Along with every faithful church, our mission is the Great Commission found in Matthew 28:18-20...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, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. We are commanded by Jesus to make disciples.
Our vision is the specific approach we take to making disciples. It is simple and focused with four words, which describe both who we presently are and who we hope to become.
Extending – We extend a warm and hospitable welcome to all who visit. We also are launching missional activities around our city to have a larger geographic reach than we currently do. Because we are loved and accepted by God, we extend his grace to others.
Grace – This is not only our name, but our message about Good News for sinners. The Church has been accurately described as a hospital for the sick in contrast with a museum for finished works of art. By acknowledging our individual sins and shortcomings, a powerful humility is developed that leaves plenty of room for others. Everyone is still struggling with sin. Thankfully, Jesus is the “friend of sinners.”
Discipling – This means intentionally helping faith along in others, per Matthew 28:18-20. Christianity has been described as “one beggar showing another one where to find bread.” Growth is Christ requires the interactions of a faith community that learns from each other.
Generations – Our ministries reach from the cradle to the grave. Our church is multi-generational and intentionally inter-generational. Those who have walked a little further in their faith are encouraged to share their lives with others on the same journey. Check out our Pathway of Discipleship to see what that journey looks like.
The most aspirational word of the vision statement is the first, “extending.” There are two practical applications here. The first is that we are now making timely plans to plant some new churches in our rapidly-growing area. Our diocese is asking for our help in this regard. The second is that we are using the Alpha Course as our primary tool for sharing the gospel with those who are not yet here.
There are many good things that are of value to churches. We prioritize the seven values listed above on our diagram. These values inform both what we do and how we do it.