Our VISION as a Church
One thing I love about the desert is that you can see for miles. Without that vision, I feel a little lost.
When I lived on the East Coast surrounded by trees it was beautiful but I carried around this constant longing to be able to see further than a few dozen feet in front of me. As I drove on the highway I could follow directions but I couldn’t shake the question, “Where am I going?” I couldn’t see. I remember the glorious feeling when we finally hiked up a small mountain and were able to see out for miles again. I finally knew where I was and where I was going.
I think our Christian lives are like this. We often live week to week in the forest of school schedules, work deadlines, doctors appointments, oil changes, and Facebook updates. Some of it is great, some of it is terrible, but I think we carry around a longing to know “Where are we going? Does any of the small stuff of life have meaning and significance? Are we really part of something that matters?” I think periodically as Christians we need to climb the mountain and get high enough to see where we are and where we are headed.
This Sunday we’re going to take a short break and launch a five-week mini-series at Cross of Grace on our vision as a church. In the next few weeks, we want to layout where we think God is taking us as a church, what we long to see happen in our city, and how we want to live as a church community.
I hope the next few weeks together will be that moment of seeing out and grabbing hold of the vision of the church God has given in his word.
What Will We Cover?
Here’s what we’ll look at each Sunday:
9/8 - Strength in Weakness
9/15 - Gospel Renewal
9/22 - Disciples
9/29 - Family
10/6 - Witnesses
The first message is our starting place: weakness. We don’t arrive strong and full of grandiose plans, telling God what we want to do. Instead, we acknowledge our weakness and see that through it God’s strength advances the message.
Then in our second message, we’ll lay out our new vision statement for the church and how it relates to the Great Commission in Matthew 28 and Acts 1. We’ve thought and prayed over this and I’m excited to explore it together. It’s not new (it’s a very old vision!) but I hope it will helpfully articulate where we are going as a church.
Then in our last three messages, we’ll look at how we live our Christian lives in a way that makes a difference and advances the mission. We’ll do this through three core identities Scripture gives us as Christians. I’m hoping these will be very practical and leave us with specific steps to take. We’ll even have some optional homework to help people take the messages home.
What If I Want to Join the Church as a Member?
This Fall instead of doing our normal membership class we’re going to doing things a little differently. If you are here for the VISION series and want to join the church family we’ll have two follow-up meetings for you.
10/6 - Membership Meeting -- At this meeting, we’ll talk through some of the specifics of joining the church such as our structure and members commitments. There will also be an opportunity for Q&A about what we’ve taught so bring your questions. This will either take place during each church service or after the second service--we’ll finalize that soon.
10/20 - Membership Party -- At this meeting, we’ll celebrate those desiring to join the church, introduce you to some of the leaders at the church you may not have met, and give some next steps for getting the most out of the church possible.
TBD -- Membership Interview -- This can happen anytime after 10/6. We have each person desiring to join the church to meet with a pastor to answer any questions they have personally, make sure they understand what’s involved, and make a personal connection to a pastor.
So if you want to join the church there are three steps:
- Join us for the VISION series and listen to any messages you miss
- Join us for the membership meeting on 10/6
- Set up a time to meet with a pastor for a membership interview
Will You Join Us in Prayer?
I have been praying since the summer for this series and would love to invite you to join me in prayer. Let’s ask that the Lord would lead us high up the mountain and give us his vision for the church. Let’s ask that newer people would catch the vision. Let’s pray that longtime members would be refreshed. Let’s ask that God do more than we can ask or think.
See you on the mountain,