Today as I am writing this article I am looking out the window of my office, watching a snowstorm taking place outside. Of the billions and billions of snowflakes in this one single storm, no one single flake is identical to another. Isn’t that incredible? What an amazingly creative God we have. Have you ever sat on a beach somewhere and watched a sunset? Again, no two sunsets are alike. God in His delight makes each one unique.
God doesn’t mass produce His church either. Consider how much uniqueness is in just fifteen people who gather together in His name. How about a church of a hundred people? Or five hundred? Is it possible that the uniqueness of our church at First Free far outweighs the uniqueness of a snowstorm or a collection of sunsets?
The uniqueness I am referring to is not simply in the programs that we offer or in our worship style. It is our culture. It is what God has called us to be. It is our vision.
Jesus gave every Biblical church its mission when He said in Matthew 28, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing 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.” We uniquely restate it this way: First Evangelical Free Church’s mission is to help individuals become Christ-centered and Christ-sent together. Each individual is important to God and to us.
We want to make disciples of Christ who are making disciples of Christ. And we want to do this all together, in community, as His church.
Our mission statement is like a compass, pointing us in the right direction. It directs us to Christ and to His mission. It waves an unmistakable evangelistic banner. It leads us to the lost. God is calling us to be an outpost - sending people out into the city for Christ; a signpost - pointing those in our homes, neighborhoods, workplaces, schools to Christ; and a lamppost – shining the light of Christ throughout South Minneapolis and the world.
As we move in to this new year of 2014, we are launching our new vision with our new mission statement. We are going to be digging in during these first two months and discussing what this mission statement and vision really look like.
Eugene Peterson writes, “In the life of faith each person discovers all the elements of a unique and original adventure. We are prevented from following in one another’s footsteps and are called to an incomparable association with Christ. The Bible makes it clear that every time there is a story of faith, it is completely original. God’s creative genius is endless.”
We want to invite you to join us. What does this unique vision mean for me? What does it mean for us together as First Free?