What we’re about. Often we're asked whether we have a Mission Statement or Vision. In true blunt Yorkshire fashion we’ve decided to call it ‘What we’re about.’
Before He returned to heaven Jesus said to His followers: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” - Matthew 28:18-20
We believe that this sums up what the Christian life and church is all about.
Jesus says it’s all about Making Disciples.
But we know that 'Making disciples' is a very 'Christian' phrase and not all Christians even know what it means.
It simply breaks down to two things: ‘Reaching out and Building up.’
'Reaching out' means seeking to share the Good News with everyone so that they may hear about Jesus and come to know Him and follow Him. That's the start of being a disciple. 'Building up' means continuing to help each other grow as Christians, to discover more of what the gospel means for our everyday lives as we seek to follow Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. That's what it means to continue as a disciple.
And that's what we're about. Everything we do as a church seeks to support these two aims of 'Reaching out and Building up.'
But the next question is 'How?' How do we reach out and build up?
The Bible presents two essential elements for 'Making disciples' or 'Reaching out and Building up.' They’re perhaps most clearly presented in Acts 6:3-4 where the Apostles, the leaders of the church are faced with practical needs within the church and they have to work out what their priority will be. We're told, "The Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers and sisters,choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to themand will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.” - Acts 6:3-4
The church leaders recognised that for the Great commission to be fulfilled they needed to be committed to Prayer and the ministry of the word.
At the Great commission we’re reminded that 'Making Disciples' is achieved through teaching and transformation of the Holy Spirit. So we need to pray that Jesus would be at work and we need to declare His word in order that we may teach what it means to follow Jesus. So as we seek to be 'Reaching out and Building up.' Prayer and the Ministry of the Word is central to all that we do. We pray regularly, at all levels, together on a Sunday, in our monthly prayer meeting, in Small Groups, in other prayer groups, and just when we spend time together. The ministry of the word is also central to all we do as we gather to hear the bible taught on a Sunday, in Small groups, at our different meetings, and as we share with one another what we are learning and how we are growing.
Finally that leads to the question ‘Why?’ Why does all this matter? Why do we do what we do? Why are we all about 'Reaching out and Building up'?
In Philippians Paul teaches us the goal of discipleship through his prayer; ‘And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.’ - Philippians 1:9-11
We do all that we do for the Glory of God. We have our eyes fixed on the day that Jesus will return and we want to be ready for that day, where God will be praised and glorified.