- I’m New Here
- The Back Table
Every church has the same mission, and we have enunciated that for our church: We exist to glorify God by making disciples of Jesus Christ. Every church also has a vision for accomplishing that mission, or a way they do things. This page is dedicated to explaining the way we do things as a church. Because of our core values (The Word, The Gospel, The Truth, The Church, and The Nations), we do things in a certain way, trying to be faithful to the message and meaning of the Scriptures. We turn to Ephesians 4 and see that God has a particular vision for the church and we make that our own.
11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherdsand teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. (Ephesians 4:11-16, ESV)
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers.
Look at the context:
Jesus has a very clear process: 12 [Pastors are given by Jesus …] to equip [to make someone completely adequate for something; to cause to be fully qualified; Means: 2 Timothy 3:16-17] the saints for the work of ministry [service; word is actually diakonias, for service], for building up the body [living organism] of Christ. Jesus also has a clear purpose: 13 Until we all attain to the unity of the faith [believe the same things] and the unity of the knowledge of the son of God [know the same Jesus], to mature manhood [spiritual maturity], to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.
This process and purpose has God-given results: 14 So that we ay no longer be children (maturity), tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine (stability), by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes (shrewdness). 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ. Our church has been greatly helped by the book The Trellis and the Vine by Colin Marshall and Tony Payne. The central theme of this landmark book on biblical church ministry is that the goal of all ministry is the nurture of disciples. This discipleship comes out in three areas:
We structure our ministry around these three ideas, planning events, programs, services, classes, and mission opportunities to the end that God might be glorified in the nurture of disciples.
We rest on the biblical truth that the growth of every true church is empowered by God. From whom [Christ] the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes [That is, Christ makes…] the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
The power of God in Jesus works through the collected church to build it up as we follow this vision. The proper working of each individual part refers to the believer’s competency as he or she matures. Each part works properly when it is equipped properly. Each part works with all the other parts to be “the church”.
There are some practical ideas I want to share with you along the same lines as this passage and the Trellis and Vine book I mentioned earlier.
Our prayer is that our vision will be clear and that you will join us in our efforts to make disciples, nurture disciples, and glorify God.