I wrote this article shortly after the General Board approved our new Mission Statement. It’s a powerful statement, and I believe it’s important that we continue to keep it in front of us as we do God’s work.
We are called to…
Welcome people into a loving and caring church family;
Equip people with a Christ-centered faith that works in real life;
Share God’s love for us through compassionate service to others.
We are called to be Community…Christian…Church.
Our new mission statement is one of the best I’ve ever read, and I commend the Long Range Planning Committee for their hard work in making it a reality. It captures who we are, and who we are called to be.
In fact, that’s the first line: “We are called to be…” That call comes from God, and we’ve heard it in the Bible, in our prayers, and from each other. The “welcome…equip…share” of the mission statement aren’t simply things we’d like to do or feel we should be doing. We feel as if God has called us to do these things, which gives them added importance in our life together.
First, we are called to “welcome people into a loving and caring church family.” The key word is hospitality. Hospitality means not only how we welcome others, but also how we continue to treat one another after that welcoming. A lot of churches are great at welcoming people in, but then ignore the person in order to welcome the next one. We are called not only to welcome people in, but also to help them become a part of our loving and caring church family. Our hospitality doesn’t end when the visitor becomes a frequent visitor or a member; our love and care for them, and for each other, should extend indefinitely.
Next, we are called to “equip people with a Christ-centered faith that works in real life.” That challenges us to not be a pie-in-the-sky church, but to help each other work through the daily struggles that go with faith. We do that through our worship, through Bible studies, and through our encouragement of each other. We are called to help each other keep the faith from Monday through Saturday, as we apply our Sunday faith to the rest of our lives in order to remain faithful servants.
Lastly, we are called to “share God’s love for us through compassionate service to others.” We are the blessed recipients of God’s wondrous love for us, and there’s no way we can contain it all. It overflows in us, so we are called to share our abundance with others. We do this so that everyone we come in contact with will know of God’s love for them. We are truly God’s hands and feet in this world, and it is our job to make God’s compassion know through our actions.
We are called to be a community full of love. We are called to be Christians whose lives are guided by their faith. We are called to be a church, the embodiment of God’s love in this world. We are called to be Community…Christian…Church. May God bless and strengthen us as we strive to fulfill this mission.