Spiritual Direction: Follow The Path Of God Not The Words Of Man
In addition to yesterday’s article, there is an important message to be learned.
Many people believe that religion is actually service. Service is part of religion but it can not be all of religion. I know that some churches are large into services or ministries. So much so that you actually forget why you belong to a church in the first place.
This forgetfulness has led to many protestant churches creating their own mission statements. Why not? If you can create a church you should be able to create a mission statement correct?
Making Disciples (2 words)
Making New, Making Great (4)
Save, Equip, and Send (4)
Know Jesus and Make Jesus Known (6)
Love God, Love People, Make Disciples (6)
To reach the valley for Christ (6)
To Know, Love and Serve God (6)
Leading people to experience a God-First Life (7)
Connecting people to Jesus and one another (7)
We exist to make Heaven more crowded (7)
Establish and multiply gospel-centered, city-focused, church communities (7)
To Reach Up, Reach Out, and Reach In (8)
Helping people find their way back to God (8)
To revive believers, reach friends, and renew culture (8)
Helping people find their way back to God (8)
A church for worshiping God and loving others (8)
Empowered by God to reach others for Christ (8)
Helping people take their next step toward Christ…together (9)
To help people take their next steps with Jesus (9)
To lead people to become fully devoted followers of Christ (10)
To make the name of Jesus famous in our generation (10)
To lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ (10)
To lead people into an authentic, life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ (11)
A church where anyone can be transformed by the story of Jesus (12)
We exist to introduce people to Jesus and help them follow Him (12)
To love God, love the church, love the city, and love the nations (13)
We exist so that people far from God will be raised to life in Christ (15)
To help people find God, grow their faith, discover their purpose, and make a difference (15)
We exist to glorify God, by making disciples that reach up, reach in, and reach out (16)
We’re here to help people know God, find freedom, discover their purpose, and make a difference (16)
Helping every person believe in Jesus, belong to a family, become a disciple and build His kingdom (17)
To partner with people to reach their God potential, in order to impact our world for good (17)
To lead people into a fully-devoted relationship with Jesus Christ by loving people, cultivating community, and inspiring hope (18)
We are the voice and the hand that encourages people to change their lives with hope, comfort, and peace (19)
To help each person at Gateway believe in Jesus, belong to family, become a follower, and build God’s kingdom. (19)
To make and deploy mature and equipped followers of Christ for the sake of Family, Community and Global Transformation (19)
We equip our people to develop a Biblical worldview, share the Gospel, build healthy relationships, transform communities, and renew culture (20)
To be a church that lives by faith, is known by love, and is a voice of hope to the world (21)
To create a radically inclusive, just and loving community mobilized to alleviate suffering and break the cycles of poverty and marginalization (21)
Living out the way of Jesus in missional communities, announcing the arrival of his kingdom, working for measurable change among the oppressed (22)
To help people experience Christ rather than man’s creation of religion, so they can grow strong in Christ and take the Christ experience to the world (26)
To reach and influence the world by building a large Christ-centered, Bible-based church, changing mindsets and empowering people to lead and impact in every sphere of life (27)
Our mission is to help lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ by creating a dynamic environment for authentic worship and effective communication while developing genuine community with each other (32)
To build a great city for all people through a gospel movement that brings personal conversion, community formation, social justice and cultural renewal to New York City and, through it, to the world (33)
Our mission is to make fully devoted followers of Christ. We want to be a part of witnessing lives saved by the grace and truth of Jesus Christ and helping believers grow as disciples. (34)
We are a diverse community centered on Jesus Christ, seeking to wholly enjoy His grace, faithfully embody His love for one another, and boldly engage our culture with His truth, from our neighborhoods to the nations (36)
To present the Gospel of Jesus Christ in such a way that turns non-Christians into converts, converts into disciples, and disciples into mature, fruitful leaders, who will, in turn, go into the world and reach others for Christ (38)
To glorify God by introducing Jesus Christ as Lord to as many people as possible and to develop them in Christian living using the most effective means to impact the world, making an eternal difference in this generation (38)
Turning the hearts of youth and families to God and each other. Developing our God-given potential in order to win in every area of our lives. Advancing the Kingdom of God, first throughout our circles of influence, then the nations abroad (40)
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always.” Matthew 28:19-20 (42)
Let us be totally honest here, is this the mission statement that God has intended for His Church? Do we follow the words of man or follow the words of God here?
Jeremiah Chapter 17 5-10 explains why we should not put out faith in mere mortals. We need to repent and turn our faith to God.
5 Thus says the LORD: Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings, who makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD.
6 He is like a barren bush in the wasteland that enjoys no change of season, But stands in lava beds in the wilderness, a land, salty and uninhabited.
7 Blessed are those who trust in the LORD; the LORD will be their trust.
8 They are like a tree planted beside the waters that stretches out its roots to the stream: It does not fear heat when it comes, its leaves stay green; In the year of drought it shows no distress, but still produces fruit.
9 More tortuous than anything is the human heart, beyond remedy; who can understand it?
10 I, the LORD, explore the mind and test the heart, Giving to all according to their ways, according to the fruit of their deeds
Compare the 50 protestant mission statements with one from St. Luke’s Parish in Irving, Texas (Dallas Diocese)
St. Luke’s Parish of Irving, Texas "We, the people of St. Luke's Parish, in the Diocese of Dallas, are called through Baptism to celebrate the presence of Christ in Word and Sacrament. We are called and sent by Christ to live gratefully the life God has given us and to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. In the spirit of faith, service, and community, we strive to bring people closer together and closer to God. This we accomplish by:
* Building our lives in the image of Christ through worship and prayer.
* Contributing to the growth of our parish by spreading the Gospel by word, witness, action and evangelization.
* Inviting everyone to serve, in this way meeting the needs of our parishioners and the broader community.
* Being faithful stewards of St. Luke, accountable to God for by responsibly sharing our time, talents and treasures.
* Lending support to the parish leadership and working together to fulfill the mission."
Do you see the difference? Can you feel the difference? Do you want to experience the difference? How about attending your local parish this week and be the difference. Amen