We’ve learned that no church can do everything well. In fact, no church can do everything period. Either consciously or unconsciously, a church will make decisions about what is important and what to emphasize. So we are making an effort to deliberately choose a focus that we believe will please God. This focus consists of a Vision and Purposes.
Our Vision: Loving Like Jesus
Love is to be the outstanding characteristic of Christians (Deuteronomy 6:4-6; Mark 12:28-34; Romans 13:8-10; Galatians 5:13-14). A vision of loving like Jesus means we want love to be the major influence for all we do as individuals and as a church. It’s the big picture we want to keep in mind always (1 Peter 4:8 “above all”). We want to be known as a loving church (John 13:34-35).
Genuine Christian love is from the heart (1 Peter 1:22) and will lead to obedience to God (John 14:15) as well as proper actions toward others (1 John 3:18). Some of those actions will be “warm and fuzzy” while others may be difficult (Mark 10:21). To love like Jesus includes letting him correct our ideas about love and show us the specifics of what real love is and looks like in practice.
Loving like Jesus also means loving everyone, regardless of race, ethnic group, gender, socio-economic group, or whatever. It also includes loving not only God and Jesus, but also every Christian, our spouse, families, co-workers, neighbors, those not yet in Christ, and even our enemies. We learn to feel and practice love in all the actual relationships God has set before us.
Our love for God, Jesus, and others will also lead us to act on the purposes God has for us as his people. Obeying his commandments out of love (John 14:15) includes obeying his instructions to fulfill his purposes. That means loving like Jesus also entails ministering to others according to God’s purposes and, like Jesus, doing this in loving ways (Mark 10:21; John 13:1). This leads to …
J-oined together in love in Christ (love, fellowship, the body, Christian community)
E-xalting God through Christ (congregational worship, private devotions, lifestyle)
S-erving Others in the name of Christ (needs outreach, benevolence, food)
U-ndergoing personal transformation to be like Christ (maturity, spiritual formation)
S-haring the good news about Christ (outreach, evangelism, missions)
Of course, any focus is only as good as it is actually practiced. We invite you to join us as we seek to focus in heart and action on these matters that God has set before us.