This message is the first in a series that deals with the Mission, Vision and Values of First Baptist Church.
When I use the word Mission I am talking about something that is God given…something that is held in common by all churches and individuals who call upon Jesus as Savior and Lord.
When you hear me talk about Vision I am referring to how a particular individual or congregation lives out their God given Mission in a specific place and time.
Vision is a picture of a preferable future…if your vision for your life or for the congregation already exists…then it is not a vision…it is a description of reality…a vision should stretch…it should challenge…it should demand growth…a God given Vision will take your breath away as you think about how the world will be transformed as it becomes a reality.
Values, values are those characteristics of the individual or community that you hold so sacred that you will not sacrifice as you pursue the Mission and Vision.
Some people like to refer to Mission as our sense of purpose…but when it comes to the church, to the things of God I believe we have something bigger than a purpose…we have a God given Mission.
When Jesus says, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life will find it.” (Matthew 16) he is declaring that his disciples have a mission, are on mission…our lives go beyond purpose.
Jesus very clearly gives the Mission when he says,
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
This has been the ongoing mission of the healthy and vibrant church seeking to follow Christ since the day Jesus spoke it.
Jesus invites us, no calls us, to partner in what was his Mission…to draw people to God.
This is our mission…the only question is whether we chose to accept it