I recently heard an audio version of a book which was talking about Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous, “I have a dream” speech. It started out boring, people were even falling asleep. People had been outside for hours and they were hot and tired. Then I recently read the following.
However, I have learned something additional lately—thanks in part to Mahalia Jackson and Martin Luther King, Jr. On August 28, 1963, King began his speech to 250,000 people on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. However, Mahalia recognized the potential power of the moment and need for a course correction in Dr. King’s speech. At that moment, she began to call out repeatedly from her spot behind him on the platform, “Tell them about the dream, Martin.” And the rest is history!
We need to dream and let those dreams lead our vision. Over the last year, our church and our leaders have talked a lot about our vision for the future. We have narrowed it down to Reach the Lost, Nurture Faith, Meet Family Needs. That is our vision statement, but I believe that flows out of our dreams.
Our Mission Statement comes from Matthew 28:19-20:
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Our vision comes from the mission. We must think, “How do we achieve the Great Commission?”
So, we have the Vision Statement: Reach the Lost, Nurture Faith, Meet Family Needs
- We, as a church, are called to “reach the lost.” This means that we are called to evangelism. We read the great commission up top.
- We, as a church, are called to “nurture faith.” Once we reach people with the Gospel we cannot just drop them. No, they are then brought into our fellowship. We are to minister to them and alongside them, we want to “make disciples.” We want to worship the Lord together.
- We, as a church, are called to “meet family needs.” I wrestle with this because not everyone is a part of a biological family. Some are single young adults, some are single seniors, some are widows, or widowers; however, we are a family. When we say that we are meeting family needs this means that we are need meeting. This is “service” or another word would be “ministry.”
- What can you do? To do this we must break down the “vision statement” into the “vision path.” We are starting with the big picture of the great commission and then we bring it more specific with the vision statement and now we are going even more specific to the vision path. Let’s get more specific as a church and then let’s see how you fit. The following come from the five (5) purposes of the church which are: evangelism, discipleship, worship, ministry and fellowship. We as a church will:
- Promote a culture of fellowship: in fellowship we will “bear one another’s burdens,” “rejoice together,” and work together for the other four (4) purposes of the church recognizing that we sharpen each other and a cord of three strands is not easily broken.
Key Scriptures for fellowship:
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
As iron sharpens iron,
so one man sharpens another.
- Where do you fit: You fit everywhere in fellowship. You are part of the church by attending. But fellowship goes deeper. We are in fellowship when we are taking communion together and supporting each other in baptism. We are in fellowship when we share prayer requests together and when we pray for one another. We are in fellowship when we help each other.
- You are helping in fellowship by attending, by praying, by supporting.
- You are helping fellowship when you participate in discipleship, evangelism, ministry and worship.
- [We will] Nurture a culture of Discipleship- we will have opportunities of Christian Connections for spiritual growth in study, prayer, accountability. This allows our members to hold a Biblical Worldview. Discipleship must lead to evangelism, worship, ministry and include fellowship.
Key Scripture for Discpleship:
2 Tim. 3:16-17
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
- We are helping in discipleship when we take part in Christian Connections, when we engage on Sunday mornings during the sermon.
- If you are here and you like music but not preaching and so you just “get through the sermon” then you are inhibiting discipleship in your own life.
- We are helping in discipleship when we allow ourselves to be teachable and open to reading, studying, and listening to God’s word recognizing that we never stop learning all that God wants us to learn and that we always have a need for God to speak into our lives.
- We are helping discipleship when we are disciples in our lives. When we are imitating Christ in our life we are helping the church in discipleship.
- We are all helping in discipleship when we are about fellowship, ministry, evangelism and worship
- [We will] Cultivate a culture of Evangelism- Disciples make disciples and we will have training in evangelism, encouraging evangelism and in corporate evangelism, relational evangelism, lifestyle evangelism, servant evangelism, invitational evangelism as well as direct evangelism. This will include encouraging the body of Christ to know why they believe, what they believe and the correct understanding of the Gospel.
Key verse for evangelism:
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
- We are helping the church in evangelism when we are lifestyle witnesses and relational witnesses. This means our lives reflect Jesus and we build relationships and share the Gospel. We can also help with the evangelism movements of the church and directly share the Gospel.
- My prayer, my dream, is that we have an evangelical mindset. I hope we think about the reality of the Gospel in all we do.
- Now, for our shut ins, our saints in their homes, they can still help. Please pray. Prayer is not the least that we can do, it is the greatest we can do. James 5:16: The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
No one comes to know Christ as Savior without someone praying for them.
- I desire, I dream, that we would have a group meet here every week to pray for the lost. We need to pray for this giant spiritual need.
- [We will] Celebrate a culture of vertical worship- we will have corporate opportunities to worship the Lord. We will have special opportunities of worship; we will train the body of Christ in what worship is.
Key verse for Worship:
The twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:
“You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they were created
and have their being.”
- We are part of the church’s vision in worship when we try our best to worship God in all we do. We all help in the worship on Sunday mornings or special services. Please take worship seriously.
- We inhibit worship when we make it about us and not God.
- By the way, prayer helps worship. Prayer is always powerful.
- [We will] Uphold a culture of Serving Others : In service we love God and love people, recognizing that even our enemy is our neighbor. We want to be full of grace and truth to everyone as Jesus is grace and truth (John 1:14). We will minister in mission opportunities and encourage smaller ministries.
Key verse for Serving others:
‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
- We are helping with this part of our vision when we help with Mission Encounter, or serve at the food pantry, or somewhere else.
- If you are serving your neighbor, or coworker, you are helping in this.
- Don’t trivialize what you can or can’t do:
- Do you bake meals to help the caring committing? You are serving.
- Do you pray for our activities? That is helping in serving.
- Do you visit the sick or the shut-in? That is serving.
- Can you read to children in the childcare?
- Can you help with our Altercare Ministry by simply showing up?
- Do you help count money at events? Do you help with Carnation Days? Do you help with the facilities?
I want to give an opportunity for commitment. We are going to dismiss to the fellowship hall for lunch, but I hope our discussion will go on.
We will spend time in prayer and discussion with questions about how you fit into this vision statement and path. This way we can all help: Reach the Lost, Nurture Faith, Meet Family Needs.
God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)
Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)
Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)
Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)
Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)
Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)
 Audio version of the book Killing Kennedy