Our Mission, and the Four Outcomes
Over the past four years of working at the Chapel, I’ve come to know that a couple of things are incredibly important to our team and to our body. First- the mission statement: we want to ensure that every man, woman, and child has the repeated opportunity to hear, see, and respond to the gospel message of Jesus Christ. This has eternal consequences, for sure. But it also has here and now consequences as well. Imagine what Western New York could look like if the gospel was so readily pervasive throughout our region? Imagine if, through the faithful effort of the Church, people really did give others in their area or geography repeated opportunities to hear, see, and respond to the gospel. I can’t help but believe and imagine that people would come to know the Father through Jesus. How that could change our region!
Imagine if, through the faithful effort of the Church, people really did give others in their area or geography repeated opportunities to hear, see, and respond to the gospel. I can’t help but believe and imagine that people would come to know the Father through Jesus.
In addition to the mission though, the reality is that there are some key things that we believe are so important to fulfilling what we are endeavoring to do. These key things have everything to do with the spiritual formation of the people who make up the Church at Western New York. You see, the ability to reach every man, woman, and child, in God’s magnificent yet mysterious design- He’s invited us to participate in this! It really is quite challenging to wrap our minds around that. Just as important as the mission statement is the spiritual formation of the people. Formation in the following areas:
- Intimacy with God - It is so incredibly important for us as followers of Christ to be close to Him. This isn’t simply some programmatic thing that is done without engaging the heart. We need to engage God in prayer, in silence, in reading His Word. There are a number of disciplines that can help us to grow deeper with the Father, but the reality is that this very thing has so much to do with our ability join God on his mission. Intimacy awakens us to a relationship that we could go so deep in, if only we would make time to prioritize.
- Christ-Like Relationships - In John 13:34-35, Jesus talks to us about how the world will know us by our love for one another. I think about this often. I think about how, if my wife and our children are actually living our lives, loving one another in a way that is distinguishably different from those who don’t know Jesus. I have this hope that people would ask the question, “What’s so different about you and your family?” By God’s grace, they have. And we’ve had the opportunity to help people to understand that it’s really not about us, but it’s about Jesus and what he’s done in us to change us. And this bleeds over in to so many other areas. Not just in how we love one another, but how we love the world around us as well.
- Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts - Over the past two years, I’ve had the privilege of seeing a number of people come to faith in Jesus Christ. And when they do, I try to help them understand something so important- God did not make a mistake when he made you! Further, I try to let them know that God made them in such a way that He gave them some passions that they could use to love and serve others, and ultimately to bring God glory. It’s so important to discover our passions- because when we see what God has given us an excitement for, we can serve the church and the community in such a way where we actually are invigorated by living our lives with open hands! We do that when we discover our passions and let God use us in a manner that helps to saturate our area with the gospel.
- Knowing Your Grace Story - It’s so cool to be aware of the story that God is telling in your life. This just isn’t about the moment that you came to accept Jesus for the first time. That’s definitely an important part of it. But it can be much more than that as well! Personally, I think about my marriage to my wife, where I volunteer throughout the week, and my role as a father and foster-parent. God is continuing to tell a story about Him through our lives. And when people ask me about my story, I’m ready. I’m ready to share about how much God has done in and through me as I have followed Christ.
These spiritual formation areas in our life are so important to the mission. The more that we maintain an active consciousness that these areas of our spiritual formation are vital to joining God on His mission, the better positioned I think we can be to help give every man, woman, and child the repeated opportunity to hear, see, and respond to the Gospel message of Jesus Christ.