To know Christ and make Him known.
We are a family of believers:
• growing in the love of Jesus
• sharing the joy of worship
• serving our community and beyond
"We are a family of believers." The implication is that we are more than simply members of a club where we go to church and "punch our ticket." We are meant to be, and many already feel that they are, part of a close knit community who know each other, love each other, care for each other, support and encourage each other; sometimes hold each other accountable, but are always there, just like a family is meant to be. And, this family/community is because we are a part of the Body of Christ, His Church, that we believe in Jesus as our Savior, our Lord; and our love for others as family is born from our love for Him. Which is why....
"Growing in the love of Jesus" is the next phrase. How do we do that? First, by giving ourselves to Him wholly and completely; humbly emptying ourselves so that we might be filled with Him by His Holy Spirit. That we continue to grow by seeking to worship Him; that we come to know Him more by spending time in His Word daily and in small groups and discipleship classes with others. That we seek Him even as we pray to Him, alone and with others, And, we grow even as we serve, giving ourselves away and watching Him use us and work through us.
"Sharing the joy of worship" is part of not only "keeping the Sabbath holy," but also a weekly source of encouragement and reminder of Who He is, what He has done for us, and sharing that with the people we love. That is where the joy is found.
"Serving our Community and beyond." Jesus, as He went to the Upper Room with His apostles the night before He died, began His time with them by washing their feet. When He finished, He taught and reminded them that He didn't come to be served but to serve. When we talk about "following Jesus," being a "Christ-ian," when we say WWJD, we sometimes forget that "He came to serve" and that is the call on our lives. If we are believers in Jesus, we have the Holy Spirit; if we have the Holy Spirit, we have at least one gift of the Spirit (I Corinthians 12; Romans 12; Ephesians 4), and we are called to use our gift, for our good and the good of the Body. And, that means wherever we find ourselves: here, regionally, globally. The apostles were called, and eventually sent on a Mission, His Mission, "to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Some are called to serve in the Mission field; short term, long term; but all of us are called to be His missionaries wherever we are: to be His witnesses; and, to serve Him and others.
I pray that in the coming years we might together grow: grow in the knowledge and love of the Lord; grow more in love, friendship and community with each other as His family; grow more effective in our service to Him in our community, this community, and beyond. And, that our church, poised as it is, with people and facilities, would blossom and grow for the sake of His kingdom and to His glory. Use the new Vision Statement as a guide, and be blessed and a blessing!
With love, in Christ,