Foundations: Foundational Piece #3- Know Your Mission
"If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do"
Psalm 11:3 (ESV)
This is the third blog in our series. To take a look at the previous blog, please check here
It is critical that we define our mission and vision so that we do not drift from it. Any church that cannot articulate its mission does not really know what it stands for, and if they cannot define their mission they will drift from living on mission. That is a fact, there is no way around it.
And when it comes to the ability to define the mission and vision, it is not enough for the elders to be able to do it. It is not a shared mission until we can share it as a body of believers, committed to Christ, committed to one another and committed to a mutually shared mission.
Our Mission statement is very, very simple, and I will explain why we seek to keep it simple in a minute, but just to read and share it for anyone who may be in the dark:
“Our mission is to Love God, make disciples of Jesus and to plant Gospel-Centered churches”
It’s pretty simple- as it should be. Christianity can get WAY too complex, and it should be simple, biblical and avoiding the trappings of complexity and confusion.
I used to work for a company where we would meet with businesses and try to get them to clearly articulate their mission, vision and shared commitments or core values. People would come up with these intricate and complex mission statements and I would often think, “There is no way that you are even going to remember that after you walk out of the room, so how is it supposed to be a guiding force behind your company?”
I saw many churches come in and do the same thing while I was there. I would meet with pastors and they would have these verbose, complex statements and I couldn’t help but wonder, “What are you even doing?”
Perhaps the most troubling thing I have seen is that churches think that they are the ones who are supposed to come up with their mission and vision.
- Jesus is the one who defines the church
- Jesus is the One who purchased the church
- Jesus is the Head of the church
- Jesus should be able to, and already has, been the One who defines the mission of the church- not us.
We do not need to create a mission because Jesus gave the church a GREAT COMMISSION (Matthew 28:16-20).
Any other mission will never be as great as the mission that Jesus died to purchase for His church.
We do not have to wonder what it looks like, because Jesus clearly defined for us a GREAT COMMANDMENT (Luke 10:25-37) and anything less that we would give our lives to will never be as great and would be, well...less.
So really, the mission of the church is simply “The Great Commandment+The Great Commission=our mission”
There can be different language we use so that it is palpable to our unique and multivarried churches and to allow for creativity, but even if the language differs the message should be the same.
- Defined by Jesus
Again, our mission clearly stated is: “Our mission is to Love God, make disciples of Jesus and to plant Gospel-Centered churches”
Over the next week, we are going to dive into explaining the three main components of:
- Growing in love with our Savior as disciples of Jesus
- Making disciples of Jesus
- Multiplying disciples through the planting of healthy, reproducing churches
But, the most important part of a church's mission is that it actually exists in reality. It cannot just be words on a page. They must reflect the honest heart-motivations of the church and honestly reflect what life in a church community looks like.
So, as we consider "FOUNDATIONS", it is important to define what we are about. It is important that what we are about comes directly from God's Word and is in line with His purposes. It is important that it reflects God's foundation- the precious, life giving Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is important that Jesus defines the mission for His church.
These truths ARE foundational because they are objective truth from God's holy Word. But these truths become foundational for an actual body, a local assembly, when they are lived out and direct who we are as a church and direct what we say yes to and what we say no to. Our mission is supposed to be a grid, but it is also supposed to be a filter to help keep the main thing the main thing and not veer off path resulting in a different, lesser mission.
"God, please grant us the courage as leaders to lead our church on this simple but worthy mission. May we lead as those who have given our lives to this mission. May it be evident to the the body that the leaders bleed this mission. May our body be constructed of those who rally together around a simple, biblical mission and free us from the trappings of complexity, confusion and the busyness of consumeristic-Christian-culture, and may we refuse to be diverted from this noble call so that many might hear and know of the grace and majesty of our King."
To listen to the sermon that went along with this blog from the series, "Letting Jesus Define Redeemer's Mission" click here