Feb 10, 2011 Understanding the Mission
Originally posted on August 17, 2006
The concise wording of our mission statement at Grace is, “Building healthy people for ministry in the world.” There are many truths implied in this statement that need to be articulated and understood.
1. God’s glory is the ultimate aim behind the mission of the church. This in no way places people in a place of lesser priority. In God’s mind, He and people are not competing for the glory of first priority. God is glorified when people are transformed by His saving grace and made to look more like Christ as they grow in faith. And, people can only be truly human and happy when they are embracing, enjoying, and surrendering to the glory of God.
So, our mission is, “To bring glory to God by building healthy people for ministry in the world.”
2. This is the mission of the church. Christ and the church carry the privilege of bringing glory to God on earth (see Ephesians 3:21). We aren’t Christ, but we are His church. “Church” is the only description that fits us. Variations on the word church may describe us, but no other word or set of words can fully communicate our identity in the world. We are called to be and function as a church.
So, our mission is, “To be a church that brings glory to God by building healthy people for ministry in the world.”
3. We are talking about spiritual health. The fundamental problem in the world is sin. The real need is forgiveness and reconciliation with God. The only solution is the cross of Christ. The call from God is for repentance, faith, and discipleship, which is the essence of spiritual health.
So, our mission is, “To be a church that brings glory to God by building spiritually healthy people for ministry in the world.”
4. Ministry in the world means many things. Christians are gifted in many different ways, find themselves in many different situations, have many different relationships, and are presented with many different needs. One thing is common among all Christians: the world in which we live needs the grace of God in Christ. We bring the news and impact of this grace to our world in word (what we say about Christ), and deed (how we serve in the name of Christ and because we are followers of Christ).
So, our mission is, “To be a church that brings glory to God by building spiritually healthy people who give grace to the world in word and deed.”
5. The world is both big and small. By the world we mean across oceans and across the street. We mean the cultures of the world and the cultures of Nashville. We mean the mission field and the offices, schools and neighborhoods in which we live. The world is everywhere, and everywhere is where we carry out our mission.
So, our mission is, “To be a church that brings glory to God by building spiritually healthy people who give grace everywhere they go in word and deed.”
In Serious Times, James Emery White writes, “The world will only be changed when those who call themselves Christians begin to follow Christ, becoming scandalously present in the world in all their Christlike particularity.”
That seems to sum it up.
More vision this Sunday. See you then.