Almost two years go, we appointed a team of people among our church family to spearhead our missional reach as a church, both locally and internationally. Our Missions Team has since been working to help deepen relationship with our ministry partners, while mobilizing both covenant members, attenders and guests to be living expressions of the love of Christ by serving our community and our world. You can read more about our Missions Team, our partners and our missional vision here.
Shortly after the team was appointed, we encouraged them to read a book I had come across several years ago, that is also on our Recommended Reading list as a church. The book had a profound impact on my understanding of the church’s responsibility to it’s community and the world. Much of the philosophy that guides our mission as a church has been shaped by this book, but of course, nothing has shaped us more than the Gospel and the Scriptures themselves!
Robert Lewis’s The Church of Irresistible Influence focuses on the necessity of the local church being a bridge-builder in the community. Lewis writes, “If the church functions with any other design than that of a bridge, it dooms itself.” The book paints a beautiful picture of…
- …a church that exists NOT for itself but for the world around it;
- a church that spends less time pouring INTO itself and more time pouring itself OUT for others,
- a church that spends less time pointing out the worlds wrongs and more time pointing the world to God’s love found in Jesus.
The idea of being a church FOR our community, that exists for the GOOD of our community, is woven into the fabric of who we are and who we are still becoming. However, it is critically important to keep in mind that as we continue to be part of the building of this local church and the advancement of the Gospel mission for which it exists, our purpose is not to draw attention to ourselves, but instead to always keep the focus on Jesus. That’s why we exist – we exist for Him; to make His name great and not our own.
Which means when we’re living missionally, many times our work will go unnoticed and exist in anonymity. But that’s okay, because as long as people see evidence of Jesus in what we do, we’re accomplishing our mission!
This is the heart behind our “A Summer to Serve” initiative, which includes resources and suggestions on how we can live out our missional purpose in practical ways each week, and our latest sermon series that continues this Sunday – Love Where Your Live.
I continue to be amazed at what we get to do together and stand in awe of the church that Jesus continues to build through us. Whether you’re a covenant member, a regular attender, or have just recently started visiting with us, we encourage you to take an even deeper step than you have before to be a living, humble expression of the love of Christ in our world alongside others. This is what we have been created and redeemed for!