Sunday, July 13, 2008

In Search of...a God-focused Mission

I've been thinking a lot about Cedarbrook's mission lately...
  • to first experience and then share the life-changing love of God.
That has been our mission from the beginning. The idea behind it is that we don't want to share anything that we haven't first experienced ourselves. We don't want to be religious, just sharing words and doctrine. We want to share something that not only changes lives but has changed OUR lives.

So, I heartily agree with our mission statement. But I think we might be able to improve on it. What I don't like about our mission statement has nothing to do what it says but what it does not say. There are two components that I'd like to somehow incorporate;
  1. God's mission. As I reflect on what is often taught in churches I hear us talking a lot about inviting God into OUR lives. I hear how bringing God into OUR lives will improve us and make us more successful. But I think we have it backwards. God wants us to join HIS life. He wants us to join what HE is doing and not vice versa. Any casual reader of the Bible can see that God has a mission. God has a purpose and a plan. So we need to be calling people to align ourselves with God's life and not simply encouraging them to invite Jesus to come into their life. It's too self-serving and ultimately robs God of his glory - like he is some cosmic servant who runs around trying to make people happy and feel loved.
  2. Community. Another thing missing in our mission statement is the sense of community. If you think about it you could fulfill our mission as it is stated all by yourself. You don't need others to first experience and then share the life changing love of God. I was shocked when I realized that because it is such a glaring oversight to something that I see as central to God and our humanity. And the thought of serving God in isolation is so far from the heart of God. God is relational. He's made us relational. And we will only walk in oneness with God when we are walking in oneness with his people.
So, in light of these things, I'm pondering an upgrade to our mission statement. How can we incorporate these concepts in one concise statement that will fit on a t-shirt? I'm open to suggestions and would love to hear your thoughts. There's no rush or timeline. But it warrants some thought.

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