Virtually every business, and every church for that matter, has produced vision and mission statements. They create a vision by visualizing what their ideal business/church will look like and then implement a specific plan to make the vision a reality. Vision and mission statements are not a bad thing to have, but unless the church actually uses them as tools, they tend to be just warm and fuzzy statements without. Our vision is the bridge between the present and the future. How do we give life to our vision of “helping the whole world find and follow Jesus?”
Bottom Line: A great commitment to the great commandment and the great commission will grow a great life, family, marriage church and community.
Something To Talk About:
One of the Pharisees tested Jesus with a question, “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” (Matthew 22:36). ‘Jesus replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40)
- Great commandment: (1) Loving God: When one of the religious scribes asked Jesus which commandment is most important, He answered: “The most important is, loving the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” Christ essentially quoted Deuteronomy 6:4–5, thus showing that the requirement for God’s people has always been the same, and, indeed, always will be the same, even into eternity. (2) Loving Others; Loving your neighbor as yourself is found eight times in the Bible. Not once. Not twice. Eight times. Loving your neighbor as yourself is so important to God that He not only repeats Himself, He makes it a command. And not just one in a list of many commands. Jesus coupled the command to love your neighbor as yourself with loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. James calls it the royal law. It sounds beautiful, and it is when we obey it. But loving your neighbor as yourself isn’t always easy. That’s why God made it a command. He knew we’d struggle. Making it a command is actually to our benefit. How is that? We have to do it on purpose, be intentional about it.
- Great commission: : These words that conclude the gospel of Matthew show us how big the kingdom of God really is. The Lord sends his people everywhere in the world, and he promises to be with them always, until the end of time. The immensity of that time and space is beyond our ability to comprehend. But we certainly can try to understand the way our own lives fit into the bigness of God’s kingdom. It is go, not come. No matter who we are, when we have lived, or what we can accomplish, each of us has a role to play in expanding the Lord’s kingdom here on earth. It is everybody not just some people. The third thing is making disciples not just church members. Jesus did not come to earth and shake up religious and governmental authorities so that someday millions would eagerly join churches and come together each Sunday to sing songs, sip coffee and have polite conversations just outside the sanctuary? Jesus called us to make disciples. Tell your story: there is no more powerful tool than the story of what Jesus did in your life. It’s all about obedience. We all struggle with questions about our future. Questions like: How can I know God’s plan for my life? Which job should I take? Is this the person God wants me to marry? Is this a good investment to make? Should I share the gospel with my boss? The greatest way to know the will of God starts with fully surrendering my life to the Lordship of Christ, and living a life of obedience in the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Do you think it is important to have a vision for the church? For the individual? Why or why not.
- What gifts/skills do you have that will contribute to achieving our vision?
- Read Matthew 22: 37 – 40 The Great Commandment “Jesus said, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart…soul…and mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.’” What are some ways we can show our love to God? To our neighbors?
- Read Matthew 28: 19 – 20, The Great Commission: “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age. The Great Commission “Matthew 28: 19 – 20 How does Northstar fulfill this command? How does Northstar help us to fulfill this command?
- How can we overcome our fears and reluctance to get engaged?
- How do you feel about the vision of working on our approach to helping people grow spiritually (discipleship)?
- Serving other believers is a privilege, not a chore. Agree or disagree and why? Are you serving in some capacity at Northstar today? If not, what are the obstacles that are keeping you from finding a place of service? Is there anything about serving in the church you find hard?
- Pray and ask God to show you where you should be engaged in the vision of helping the whole world find and follow Jesus.
Take one thing home with you:
And vision need to be real. What I mean is that a church is real in its love for God and real in our love for others. I see a church that depends on the leadership and guidance of the Holy Spirit. A church that connects, inspires, and motivates people to become more spiritually mature. A church that connects people in doing life together.
Our vision is to be relevant: By that I mean a church that welcomes, accepts, and loves all people knowing God has great plans for every person. A church that effectively communicates the life changing message of Jesus in a way that captures the heart and invites the decision to start a relationship with the risen Savior.
Our vision is to be relentless: A church committed to continually doing whatever it takes to impact the community and world. A church that never tires of seeking the lost and building disciples.