“Mountainview exists to Glorify God, Grow in Jesus, and Go into the Word.”
In my last post, I explored what it means to be a church that glorifies God. In this post, I will tackle the second of the 3G’s — growing in Jesus.
Both churches with and without a mission statement agree that spiritual growth is vital and necessary. And having a mission statement doesn’t somehow make growth automatic. If it did, there ought to be more spiritually mature believers scattered across the country.
When churches talk about reaching the world for Jesus, they often go the end of Matthew and what is referred to as the Great Commission:
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go 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 to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” — Matthew 28:18-20
What we might miss in our eagerness to reach the world is the goal that Jesus outlined: Make disciples.
In other words, one of the major responsibilities of the church is to reproduce itself, at the individual and congregational level. One disciple helps another person follow after Jesus, then that person helps another.
Discipleship is not just absorbing a body of information, but involves transformation. As I learn the values of Jesus, I should begin to incorporate them into my own life. Being a disciple requires us to be students and the world is our lab.
As a church, it is our responsibility to create an environment that encourages growth over stagnation. Rather than feed you, we should teach you how to feed yourself. When you are able to feed yourself, you will be able to feed others, too.
It’s one reason I often ask in my sermons, “What does this mean for you?” or “How will you apply this tomorrow?” We are not competing in a trivia game, where the goal is to cram as much information as possible into your brain. We are seeking to be transformed by the Spirit and to participate in his transformation of the world.
While the measurements will be different, each of us ought to have a good answer for the question, “How are you different today than you were six months ago?”
That’s called growth.