By Michael Roop
We wrap up our four-week series on Creekside’s values by looking at our value for mission. Admittedly, this is a trendy word churches everywhere love to use, which highlights the need for a little definition and nuance. What do we mean by that word? Sending missionaries overseas? Reaching out to our neighbors? Being united under a common statement of purpose?
The answer is d) all of the above.
When Jesus left the earth, He left marching orders for His followers: make disciples of all nations by baptizing and teaching. We believe that these orders are not just for the for paid church staff or our supported missionaries, but for every member of the global, “big-C” Church.
This leads us to one of our Creekside catchphrases: every member on mission. God has graciously and strategically placed us in certain spheres of influence, such as our homes, workplaces, classrooms, interest groups, and neighborhoods. Each of these spheres of influence are opportunities to proclaim the goodness of the coming kingdom.
This isn’t to suggest that Christians should think of their mission as separate from the mission of the local church. In fact, the two are deeply intertwined! We believe that the means and purpose of growing in Christ and community is the advancement of the kingdom both in our neighbors and among the nations. Obeying Jesus’ command to make disciples is our primary means of loving Him and bringing Him glory.
This leads to another one of our Creekside catchphrases: The local church is the hope of the world. When Peter first professes that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, Jesus responds with this stunning statement: “I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
This is Jesus’ succession plan. When He ascends into heaven, His work will carry on in the church, both the individual Christians and the gathered outposts of God’s people positioned in foreign lands.
Paul tells us that we are ambassadors of Christ. Wherever we are located, it is our job to use our resources to make God’s appeal that the world be reconciled to Him through Christ. The church does not exist solely for its own benefit, but for the eternal souls of those around us.
May we be found faithful on mission together!