Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Ember Church: The Mission

Ember Church exists to see the gospel happen in our hearts, in our relationships, and in our community. That's our mission statement, our focus. It's our way of framing the overarching mission of the Church: To make disciples. Let me write it really big, in case you're just glancing at this page without really reading it.

Ember Church exists to see the gospel happen in our hearts, in our relationships, and in our community.

There, that's better. Now let me dissect the statement a little bit.

Ember Church exists to see...

It's not our task to make the gospel happen. That's what God does through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit as he works out the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ in the world. Our job, rather, is to see that it happens--to create environments where the gospel is possible.

...the gospel happen...

This is an odd way of framing it, but I don't think of the gospel as a passive object so much as an active agent. As I've said elsewhere, the gospel is a world re-creating event that lives on in the community of Jesus's friends. It's more than a message. It's the force by which God's kingdom is breaking into our world, and it happens when we preach faithfully, when we worship passionately, and when we love selflessly. our hearts...

The gospel begins its work in our hearts by faith in Jesus Christ through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit residing within us. The grace of God, which we know only through the gospel, transforms us at the deepest level of our hearts--the level of desire. This is a long, slow, often painful process, but the end result is that we are transformed into the image of Jesus. The gospel must happen here before it can happen anywhere else. our relationships...

This is really where the rubber meets the road. Can we work out our differences and learn to lay down our lives for one another, even when we don't like each other? Can we confront people who have offended or hurt us with open hearts and minds? Can we think the best of one another, even though we give each other every reason not to? Can we worship Jesus together, even though we disagree on just about everything? In an individualistic society that tends to bail on relationships when they get difficult, this is where the gospel will make a difference so big that the world will have to stand up and take notice.

...and in our community.

A huge part of our task is to see those who are far from God brought close to him through faith in Jesus Christ. We are going to engage our community with the good news that Jesus Christ has died for the sins of humanity, risen from the dead, and that he is now the rightful King over all creation. And, most of all, Jesus loves each of us with the sort of love defined by the cross: He laid down his divine life and suffered human death in order to pay the penalty for the sins of all humanity.

This is the mission of Ember Church. If something I've written here has resonated with you, or you'd like to know more about Ember, please feel free to send me an email. I'd love to hear from you!


Kelly said...

This post gave me goosebumps! It's so surreal to see the things we've been mulling over for months become REAL. You know, since they're on the internet and everything, that makes them real. :P In all seriousness, though, I'm inspired everyday but this little manifesto we've written. I think we need this - we need these theories to become missions to become reality.

Good stuff, Ember, good stuff.

GREAT stuff, Jesus, great stuff.

Anonymous said...

I really appreciate the "Gospel happen" paragraph. Yes, the Gospel is the message (some call it a "love letter") from God, but it's more than just words on paper. I like how you captured that in a few sentences. It reminds me of Hebrews 4:12: "...The Word of God is alive and active..." Thanks! ~Stan