One of the necessities of life that I don't particularly enjoy is that of having my vision screened. My glasses are probably several years old and my contacts are worn until I begin to worry that they are no longer safe to do so. If I want to replace either one, it requires a special screening and prescription. If I need both, I have to have two appointments or get charged for two visits. Something about all of this seems so unnecessary when I have participated in eye clinics in foreign countries with donated glasses from the Lion's Club and a focometer. Yet, this is required if you live in the USA.
Sometimes a vision screening for the church can seem just as problematic. I mean, aren't we essentially to know who and what the church is in the New Testament and seek to be as much like that as possible? I believe that most would answer a resounding "yes!" Yet there is still a corporate side of the modern church that wants a definite sense of who we are and where are we going. Can you hear the disciples asking Jesus, "What's our vision?" What would Jesus' reply be? Follow me. He also often included things like "I will make you fishers of men." Jesus' vision was intricately woven into his message, but the disciples often missed it even when he seemed to spell it out plainly.
Here is who we are at Peace Haven:
Our purpose is to glorify God through worshiping Him, becoming mature in Christ, and reaching the world with the Gospel!
Our vision is to be a community of maturing believers in Christ who are making disciple makers!
The word vision is a loaded word that means many things to different people. I will simply embrace the basic idea of direction. Who are we seeking to be?
Worship- We are seeking to help people grow (mature) in the faith by an authentic worship experience with God. This means that we strive to celebrate ways that God is at work in our church family and spur one another on toward love and good deeds. (Hebrews 10:24) As we worship God in the singing and preaching of His word, we will be mobilized to be on mission. Worship is the fuel and goal of missions. -John Piper, Let the Nations be Glad
Discipleship- This is another loaded word that carries many connotations, but biblically we see people who spent time with Jesus and then put their faith in action by how they lived. So discipleship is much more than a book study. We are seeking to give everyone willing to engage in the Disciples' Path study as well as our children's and youth studies a foundation of faith, but we also challenge people to apply that faith by serving inside and outside of the church. This requires mentoring relationships that are often lacking in our culture. We challenge our people to regularly "do life" together.
Mission- While we have many efforts to be missional that are organized events and activities, our goal is to transcend such to the extent that people live missionally without the need for a formal event to serve others. Events are simply the training ground for real life.
There is much more that can probably be said, but that gives a brief overview of who we are seeking to be as a church family. This vision is expressed in various ways as there is growth and change which is natural with any living organism. With organic growth, God opens different doors of ministry and enables our borders to expand by his grace and for His glory.
What questions do you have from these observations? Do any of them surprise you? If I can clarify any of them, please let me know. Our hope is that through all that is written, taught, and preached at Peace Haven that there is an abundance of clarity when it comes to this subject. It is our hope that you will join us on this journey!