We exist to connect people to Jesus
By MAKING, MATURING and MOBILIZING
a community of Jesus-followers to reach
a community lost without Him.
What is a Jesus-follower? It’s someone who has experienced God’s immense love in Jesus and so has placed their full trust in Him for the forgiveness of sin and eternal life and is becoming like Him in person and mission.
MAKING = Bringing Christ to people
When Jesus said, “make disciples” (Mt. 28:19), He intended that His followers, out of compassion, prayerfully engage others with the gospel message in the hope of seeing them become a Jesus-follower. While becoming a Jesus-follower always centers on repentance, trust in, and surrender to the person and work of Jesus, the way this comes about is as varied as the people we are engaging.
So, it is our goal to be used by God as His ambassadors, who intelligently and compassionately convey the gospel message to our generation, praying for and urging them to repent of their sin and place their trust in Jesus.
MATURING = Growing Christ in people
In reality no one ever reaches perfect maturity. We are always in the state of maturing. Even still, when we speak about a mature disciple, we are talking about someone who is at a certain place in Christ-like development. Hebrews 5:14 defines the mature follower of Christ as “those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” While this definition isn’t complete, it’s a great place to start. A mature follower of Christ is the one who not only desires to live a God-pleasing life, but has put in the time to gain the theological understanding and skills of godly living, allowing God’s gospel light to publically shine bright in all areas of his life so others might come to follow Him. (Mt. 5:16; 28:18-20). One of the products of maturity is others are able to safely grow in Christ under their stable, skillful and godly care.
A helpful equation for understanding how maturity takes place is as follows:
MATURITY = Health + Time/Suffering + Training
To unpack this, a HEALTHY follower of Christ is one who is living a JOYOUS LIFE with God in Christ, is CONNECTED in authentic and purposeful Christian community, and has a clear sense of being SENT by God with the gospel to people.
A Connected Life… in authentic and purposeful Christian community
A healthy disciple prioritizes engagement in gospel-driven and grace-saturated relationships in a local church. Two reasons this is important: (1) Since we see God commit Himself in relationship to, in service to, and in service through a specific group of people, we are to do likewise; and (2) since we are image-bearers of the triune God, our growth in Christ happens in the context of committed and regular Christian community.
A Sent Life… by God to people with the gospel
The desire that others become Jesus-followers is an indicator of health. And so this individual is committed and intentional about stepping up and out to bring Christ to people and grow Him in them.
But health and time alone are not enough to bring about maturity. TRAINING is needed. Training is the addition of skill to devotion. Our devotion to Jesus causes us to seek out training so as to better bring the full testimony of Christ to people. Jesus trained His disciples, and in commanding us to make disciples calls us to be trained and to train others. Just like a mature athlete doesn’t rest on talent but is intentional to train his body to perform, so it is for us who are growing in Christ.
So, through carefully instructing each other in the Bible, purposefully engaging the Body of Christ in community, and practicing sacrificial, Great Commission service, we make it our ambition to increasingly look like Christ in our thoughts, actions, and priorities.
MOBILIZING = equipping and empowering people to make and mature Jesus-followers
Before leaving the earth Jesus stated that He was going to send His disciples the Holy Spirit. What is interesting is that the reason He would do this was to empower our witness of Him to the world (Acts 1:8). To be mobilized is to make and mature followers of Jesus in whatever context we are in. And as members of a local gathering of believers, we understand that our role is to see others grow in their love for – and life in – Christ. This is the call of every follower of Jesus. Though it can take on many forms, it has one goal: to be intentional about seeing people become Jesus-followers and mature in their “followership.”
So, we are committed to doing everything we can to provide the necessary urging and training for maturing Christians to be adequately prepared and motivated to serve and bring Jesus to others in whatever context they’re in.