As we begin this new year together, I would like to take some time to discuss our purpose as a church. When we are busy carrying out the responsibilities of life, we sometimes forget the primary reasons we do the things we do. In order to remember their primary purpose for existence, business organizations create what are called mission statements. A mission statement is a concise, meaningful declaration that business leaders employ to help them stay focused on their central purpose for being. Out of this mission statement, will flow the corporate vision of how this mission will be practically worked out in the world. Mission and vision statements help organizations to stay laser focused on their purpose and serve as helpful measures in determining whether a course correction is needed. God has provided us with a wonderful mission and vision in His Word that will help us as a church to stay on course. Let’s take a few minutes to explore what God’s Word has to say about our mission and vision.
Our Mission: Matthew 28:16-20 (ESV)
16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Our purpose or vision should flow out of and back into our mission. As a church we have several different purposes that are all a part of the fulfillment of our God given mission.
Evangelize the Lost: We are called to lead people into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ, by clearly presenting to them their fallen human condition and the wonderful person/work of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are also to Baptize them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Disciple the Saved: We are called to mentor and teach those that have come to faith in Christ so that they can develop into healthy, spiritually mature followers of our risen Lord.
Worship: We as God’s people are called to gather corporately to sing praises to God and to offer our lives as living sacrifices, poured out for the Glory of God. Both are legitimate forms of Christian worship.
Pray for the Sick: Let’s listen to the words of James concerning offering prayers for the sick:
“14Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven” James 5:14-15 (ESV).
We as God’s people are called to the holy ministry of praying for those that are physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually sick. In doing so, we are serving as Physician Assistants for the Great Physician, Jesus.
Preach/Teach God’s Word: God’s Word does a good job speaking for itself on this topic:
“ 1I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” 2 Timothy 4:1-2 (ESV)
May we never forget that God’s Word changes people, situations, and things for the better.
Feed and Clothe the Poor: Our church is active in fulfilling these purposes through participation in the Jerusalem Fund and Pamlico County Loaves and Fishes. A person will be more open to spiritual things when their physical needs have been adequately met.
Take Care of the Orphans and Widows/Widowers:
James said “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” James 1:27 (ESV)
Our church takes care of orphans through our financial support of the Kennedy Home in Kinston. I pray that all of us as Christians would be sensitive and open to ministering to the widows and widowers that God has placed in our families and spheres of influence. We will receive a blessing for doing so.
As we move forward into a New Year, let us move forward TOGETHER with GOD and with EACH OTHER as we stay laser focused on carrying out God’s mission, God’s way.
Blessings to you all and HAPPY NEW YEAR!