This is the fifth post in a series about the process of evaluation that our church leadership has been going through over the past several months and what it means for our church. You can find links to the previous posts at the bottom of this one.
In my previous two posts, I shared about the key takeaways that came from our time of evaluation…
We cannot continue to settle for “Good Enough”
It is imperative that we disciple the body of Christ
to be on the front line of meeting spiritual needs
in our community
To facilitate these two key takeaways, our leadership believes it is necessary to restate, more clearly define, and commit wholeheartedly to what we as a church are all about…
For years, we have stated the purpose of The Intersection as:
Intersecting with God
Intersecting with Others
Intersecting with Community
That’s not bad for a vision/purpose statement, in my humble opinion. Full disclosure – I played a big role in the original creation of those nine words! It means a lot to me, personally, about our church and why we do what we do. But I also have to admit that it is not always clear to others (and apparently to me as well, since I still have to explain it repeatedly to folks) what “intersecting” looks like in each of these contexts.
And so we felt the need to draw a better picture of what our church’s vision looks like, for both those inside the body who are living that vision out on a daily basis and for those outside the body who are looking in and wondering what we are all about. So we did.
We replaced Intersecting with God with LOVE GOD.
This comes directly from Jesus’ response when he was asked what the greatest commandment was. We read it in the Gospel of Matthew:
But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. - Matthew 22:34-38
Love God is short, simple, and direct.
Next, we replaced Intersecting with Community with LOVE OTHERS.
If we continue reading on through the next couple verses of Matthew 22, we see that after he responds to the question of the greatest commandment by stating that loving God should be our top priority Jesus goes on to include one other command at the top of the list:
And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets. - Matthew 22:39-40
Jesus put loving our neighbor as yourself on the same level as loving God! Isn’t that crazy?
Finally, we replaced Intersecting with Others with DO LIFE TOGETHER.
The body of Christ has always been communal, and this is expressly spelled out in Paul’s letter to the Church in Corinth:
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slavesor free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way. - 1 Corinthians 12:12-31
We were never meant to do the Christian life alone – it is best lived out in community with other believers.
So there we have it…
And while each of these is pretty self-evident, we want to be able to answer what they really look like as we try to live them out as both individual followers of Jesus and as a corporate body of believers?
Another way to ask that question is to ask what are the expectations for these 3 pieces of our vision? We’ll spend the next several posts walking through each part, trying to better understand what they look like for our church community.
There is a message that corresponds to this post, and you can check it out right here.
If you’d like to read the previous posts in this series, you can follow the links below…