We believe that God’s purpose for us as His church is to glorify Christ in all we do. We glorify Christ by putting Him first. He is the one we should seek to please and proclaim in our every word and deed, in every ministry and every relationship. We exist to put Christ first in our worship, our word ministries, our communities, and our relationships. Here’s what we mean by that...
Revelation 7:9-10 gives us God’s vision statement for the church: “a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the lamb, clothed in white robes with palm branches in their hands, an crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” God the Father, through God the Spirit, is gathering a people to worship Him through God the Son. We were created to glorify God, and we were redeemed to glorify God. Our task today is to live out this future, heavenly worship in our present, earthly world. To put Christ first in our worship is to put Christ first in our hearts, not only on Sunday morning but in everything we do.
Did you know that you are called to ministry of the Word? This isn’t just for preachers and Sunday school teachers. Not many are teachers (James 3:1), but all are called to speak and teach the truth to one another! (Col 3:16, Eph 4:15) God has gifted some of us to formal teaching—small groups and sermons and such. But we can all point each other to Christ in big and small ways. It could be as simple as writing someone an encouraging note. Or reading a Bible story to a child in the nursery. Or chatting about the sermon over lunch or coffee. The gospel message is the power of God for salvation and the truth that sets us free. When you embrace your call to word ministry, however big or small, you set that powerful truth to work in our church.
Think about your closest relationships within your church. What are those relationships built on? Why are you close to those people and not others? We tend to form close relationships based on the things we have in common: shared hobbies and interests, shared stage of life, shared political views. But as Christians, the most important thing we have in common is that we are redeemed sinners, called to learn Christ together. Christian community is a great gift, but it is a gift with a purpose: to glorify Christ together. We are to use these relationshisp to help each other grow in Christlikeness. We strive to make it clear for all to see that our love for one another is built on nothing less than Christ’s love for us.
If we truly put Christ first inside our church, we will begin to reach outside our church to put Christ first in our communities. Christ came on a mission to seek the lost, and the more we become like Christ, the more we embrace that same mission. We can do this as individuals by sharing the gospel with friends and neighbors, or even just inviting someone to church. We can also reach out together. There are a lot of opinions out there on the best strategy for reaching the lost, but one thing is clear: whatever strategy we use, we must not disobey our Great Commission.