Our Purpose: We exist as a Church in order to lead people upwards in their love for God, and outwards in their love for people.
Scripture tells us that all people are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27), and that God loves all people (John 3:16). So it makes sense that the more than we love God, the more love we will have for the people who are made in His image! The more we love God, the more we will love what He loves! Jesus made this connection when He said “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” (Matthew 22:37-39).
Loving God sounds great, but what does it look like to love God? What would someone actually do if they love God? Jesus made it pretty clear when He said, “If you love me, keep my commands… Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. ” (John 14:15, 21).
These statements of Jesus lead us from our Purpose to our Mission…
Our Mission: We lead people into the life-transforming process of Discipleship.
A Disciple is a person who experiences life transformation as they apply Jesus’ teaching to every area of life.
A Disciple becomes a Disciple-Maker- one who seeks to lead others into the same life-transformation that they have experienced!
Our understanding of our mission comes from the Great Commission, in which Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
How can a person grow in their love for God and in their love for others? How can a person learn to apply Jesus’ teaching to their life, and experience the life-transformation? Is it enough to read books on the subject, or listen to podcasts, or attend a conference? Those are great for gathering information, but they do not produce transformation. God designed the Church, the local group of people who are following Jesus on this journey of discipleship, to be the vehicle by which this life-change happens.