Summary: This message focuses on fulfilling God’s vision for the Willow Vale Community Church. The message was given at a church vision dinner to present the 2006 budget.

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“Fulfilling Our Mission”

“Finding God’s Vision for the Willow Vale Church”

Pastor Ray Ellis

Our Mission - "Bringing people to Jesus, loving, equipping, and sending them out to make more and better disciples." (BLES)

Philippians 1:5-6 “Because you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. And I am sure that God, who began the good work within you, will continue has work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again.”

Our partnership is with one another and the Holy Spirit. When we consider finding God’s vision for the Willow Vale Church we know that God alone knows what is best for this His church. God has placed the Willow Vale Church in this location for a holy purpose.

Finding and carrying out God’s vision is a partnership. The partnership is between the people of God and the risen Christ. The Apostle Paul was on trial before King Agrippa, Acts 26:19; he gave his testimony to the King and described how the risen Christ has appeared to him on the road to Damascus. The he said, “So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven.”

God’s vision for the church is clear as seen in the life and ministry of Jesus. Jesus gave the church the great commission in Matthew 28:18-20, “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.”

Jesus also gave the purpose of His coming and the mission He expects the church to continue: Luke 19:10, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”

God’s vision for the church is clear we are to “seek and save the lost,” and “make disciples of all people groups.”

Our supreme task as a local church is to carry out these two commands of Jesus. We carry them out by keeping outreach as the main focus of the church. Our part is to make decisions and take actions to continue the work that Jesus started. Our part is also to trust God for the increase knowing that the work of God is “Not by human power or might but by the Spirit of the Lord.”

The local church is both an organism and an organization. As an organism the church is the Body of Christ. An organism is alive and dynamic in the power of the risen Christ. As an organization the local church develops strategies and action plans to make an impact on the world.

The local church might be compared to a human body. A human body that is paraplegic. A paraplegic is alive with vital organs – heart, lungs and other vital organs. But the arms and legs don’t work. Getting the arms and legs to work is the part that planning and strategizing come into play. Both the organism and the organization of the church are necessary for vitality and health.

Jesus gave the disciples the command before his ascension in Luke 24:49, “I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Acts 1:4b,8 “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

When I think of the word “Vision; I think of word pictures of a preferable future. If I look at five years from now, 2010, what do I see?

Ministry Staff – I see effective ministry leaders for children, youth and adults. Pre school children are involved in “Little K” and school age children are interacting with “Kidmo” learning songs, memorizing scripture and praying. A part time Children’s Pastor is actively leading the children’s ministry and reaching out to many young families with pre-school and elementary age children.

I see youth ministry for Junior High and Senior Youth being led by a full time Youth Pastor. The youth are involved in developing a recreation ministry in the new multi-purpose gymnasium just constructed by the Willow Vale congregation.

A part-time Adult Ministry Pastor is providing activities and meaningful programs for young adults, middle age and senior age adults.

Church facilities provide growing room for the Willow Vale English speaking congregation, Hispanic church and Korean Church. The Willow Vale Church reflects the ethnic diversity of our community with a thriving and growing congregation growing at a rate of 10% a year. In the year 2010 the Willow Vale church is averaging 243 in worship, Korean church ministering to 82 in worship and Hispanic 125 in worship for a total of 450 in regular worship on a week-end on this site.

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