Our Vision & Values
That every local church would proclaim and demonstrate the Gospel in the character and power of Jesus Christ.
If God uses the local church to reveal Christ to the world, and the Holy Spirit is essential for that task, don’t you think that every local church needs to learn to minister to the world in the power of the Holy Spirit?
Envision every local church impacting their world where God has uniquely placed them, proclaiming and demonstrating the gospel in the character and in the power of Jesus Christ. And if that is too impossible to consider, imagine if every one of the more than 32,000 United Methodist Churches in the United States were, in word and in deed, proclaiming and demonstrating the gospel – carrying on the ministry of Jesus!
The Holy Spirit is essential to fulfill the Great Commission. (Matthew 28:18-20, 10:7-8; 2 Peter 1:3-4; Acts 1:8)
In Mathew 28, Jesus commanded the disciples 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, and teaching them everything that I have commanded you.” The Message paraphrases Jesus’ saying in Matthew 10:6-8, “Go to the lost, confused people right here in the neighborhood. Tell them that the kingdom is here. Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons.”
But Jesus also made it clear that they were to wait for the promise of the Father, indicating in Acts 1:8 that they would “receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Peter says later in Acts 2 that this promise is “for you, for your children, and for all who are far away; everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.”
God uses the local church to reveal Christ to the world. (Acts 2:40-47, Ephesians 5:25-30, Ephesians 3:9-11)
The book of Acts describes the early church as continuing steadfastly in the apostle’s doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of the bread, and in prayers. It says that fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. “All who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily, with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” Freshly baptized in the Holy Spirit, it was the early church that Acts 17 says “Turned the world upside down.”
When the church was the church, people saw Christ exemplified. Ephesians 3:10 tells us that it is through the church that the manifold wisdom of God is made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. The Message paraphrases it saying that: Through followers of Jesus like yourselves gathered in churches, this extraordinary plan of God is becoming known and talked about even among the angels!
The local church is precious to God. Ephesians 5 tells us that Christ, the head of the church, loved the church and gave Himself for her… that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church. That passage goes on to say that the Lord nourishes and cherishes the church...why? So that the church is strong and healthy to make known God’s extraordinary plan to reconcile the world through Christ.