Mission Statement: “Transforming the broken into whole-hearted disciples of Christ signified by our loves and lives.”
Brokenness defines us. I wish it wasn’t so, but it is. We are each defined to some extent by our brokenness. We have all described people as “a little needy,” “conceited,” or “tends to be angry.” Especially, we know our own brokenness. Most of us know, to a variety of extents, of our brokenness, and if you don’t see any brokenness, then let me tell you one area of your brokenness is pride.
Broken, however, is not worthless. Our brokenness is worth dying for. At least, that is what Jesus thought. His death on a cross was our life on this Earth. Christ through his life showed us how to live, and through his death enabled us to live. So, we are all broken. Our brokenness is us. God loves us in the midst of our brokenness. As it says in the well-quoted Romans 5:8, “But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.” However, God loves us too much to keep us there, as Paul exhorts us later in Romans 12:1-2, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God– what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
So, we are not called to remain in our brokenness, but to move from brokenness through the process of transformation. “Transforming” is a continual action. We are to continue to be transformed from brokenness into wholeness. Transformation is not a minor change, but a change in orientation. We are be transformed from people who live in and out of our brokenness, to people who live in and out of Christ’s wholeness. We move from being self-referenced beings to people who have the “mind of Christ,” whose orientation was not for his pleasure or gain, but instead whose very nature is cruciform love.
Our discipleship is then living out the wholeness that Christ showed us how to live, and the Holy Spirit. “Whole-hearted disciples of Christ” is then the goal of this community of faith. Therefore, discipleship is the passion of this church. We will orient ourselves to being on the journey of discipleship. Being a disciple involves holiness of heart and life. Being a disciple is not just doing good things, but it is having the heart of God that sacrificially chooses to minister all people (including self) to wholeness in Christ. Discipleship is both an inward and outward dimensions. It involves both loving family and stranger. It is local and global. It involves the big decisions and small decisions. It happens on Sunday mornings and Thursday nights. It is essential our whole lives being lived out of the relationship with our Triune God.
If we are disciples, then the world will notice. I wish this statement wasn’t needed, but the bottom line is that if we are not distinguishable, then we are not disciples. As disciples of Christ, we should be marked by our love and lives. If there is an inward transformation of our heart, then there should be an outward result in our love of God, self, and others in our lives. Too often, Christians are identified by what we are against or by our hypocrisy, instead of by our love.
Southland Christian Church in Lexington, KY decided to end service 45 minutes early, one Sunday, so that instead of people meeting in a church, the people could be the church for the world. One group of people decided to go to a hospital waiting room with food, drink, and love. While they were there they were able to feed the hungry and comfort the needy. At first, people were hesitant to receiving the love of a stranger through food or a shoulder, but soon enough they ate food and told their stories of a variety of brokenness that lead to them being at the hospitable. When that group of people left the hospital, people applauded! Better than that, one person asked why would someone do that for strangers, and someone in the room replied, “That’s just what Christians do.” In the continual process of being transformed into whole-hearted disciples of Christ, people should notice that the way we live our lives is marked by our love.
This is where we begin. We will move on to look at the core values of this particular church, and continue to dream about what God’s vision.