The new statements consist of …
a motto, a mission statement and a vision statement.
Together they form a hierarchy …
- The motto is the briefest and most general. Consisting of only two words, it can be called to mind effortlessly.
- The mission statement attempts to express in a short, easily remembered statement our core values and our purpose.
- The vision statement is the longest and most detailed. Given our purpose and our core values, our vision statement is a reminder of what we as a church are striving to do.
Simply Christian (Our motto expresses who we are — followers of Christ)
Glorifying God and sharing the Gospel of Christ with "our world" while living gratefully for Him. (Our mission expresses our purpose.)
"Our world": The intent in using quotation marks around the phrase was to underscore a special meaning of those words — not in the normal "whole wide world" sense, because the idea of us impacting the "whole wide world" may seem daunting, too blue sky and unrealistic. But we need to be mindful that each of us has our own little corner of the world — our sphere of influence — and it's that world with which we each have a personal responsibility to share the One who has given joy, meaning and purpose to our lives.
United in our desire to worship God in spirit and truth, we seek to boldly advance His Kingdom by equipping His people with the knowledge of His word; that we may be His winsome witnesses to our hurting world, tenderly sharing the hope, the purpose, and the peace that is found only in His grace as revealed in the cross of Christ. (Our vision expresses what we do.)
Some might feel the vision statement is a bit wordy and tedious. While it is certainly not our intent that it be ponderous, one of our objectives is that the vision statement be inclusive enough to help us evaluate all that our church is doing in the light of the scriptures which form its foundation. We have ten Ministry Areas: Benevolence, Children, Community, Discipleship, Evangelism, Facilities, Missions, Stewardship, Worship, and Youth. As we seek to assess current programs and plan new programs that are needed, it is our hope that the vision statement will help us to stay on track—a track established by the path laid out in scripture. To help us determine what we do, our goal is that our vision statement includes the essence of all that we feel God is calling us to focus on.
What is a "winsome witness"?
- Chuck Swindoll has written: Winsomeness. That useful, appealing, ultra-magnetic quality . . . that charisma . . . that ability to cause joy and genuine pleasure in the thick of it all. When a teacher has it, students line up for the course. When a dentist or physician has it, his practice stays full. When a salesman has it, he gets writer's cramp filling out orders. When an usher has it, the church is considered friendly. When a coach has it, the team shows it. When parents have it, kids grow it. Winsomeness motivates. It releases the stranglehold grip of the daily grind. It takes the sting out of reality. Winsomeness simplifies. Things suddenly become less complicated . . . less severe . . . less bothersome. The hole at the end of the tunnel becomes far more significant than the dark passage leading to it. Winsomeness encourages. Without ignoring the wrong, winsomeness focuses on the benefits, the hopes, the answers. Even when it must deal with jagged disappointment or inescapable negatives, winsomeness stands tall and refuses to spend the night in such dwellings.
- To change the culture we must learn how to engage the political process more winsomely. It requires a different mindset, a recognition that we're appealing to hearts and minds, not twisting arms. In both fact and appearance we are not seeking to impose but rather to propose. The Christian Church makes a Great Proposal, inviting everyone to the table, regardless of color, ethnic origin, background, or economic status. We're inviting people to consider a worldview that works, that makes sense, and through which people can discover shalom and human flourishing. This means first loving those we contend against in the political process. Martin Luther King, Jr., said, "Whom you would change, you must first love." Second, we offer our strongest witness when we demonstrate our love for others through fighting AIDS in Africa, slavery in Sudan, persecution in North Korea, and when we reform prisons and prisoners. When the world sees us working for human rights, we earn a moral authority that blunts the "imposing your morality" attacks in the public square. (Excerpted from Chuck Colson Breakpoint commentary)
- Given the present state of affairs, what with pluralism and the insistence on tolerance, we may wonder if it is even possible for Christians to be winsome before a watching world — to be attractive, that is, without compromising righteousness or hiding the Gospel. Is it possible to live out and speak the truth so that any offense taken is limited to the offense of the cross? ... The primary reason for being confident that it is possible to be winsome and attractive to sinners is the example of Jesus. He was without sin and never compromised the truth, and yet attracted sinners to himself. He even called them to repentance — not a particularly popular message for sinners — and though not all believed, the record of the Gospels is that they followed him around in droves. Our message is the Gospel of Christ, and since He is attractive, shouldn't our proclamation be attractive as well? Since our lives are to reflect His righteousness, shouldn't our lives be as winsome as His was? (Excerpted from What Does Winsome Look Like? -Denis Haack)
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