Summary: This is the vision statement given by me at Church at the Mission before the congregation vote for the new Lead Pastor.

Matthew’s Vision Statement for Church at the Mission (CATM) – November 11, 2007

I’ve been asked to share a little about my vision for CATM. Vision is an important thing. God says that without a vision, the people perish.

Vision is partly a dream, partly a goal or objective; it is partly a preferred outcome, but vision about the church has everything to do with the mind of Christ and His purposes, His desires, His great and holy purpose…for his church, and for the people in the community around us that we get to love.

So I would hope that my vision for CATM does not limit or exceed Christ’s vision. So, with that in mind I humbly offer you the vision that I believe God has given me for our church, which is His church.

I see us love with God.

There is nothing better than knowing God and loving God. God has given us the capacity to love Him and to live our lives in Him.

If we want to understand who we are and to know why we are here, we must take God seriously and we must take ourselves seriously as the beloved of God.

Loving Jesus means being whole-heartedly committed to Him as the one love above all other loves, but it also means loving one another and loving the stranger.

It means believing that we are here to accompany others on their journey. It means always being open to new people. It means always being spiritually and emotionally prepared as a community to embrace all people, including the poor and the poorest of the poor.

Loving Jesus means reaching out and living the gospel, being people of good news. It means being prepared to answer people when they ask, “Why do you care about me? Why do you spend time with me? Why do you bother to help me dream?”

It means being ready to say that most simple and meaningful of things: Because God loves you, because He sent His son to die for you. Because you are my sister, you are my brother.”

I see us understand our calling. We are not here for ourselves. If you’ve been coming to CATM for long you’ve probably heard that said in a bunch of different ways.

As church in this community we are the one organization that exists for the benefit of its non-members. We exist because God loves the world and chooses to love the world primarily through the church.

There are thousands of people with a few km of here who need to be loved, who need help, who need to hear the old, old story that is somehow always fresh and new, that God loves them so much that He sent his son to live and die, and so that we would know something of the height and depth of God’s great love.

We are here for those who are yet to be blessed through us, who are yet to hear the gospel preached in love. I see us growing to understand that we are a people of mission who are called to be missional in everything that we do, agents of grace and agents of change in our community and in our city.

I see us numbers.

Within five years I see triple the number of people who call CATM their home church and are involved in weekly service and worship. I see a hundred people enrolled in our Christian education programs annually. Dozens being baptised annually.

I see an army of CATM members committed to impacting our community for Christ, serving in diverse ways according to their gifting and personal style, in ways that each one is passionate about and in ways that bring fulfillment to individuals and that bring about God’s Kingdom in the community.

As we grow, I see us finding ways to strengthen the intimacy we share in worship and to continue to build deep bonds of friendship among us. The love we have for one another is a key way that God draws people to Jesus.

We are privileged to be a church that is a vital part of a visionary and growing mission. YSM is in the process of expanding its capacity to serve in many of the poorest neighbourhoods in Toronto.

I see CATM giving birth to new congregations around the city as the mission expands its role as a city-wide mission and expands its social services into many of the low-income communities in the city.

I see new churches being birthed wherever the mission sets up shop around the city. I see a CATM Scarborough, a CATM Jane-Finch, a CATM Kingston Road and Galloway. Wherever there is no vibrant missional church in the city where the mission goes, I see us birthing new congregations.

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