"We unite the diversity of our community to the grace of Jesus Christ through discipleship, worship, and service."
I've heard it said there are two kinds of people in the world: those who divide the world into two kinds of people, and those that don't. Our new mission statement as a church insists that we are the latter.*
We believe our mission is a faithful reflection of Ephesians 2:14-17 which describes the kingdom of God as the place where Jesus has "made the two groups into one, destroying the dividing wall, that is the hostility that is between us... that in himself he might create one new humanity in place of the two... reconciling both groups in one body through the cross."
We - that is, all of humanity - are meant to be united. And the only power sufficient to unite us is the grace of Jesus. We connect with that grace through many means that Jesus has given us, especially personal discipleship, corporate worship, and service to the world.
For the next five weeks, our worship is going to be looking at how we put that mission into practice. We believe that there are five values that sum up the attitude and methods we bring to this mission:
We are: - Scriptural - Compassionate -Loving - Joyful - Hospitable
You can see the full text of our mission statement, values and goals here. As the book of James reminded us last week, though, hearing the word is just the first step. We must also be doers. I am so grateful to everyone who came up to me after our last church council to name the areas they were excited to "do something" to make these dreams a reality. Over the next couple of weeks, I will be taking some half-day retreats with members of our staff so that we can establish the next steps to accomplishing our goals in discipleship, worship, and service . Once done, we will be taking you up on all those offers so that we can chase this vision together. Ed Stetzer once said: God's church does not have a mission - God's mission has a church. I, for one, am glad to say that God has given us the privilege of carrying out Christ's mission of uniting the world to Christ. When we serve God's mission together, we will find that God draws us together. The unity we long for comes whenever we are headed in the same direction - toward Jesus and his grace.
(*Thanks to every person who shaped, refined, and approved this statement through our church-wide retreat, Long-Range Planning Committee, and Church Council.)