At our elder retreat last fall, we spent considerable time studying, discussing, and praying about our mission as a church. For many years we had a mission statement common to many churches of the Willow Creek era: “To help unchurched people become fully-devoted followers of Jesus.”
A mission statement does not have to be unique to be effective. At the end of the day, God will judge individuals and churches based on the outcome of their lives not on how many trademarks or copyrights they hold.
As we wrestled with what the Bible described as the mission of the church and how that is to be lived out on the local level, we came up with the following statement. If you’ve been around Mountainview, then hopefully you already know it.
“Mountainview exists to Glorify God, Grow in Jesus, and Go into the World.” That’s our mission statement, or as we like to say, our 3G’s.
Today and over the next two posts, I’d like to unpack each of the 3G’s.
What does it mean to be a church that seeks to glorify God?
Jesus repeatedly told his followers that his chief aim was to bring glory to God (cf., John 12:28, 13:31). The ultimate purpose of Jesus’ life was not to die for our sins but to bring glory to God by dying for our sins. On the surface, that may seem like a slight change but it represents a totally different way of looking at life.
Do I see my task as preaching sermons or glorifying God by preaching sermons?
Are you an accountant who happens to follow Jesus or a God-honoring person who happens to be an accountant?
Paul gave us these instructions: “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:17).
To do something in the “name of Jesus” means to do it under his authority and to his honor.
As a church, we want to create an environment that encourages people to give their best to God — and not just at church but at home and in the work place. We want to create a culture of honor by asking, “Will this action or event or ministry bring honor to God?”
We are not hoping to achieve perfection (just listen to any of my sermons!) but to continually get better at what we do. God is glorified when we learn from our mistakes and move on to maturity.
Finally, to be a church that glorifies God is to remember that what we do is about him and not about us. We seek to expand the borders and influence of Mountainview not to build a name for ourselves but to magnify the name of Jesus.
I hope one of the benefits of attending Mountainview for an extended period of time will be a desire to glorify God through word and deed.