We understand the mission to embody our sense of identity as a church, our essential calling and reason for existence. Our Mission Statement is:
Following Jesus and making followers of him…
Learning to live a life of love just as Jesus loved us
Our Mission Statement comes from Jesus and Paul (one of Jesus’ earliest and most faithful and fruitful followers).
Jesus’ generic call to human beings was: “Come, Follow me and I will Form you into Fishers of people” (Matthew 4:19, this is further explained under Values). After his resurrection, when he ascended into heaven, Jesus commissioned his followers to “Go and make followers of me from people of all types, plunging them into the reality of the Trinitarian God and teaching them to obey all I’ve commanded you, and I will be with you at your side till the job is done” (Matthew 28:19-20). We can only make followers of Jesus to the extent we ourselves follow him, learning to live in the Reality of the Life and Love of the Father and Son and Holy Spirit, and thereby increasingly obeying all that Jesus taught.
All that Jesus taught is summarized in his ‘double commandment’: “Love God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. And love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-38). This points to the second phrase in our Mission Statement, but now in the words of Paul: “Live a life of love just as Jesus loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant sacrifice and offering to God” (Ephesians 5:2).
Therefore, to follow Jesus and to make followers of him from all kinds of people, is to learn how to live a life of love, just as Jesus loved us. Who does not want to love, does not want to learn how to live a life of love? It’s embarking on a spiritual journey – a journey of spiritual formation of life and character toward Christlikeness. This is essentially what we’re about as a local church.
We understand vision to be a future-oriented picture of our becoming, what we want to achieve and grow into over a time-period. Solomon said, “where there is no visionary purpose, people throw off their restraint and indulge their lower nature” (Proverbs 20:28). A God-given vision impassions us with God’s purpose, stretching our faith and pulling us into the future to live God’s dream for us!
Our Vision Statement is “under construction” as part of a 2020 vision and plan that we’re beginning to work on. However, we can say in broad terms – until further notice – that we have an interim vision to restore, heal and grow the congregation into health and strength as fully participating followers of Jesus in daily life, by 2015.
Then our real goal – our “2020 Vision & Plan” – is to be a
- fully developed and well functioning community of followers of Jesus
(through intentional spiritual formation of every member),
- with an equally fully developed and well functioning Vineyard Community Center
(this means building a new worship hall and other needed facilities),
- to equip, coach and deploy the next generation of leaders
(in fulfillment of the Association of Vineyard Churches SA 2020 vision),
- to be a resource to help existing churches and plant new churches, and
- to be fully engaged in various missions to for the social transformation of our community, city, country and continent!
As with our Vision Statement, our values – and priorities, plans and practices – are ‘under construction’ as part of the 2020 Vision & Plan.
However, we can say that we have core generic values that might change somewhat in their articulation, but taken from Jesus of Nazareth two thousand years ago his basic call to follow him gives us our core values of Following, Forming, and Fishing (from Matthew 4:19). If we add our other key texts (Matthew 22:37-38 and 28:19-20), we can add Fitting and Freeing.
Here is a brief elaboration to give clarity in describing our core values:
- Following God – intimacy with God (formation of personal spirituality)
- Forming Community – intimacy with one another (formation of – and formation in – authentic Christ-community)
- Fishing World – engagement in the world at all levels to make followers of Jesus of people of all types for radical social transformation
- Fitting Context – to do the above core values as fits our personal and church life context, pacing ourselves and living balanced healthy lives
- Freeing Love – doing all with a view to being free to love God and others as he loves us… learning to live a life of love just as Jesus loved us.