We are an ecosystem of Gospel growth in God’s Kingdom.
We don’t choose or set our vision for what we will be, but rather the Scriptures reveal it to us. Given that reality it would be easy to simply say, “The Scriptures are our vision,” and let that be that. However, to do so would minimize the uniqueness of each assembly that Christ gathers as He builds His church. What He is doing here in our context, in a very general sense, is the same that he is doing all over the planet; but here…is not there! Our vision then, is not unique in a global sense, but is simply the Word-born, global-church vision stated in language that we understand in our context of rural Ohio. After much consideration of the Word of God, the elders were drawn continually to the Great Commission as a basis for the below vision statement.
By the example of Jesus, in the power of the Spirit, and to the glory of the Father, we
Plant Gospel seed; Nurture Gospel growth; and Harvest Gospel workers.
Many of the same things that could be said for vision in the church can also be said of mission. Vision (what we will be) and mission (what we are doing), for the Christian Church, find their root and reality in the Scriptures. As the elders considered this, they were again drawn back to the Great Commission. They desired to state what it is that Christ has us doing here in the Miami Valley of Ohio in language that both made sense to us, and that we could readily explain.
We are Disciples. As disciples (John 15:8), we are growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord, Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18). As God conforms us to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29-30), this inward change manifests itself in visible ways (Galatians 5:22-24). We work with the assurance that God will create the fruit for His glory (Philippians 2:12-13).
We are Family. As family (Romans 8:16-17), God calls us to show love to one another (1 Peter 1:22). We are devoted to one another (Hebrews 10:24-25), using our unique gifts to serve and love one another (Romans 12:3-13). We abandon our selfish ambitions and consider others, just as Christ did for us (Philippians 2:1-10). We pursue such unity because we know it is Christ’s desire for His church (John 17:20-21).
We are Worshippers. As worshippers (Revelation 15:4), our only appropriate response to God’s mercy is to offer our entire lives to Him with thankfulness (Romans 12:1). By dwelling on who God is (Psalm 86:8-10) and what Christ has done for us (1 John 4:10), we respond with gratitude both in our everyday actions and when we corporately gather (Colossians 3:15-17). We know our worship is received by God, not by our efforts, but because of the work of Christ on our behalf (Hebrews 10:19-22).
We are Servants. As servants (Luke 17:10), we do not have an authority of our own, but recognize Christ’s headship (Ephesians 5:23) as seen through the authority of the scriptures (1 Thessalonians 2:13). This means we submit ourselves to the Word — Old and New Testament — in our lives (2 Timothy 3:16-17), in the structure of our church (Hebrews 13:17) as well as her calling to develop leaders for the church (2 Timothy 2:2). Though we are sinful and weak, we have confidence that He will advance His church (Matthew 16:18).
We are Witnesses. As witnesses (Acts 1:8), we participate in God’s redeeming work (2 Corinthians 5:20-21) by proclaiming the gospel message that leads to salvation (Romans 10:14-15) in the context of loving actions (1 John 3:18). Together, are salt and light (Matthew 5:13-14) as well as helping establish and encourage other churches in our region and throughout the world (Matthew 28:19-20). We pursue this with joy and anticipation, knowing God’s glorious mission is the worship of every tribe, tongue, people and nation (Revelation 5:9).