Summary: this message establishes the mission for our congregation is a simple manner.
Scripture: Proverbs 29:18
Proverbs 29:18 says the following and I will be reading from the Amplified version of the Bible: “Where there is no vision, no redemptive revelation of God, the people perish; but he who keeps the law of God, which includes that of man, blessed, happy, fortunate and enviable is he.” (Proverbs 29:18) This verse speaks to how the revealed word of God empowers us to be restrained from evil. It actually says that the revelation from God’s word will keep us from perishing. At the time that this wisdom was given, the revelations of God came through the prophets. God used the prophets to reveal his plans and guidance for His people. Every time that they strayed away from what God had told them to do, they got into trouble. Whenever their focus was taken off of the direction that God had given them, they entered into sin and some perished due to their sins. It was God’s word and direction being revealed through His prophets that kept the people from perishing.
So let’s bring this verse forward several thousands of years. Today this same wisdom applies to us with the exception that we have the wisdom of God spoken in one volume (the Bible) and we can now speak to God directly without the need of a prophet because of Jesus Christ. Prior to Jesus Christ coming, the “non-prophets” had to hear from God through the prophets. What we need to understand is that as Christians we have the right and the expectation that God will speak to us about our situation. We are His children and He is our Father. I do not talk to my children through a mediator, I talk to them in a manner that hopefully they can understand me if they listen. God does the same with us – He wants to talk with us and He uses several methods. He will speak to our spirits through the Holy Spirit; He will give us dreams and visions; and yes, there are times when He may speak directly to us – if we are open to listening and hearing Him.
I’ve shared this background with you because I want to reapply this verse to our Church and what God told me to do eight years ago. I thought I had done a good job but the blinders have been pulled off and I see that I have not. We will start correcting this today.
I. Our Mission Statement
As we continue our transition into this community, we have embarked on a journey to fully define who we are as we understand what God has called us to do. To that end in the adult and youth Bible study classes we have begun reading a book titled “Simple Church” by Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger. This book was chosen because it’s content focuses on how to make disciples for Christ in a simple fashion. As I began reading the book, I was excited with some of the concepts that I read as I thought that we have been on the right track. We did – in my opinion – have a simple mission and focused, but we were not really executing on it completely. So as I was reading the book, my mind went to places where we can get better. (By the way, the definition of mission is “sending out or being sent out to perform a special service.”) Keep this definition in mind.
In our first class session, we discussed the first two chapters and I asked the class who could tell me what our mission statement was. I was happy as I knew everyone would know what this Church was about – or what our mission was. Again, I had blinders on as the only person who knew was the secretary and Kim said it was because she sees it all the time (something I took note of.). That was an awakening moment because I truly assumed that everyone knew. Not wanting to believe that no one could tell me, I asked a few people on the following Sunday morning to tell me what our mission statement says. I got several answers but none that fully captured what we are “supposed” to be about. Again, I was awakened to the fact that our mission had been lost because we could not explain to anyone what we are about. So let me refresh your memory as to what our mission statement says.
When this Church was conceived, God told me to do two things. Let me read our mission statement to you and explain what it means. Our mission statement says: “To establish a community Church that will minister to the spiritual needs of everyone. A Church not established solely on the calling and gifts of one person, but corporately on the calling and gifts of all its members. A Church that worships God freely while serving one another in love and unity."