In casting a vision for our new church, launching north of Austin next year, I have been considering the following definition:
Under the Authority of God’s Word, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we will be a gospel-centered church that worships God, loves one another, and proclaims the gospel to the world.
This may or may not be the final wording of our mission statement, (I’m hoping we’ll have a more succinct way of summarizing our vision), but the principles here will remain unchanged. The reason The principles will stay the same is due to the first principle. Our church will be under the authority of God’s Word and therefore our vision will be grounded in the Scriptures. We are delighted and sobered by the responsibility to build a church that matches the church blueprints that God has established in his Word. Sadly, in our culture, and even in the world of modern Christian churches, the ultimate authority of God’s Word is increasingly questioned. I desire our church to be unashamed and explicit in grounding our purposes in the Scriptures. The following paragraph expands on this crucial opening value:
Under the Authority of God’s Word. (Genesis 1:3-30, Exodus 20:1-17, Psalm 19, Psalm 119, John 1:1, John 6:68, 2 Tim. 3:16, 2 Pet. 1:21, Heb. 4:12)
We want to be a church that actively and intentionally emphasizes the life-giving authority of God’ Word. Our beliefs and practices will be grounded in Scripture and our heartbeat will be to read, hear, and proclaim Biblical truth. Practically, this means that our Sunday meetings, small group meetings, pastoral care, and private devotions should be grounded in the Bible. We will not avoid proclaiming the whole counsel of God, centered on the person and work of Jesus Christ. The highlight of our Sunday meeting will be the preaching of God’s Word and our normal Sunday diet will be to preach straight through books of the Bible, taking one section of Scripture at a time and explaining and applying its meaning to our lives. Our small group discussions and interpersonal care and counseling will be about sharing the truths of Scripture with one another and allowing its life giving nourishment to refresh our souls and direct us toward righteousness. We want our church to be passionate about God’s Word!