LEVEN BAPTIST CHURCH

 

MISSION STATEMENT

                                                                                         …. helping people – grow up!

… helping people – grow in!

… helping people – grow out!

 

 

 Introduction

In the vision statement that follows there is no specific slot given for the place that prayer fits within the life of the church. That is because prayer does not fit into a slot in the life of the church – prayer is the life of the church! No plan, even from the heart of God, can bring about great things, without prayer. Prayer does not fit into what is listed below, but rather, everything that is listed below relies totally on the prayers of God’s people. So everything we do as a church must be grounded in and relying on prayer. Prayer is what will make this vision reality.

 

Vision Statement

The strapline of our church is:

‘Leven Baptist Church… helping people grow’.

The next question we then have to ask is – how are we to help people grow?

Consequently, we have broken our vision statement into three areas, which define how the church is to help people grow:

  1. Grow Up
  2. Grow In
  3. Grow Out

 

As detailed below, we believe that these three areas cover what the Bible has laid down for us as being God’s purpose for his church.

Biblical Mandate

Below is a list of Bible references. These are references to the life, function, purpose and operation of the church as laid down throughout the New Testament:

Matthew 5:13-16
Mathew 9:35
Matthew 11:28-30
Matthew 16:15-19
Matthew 18:19-20
Matthew 22:36-40
Matthew 24:14
Matthew 25:34-40
Matthew 28:18-20
Mark 10:43-45
Luke 4:18-19
Luke 4:43-45
John 4:23
John 10:14-18
John 13:34-35
John 20:21
Acts 1:8
Acts 2:41-47
Acts 4:32-35
Acts5:42
Acts 6:1-7
Romans 12:1-8
Romans 15:1-7
1 Corinthians 12:12-31
2 Corinthians 5:17-6:1
Galatians 5:13-15
Galatians 6:1-2
Ephesians 1:22-23
Ephesians 2:19-22
Ephesians 3:6
Ephesians 3:14-21
Ephesians 4:11-16
Ephesians 5:19-20
Ephesians 5:23-24
Colossians 1:24-28
Colossians 3:15-16
1 Thessalonians 1:3
1 Thessalonians 5:11
Hebrews 10:24-25
Hebrews 13:7,17
1 Peter 2:9-10
1 John 1:5-7
1 John 4:7-21
Acts 2:41-47
Acts 4:32-35
Acts5:42
Acts 6:1-7
Romans 12:1-8
Romans 15:1-7
1 Corinthians 12:12-31
2 Corinthians 5:17-6:1
Galatians 5:13-15
Galatians 6:1-2
Ephesians 1:22-23
Ephesians 2:19-22
Ephesians 3:6
Ephesians 3:14-21
Ephesians 4:11-16
Ephesians 5:19-20
Ephesians 5:23-24
Colossians 1:24-28
Colossians 3:15-16
1 Thessalonians 1:3
1 Thessalonians 5:11
Hebrews 10:24-25
Hebrews 13:7,17
1 Peter 2:9-10
1 John 1:5-7
1 John 4:7-21

When working through these references what becomes apparent is that every one of them fits into one or more of the three purposes:

  1. Grow up
  2. Grow in
  3. Grow out

The New Testament purpose for the church can, therefore, be summarised within these three areas. So, let’s take each one of them individually and consider what they mean.

Leven Baptist Church… helping people grow… 1. Grow up!

Grow up.This refers to personal discipleship; commitment to grow as a Christian.

For the Christian, making a commitment is only the start of the journey, not the end. That journey involves going deeper in our relationship with God; and it is a lifelong journey.

It involves wanting to learn more of God through personal study, through sitting under church teaching, through learning together in small groups. Growing through getting involved in ministry rather than just head knowledge. Being committed to growing up in our individual relationship with God.

Essentially it is about each one of us saying – ‘I am committed to my own growth!

The role of the church in this is to facilitate personal growth through worship, teaching and providing an environment for learning as well as enabling opportunities for growth through involvement in the life and ministry of the church.

Leven Baptist Church… helping people grow… 2. Grow in!

Grow in.

This refers to nurture and discipleship of my brothers and sisters in Christ; commitment to help and encourage them in their Christian walk.

It involves being committed not only to my own growth, but as part of this body to encourage growth/discipleship/development of gifts in my brothers and sisters around me. It is about demonstrating community/family life – true fellowship where people feel it is a safe place for nurture. A place that is loving, supporting, caring, committed.

Essentially it is about each one of us saying – ‘Not only am I committed to my own growth, but I am also committed to helping you in your growth!

The role of the church in this in this is to facilitate the development of supportive loving friendships. We want to foster and demonstrate an atmosphere of love and commitment to the well-being of others; we want to facilitate the development of supportive friendships (e.g. through providing fellowship opportunities, small group meetings, pastoral care).

Leven Baptist Church… helping people grow… 3. Grow out!

Grow out.

The previous two components have referred to the nurture and development of the body of believers within the church – which is crucial. However, from the Bible references earlier, it is clear that the purpose of the church is not just for the care and blessing of the believers; it is for the believers to be strengthened and nurtured in order for them to share the blessing with those outwith the church.

It involves recognising that we don’t just exist for ourselves and our relationship with God. That is a gift we have to share. So we are committed to reaching out with the message of the love of Christ and demonstrating the righteousness and justice of God’s ways to a hurting world.

Essentially it is about each one of us saying – ‘Not only am I committed to my own growth and to the growth of my brothers and sisters in the church, but I am also committed to loving those outwith the church and sharing with them some of the blessing I have found in Christ; in order to try and encourage and help them in their growth!

The role of the church in this is to provide opportunities for those in the church to be engaged in ministries to those outwith the church. However, that does not mean that the only way to be engaged in ministry to those outwith the church is through the organised ministries of the church (though this is a valuable and important part of our outreach). It is an established fact that the most effective outreach comes one to one friendships. The role of the church, therefore, is also to provide teaching that encourages and releases those in the church to be engaged in reaching out in the name and love of Christ within their workplaces, amongst friends, family and neighbours.

Summary

For the church to function in accordance with its Biblical mandate it needs to incorporate three areas:

Leven Baptist Church… helping people grow

            1. Helping people – grow up!

            2. Helping people – grow in!

            3. Helping people – grow out!

 

These are three requirements in order for the church to operate as God intends. It is not acceptable for a church to consider itself to be strong in two of these three areas (indeed this is a fault in many churches). For the church to be functioning and serving the purpose that God intends for it, it needs to be committed to all three areas.

 

Consider these three areas in terms of three legs of a tripod.

Growing up (personal discipleship and growth).

Growing in (fellowship, support and nurture of others in the church).

Growing out (outreach and service to the community).

If one or two legs of a tripod are much longer than the other – then the tripod is imbalanced and not much use. If one or two of these areas of church life is much stronger than the other – then the church is imbalanced and not much use!

For the church to be a true church as God intends church to be – all three legs need to be equally balanced.

Knowing these three simple purposes enables us to assess what we do as a church, and easily see whether the church is balanced and where it needs to develop.