Think of any organization where you are a member. What is its purpose? Why does it exist? The answer to that question is meaningful and has real world consequences. Often times organizations summarize their purpose in a single mission statement to help unite the group around its common cause. A quick survey of some of the organizations my family is connected to reveals the following mission statements:
Norman Youth Soccer Association:
“To encourage, promote and stimulate interest and participation in the game of soccer by organizing recreational and competitive soccer teams; developing our players, coaches and referees; promoting sportsmanship; maintaining proper playing facilities; and operating in a financially responsible manner.”
Norman Public Schools:
“To prepare and inspire all students to achieve their full potential.”
Cleveland County YMCA:
“To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.”
Reading these statements gives you a sense of what these organizations are all about. For prospective members, the mission helps them decide if they want to align with the group. For existing members, the purpose reminds the regulars what they are collectively trying to accomplish.
As interesting and informative as the above statements are, it is also important to stop and think about what the mission statement is for the Church. What is our purpose? What are we called to unite around?
In Matthew 16:18b, Jesus said, “I will build My church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it!” This statement is critical on so many levels, but one thing Jesus makes clear here is that the church (the true church) is HIS. As a Pastor, if I view Wildwood as MY church, then I am building something that has an uncertain future, resting on a faulty premise of ownership. But, if I rightly view the Church as JESUS’ Church, then I can rest confidently in the glorious future He has guaranteed!
As it pertains to mission statements, the above principle of ownership makes a clear and important application: since the church is Jesus’ then He sets the mission, not us. And, since Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever, the mission He set out for His church in Matthew 28:19-20 still holds true today. Our mission is to: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold I am with you always to the end of the age.”
Though the mission of the Church has not changed for 2,000 years, the articulation of that purpose can morph from time to time to refocus us (through contemporary language) on its original meaning. So, with Jesus as our captain, and Wildwood’s 50th anniversary as our catalyst, we want to take this Sunday (September 23, 2018) to remind us anew of the mission of Wildwood Community Church. This Sunday we will introduce some new language pointing to an ancient purpose for our church.
If you are new to Wildwood (either only been a Sunday or two or not yet attended) this Sunday is a GREAT Sunday to come and check us out. You will hear our understanding of our mission. If you have been around Wildwood for a long time, this Sunday is a GREAT Sunday to come and refocus on why we are here and the importance of our assembly.
Hope ALL of you can be with us Sunday in our 9:45 or 11:00 service as we remind each other of our mission together. Hope to see you there!