from one another. but applying what we learn. It is both our privilege and our duty (Matthew 28:18-20).
Finally, as we have been in the presence of God through worship and prayer, as we have grown in fellowship with one another, and have developed a hunger for his word through discipleship, the natural result of this is that we would want to share it with others. (See Acts 1:8 and Matthew 28:18.) The word evangel means "the good news of the revelation of God in Jesus Christ."
This doesn't mean you have to stand on the street corner shouting the Lordís message to those passing by. It can be as simple as sharing what God has done in your life with those you care about. It might be done through service to others, helping your neighbor in the name of the Lord.
Evangelism is sharing the good news of Godís love, grace, and power as it has been revealed in Jesus Christ in ways that draw others into a life of faith and a community of believers. It is the message, the messenger, and the means of sharing the good news... the fulfillment of the Lord's Great Commission.