Saturday, June 26, 2010

It All Boils Down To This

Anyone who has been around Westmoreland Baptist Church for the past two years, cannot help but be familiar with the little orange signs posted all around the buildings, announcing "Our Focus". The signs have three overlapping circles. The top circle holds the caption "Magnify God". The two circles below say "Make Disciples" and "Minister to People" respectively. It has been my desire, as pastor, to embed this image in the minds of every member of our fellowship.

The Venn diagram illustrates the three fold mission of Westmoreland Baptist Church. I do not claim originality for this diagram. In fact, I have asked another church who uses it, for permission to use it at Westmoreland. That pastor assured me that they did not originate it either. Wherever it came from originally is unknown to me, but the powerful truth depicted so simply is more than adequate reason for us to use it to keep the mission before us.

Is it based on scriptural truth?

Yes indeed!

It springs directly from the teachings of Jesus in what we call “The Great Commandments”:

Jesus said to him, " 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' "This is the first and great commandment. "And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39)

and “The Great Commission”:

“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:18-20)

The three categories involve Worship, Ministry, and Discipleship. Each is distinct characteristic, but as the diagram indicates, they do not stand alone. Each category overlaps with the other two, creating an interesting dynamic. All are interconnected. Worship of our God naturally flows from the life of a believer. As we worship the Father, we are reminded of His commandments to us. We are called upon to minister to others. As we reach out to serve the needs of others through missions, we do it in the name of Jesus, which automatically leads to sharing our faith in Him with those to whom we minister. Evangelism and missions lead to teaching new believers all of the things Jesus commanded us. As we build disciples, they grow in their relationship with the Father. Worship becomes a reality to them, as does the natural desire to tell other about Christ. Ministry ensues, and evangelism continues. And so on and so on.

If this is our mission, then we should evaluate every program, ministry, and activity of Westmoreland Baptist Church. If they do not fit into one of the circles, we should abandon them immediately. For those ministries and activities that do fit into the mission, there should be periodic evaluation, and appropriate adjustments and course corrections should be made accordingly.

How are we doing in the task?

I will be sharing my heart regarding this in the 10:45 worship service on Sunday morning. I hope you will make a special effort to be there.


Pastor Scott said...

I would like to see a picture of the Venn diagram ya'll are using.

Pastor Jim said...

Praying for a great service for you Sunday as you share this with your folks.

Anonymous said...

Pastor Scott - I finally got it uploaded! Not a real good quality copy, but you can see the rough idea.

Jim - Thank you Brother. We appreciate your prayers. We are always praying for God's richest blessings on you, your family, and your ministry at Brush Fork.