Sunday, January 8, began a two-part vision series, “All-In for Jesus,” with part 1 – Church Vision and Goals. This post contains our official 2023 Church Goals document and other highlights. Next week’s focus will be on Personal Goals and Stewardship.
At the end of the Momentum Youth Conference last year, one of the speakers challenged the 2000 teenagers in attendance to “be All-In for Jesus because He went all-in for you.” That guiding truth is for ALL of us.
A mission statement explains why something exists. When a group of soldiers goes on a mission it is defined – “THIS is what we must accomplish.” Jesus said that our mission is to “go and make disciples.”
Community Grace’s Mission Statement is: We exist to glorify God by being Christ followers.
Vision is about where we believe God is leading us as a church. It’s about how we will accomplish the mission together and what it will look like when we do.
Community Grace’s Vision is reflected in three statements. As we accomplish our mission, it will look like this: WORSHIP THE KING • MATURE AS FAMILY • ENGAGE THE WORLD.
Click here for a PDF of our 2023 Goals!
I. How Will We Worship the King?
“At Community Grace, we define worship as the active response of a Christ-follower to who God is and what He does. “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24). Worship is accomplished in the life of a believer when submitting one’s whole self to God (Romans 12:1-2). To worship God is the reason humans exist (Romans 11:36).”
II. How Will We Mature as Family?
Shawn Mason, who has served as our Youth Director for 8 years, preached this point of the sermon. In it he challenged everyone to take their God-given ownership as a spiritual parent or grandparent and for some, as a biological or adoptive parent/grandparent. In a church family, these go hand-in-hand.
Shawn casted the vision for becoming a better “Family Equipping Church,” as it is parents who are a child’s first and best disciplers and who are assisted by the church family for this great task.
Shawn then presented the fulfillment of one of our 2022 goals – the development and launch of our “Legacy Path” for family discipleship.
We also reminded the church in this message that after almost two years of intentional development and preparation, Shawn will be presented by the elders in our January 22 annual meeting for a congregational vote to become our new “Pastor of Youth and Family Ministries.”
Ahead of this vote and Shawn’s potential transition into this role, I wanted to provide the congregation with a few helpful insights into Shawn’s development and readiness for this commission.
First, if you missed it, you can read what I wrote about Shawn toward the end my Q3 2022 senior pastor report here.
Second, click below to read Shawn’s ministry resume.
Third, some may wonder, is it right to hire such a young dad as Shawn in such a role as pastor in family ministries? Wouldn’t it naturally seem better to have a 50–60-year-old man with grandkids in that position? At first thought, yes. In fact, this question has been forefront on my mind since the day Shawn and I began his path to becoming a pastor almost two years ago, and I am happy to report what my considerations over this period of time have become:
- 1) With me, Pastor Chuck, the Discipleship Counseling Team that Chuck and Jay Bell are forming, plus the new Executive Pastor, yes, the age and experience of CG’s pastoral team allows us to raise up a younger Youth and Family Ministries Pastor.
- 2) This is why we are placing the “Youth” ahead of the “Family” in the position title – a mark of Shawn’s continuing primary involvement in youth ministry while he develops family ministries early on. This will likely change in coming years.
- 3) A younger age does not disqualify any pastor outright (biblically and testified by numerous examples), but it does warrant close examination of all other character, competency, and calling qualities, and we have closely examined these.
- 4) Shawn fully grasps the vision for the desired future of family ministries at CG and is primed, ready, and hungry for leading its launch and bringing families to greater maturity as he leads his own family.
- *Please contact me with any further questions!
After Shawn preached this point, I returned to add the vital involvement our small groups and ministries have in our Maturing as Family. I thank our small group leaders for sticking out their necks to provide relational shepherding to the flock at Community Grace. Small Groups kick off in a couple weeks, by the way, are you in one!? Find and sign up for one or a couple to visit, here.
III. How Will We Engage the World?
A. LOCALLY: Two Musts for Engaging the World
1. Personal Holiness
1 Peter 1:13–15 – Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct.
Holiness is a distinctive of God’s people. Again, we need to be all-in for Jesus because He was all-in for us. If we do not pursue holiness, we will be powerless. If we quench and grieve the Holy Spirit, will He give us power? If we disobey God, will He bless us? Can we expect God to be the source of our peace if the world is the source of our satisfaction?
2. Plant and Water Gospel Seeds in Our Fields
This is not reserved for some gifted Christians; it is THE mission of all Christians.
Our fields are everyone we talk to, whether for a moment in a store, a business relationship, we tell people God loves them, that I believe in Jesus, that there is a solution for evil, that there is hope – His name is Jesus, that they are invited to CG. God gives us daily opportunities to plant these Gospel seeds.
CG will continue to add global mission effort, send out missionaries, and adopt UPG’s like our focus on the Fulani people of North and Central Africa.
Here is the link to the one-minute video of our current missionaries that we played on Sunday. Will you say a prayer for them as you watch? – Video of our Missionaries
Take ownership of our Engage the World goals. People can only be saved if they hear about Jesus. A church can only grow if new people walk through the door!
A closing prayer: “Father God, we want success and the church to grow, but not so we look great but that you look great. Will you guide and grow each of us, and us as your church, as we worship and follow Jesus together.”
On this Mission, with Vision, together,
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