The Heart of the Mission
Mission is not directly about church growth. Mission is directly about communicating God’s love for the world in word and deed. In Jesus’ ministry, sometimes people followed and sometimes people walked away. At all times, Jesus loved people towards the Kingdom and Family of God. This is the heart of mission for the church.
Jesus’ mission is a robust vision for our individual lives, the community called the “Church,” and all of God’s Creation. In other words, as we receive the blessing of God, we are filled to overflowing with a grace that transforms our lives and outward to transform the Church, our neighborhoods, all nations, and the creation itself. This was God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis 12:2, “I will bless you…so that you will be a blessing.”
The Goal of Discipleship
The New Testament word “disciple” conveys being a student, follower, learner, even an imitator. Perhaps even better, we can see the word illustrated in how Jesus interacts with his own disciples. He lives life with them, teaches, sends them on adventures together, interprets current events, processes experiences, and more—all in light of the Kingdom of God, the new reality he is teaching them to live into.
Most centrally, Christian discipleship should be shaped by:
What Is Worship?
There are many ways of defining, describing, and illustrating what worship is—at its core. If we strip away the particular songs and structures (which vary from church to church and culture to culture), what IS worship? A definition we work with here at Point Place UCC goes like this:
As we are sown in God’s Story,
we reap the expression of praise and the formation of lives.
Thus, the goal of worship is to help the people of God develop roots into the Story (the Scriptures, the Gospel, the Story of God’s work in the world), and then to create space where God’s people can express praise in response to that Story and have their lives formed by that Story.