Church Mission Statement

In an effort to make some changes at our church we have decided to develop a mission statement for our church.  We made this decision almost 3 months ago in a Deacon’s meeting [I know this in not the appropriate place but this is how our church works].  At that time the Chairman of the Deacon’s was to appoint a committee to develop the mission statement.  I volunteered.  2 months later I volunteered again.  I was frustrated by the delay….can you imagine a Baptist committee being slow to act?  I decided to appoint myself a one man committee and started to work on the mission statement. This past Monday at our monthly meeting, I was asked to head the committee to be made up of one other deacon, the pastor, and one church member at large.  I accepted.

Jesus gave all churches their mission statement in Matthew 28:18-20 (a.k.a. The Great Commission) so that is where I decided to start.   I debated on whether or not to simply use these verses but chose not to primarily because we were wanting something that we could put on bulletins and signs and that would be easier for people to remember.  The means I could try to restate these verses or go in a completely different direction.  I decided to stay with the Great Commission and try to restate it.  It is also my goal to present a strategy when I present the mission statement.  I have a working draft of the mission statement.  Tell me what you think.

Proposed mission statement:  To equip Christ’s people to do His ministry.

In the strategy I plan to define Christ’s ministry and present plans on how we can accomplish the individual elements (broadly, not in detail).  Right now I am thinking about building the strategy around the 5 purposes of the New Testament church – Evangelism, Discipleship, Ministry, Worship, & Fellowship.

Does your church have a mission statement?  How does it affect how you church operates?  Do you have any suggestions as to how to improve my mission statement or strategy?

Is It “Child Abuse” For Parents To Teach Their Faith To Their Children?

I was reading this post by gorckat over at Chess Adventures and one of the comments he made got me to thinking. He said

“although I do agree with the sentiment that Richard Dawkins expressed that indoctrination is a form of child abuse”.

Let me provide a little context for those who do not go and read his post. Gorckat had just pointed out that he is an atheist and he was saying that he was not militant about it [my description, not his]. He listed a few examples of atheistic beliefs that he did not personally ascribe to.

I t was the Dawkins teaching (quoted above) that got me thinking. I have heard this before. Dawkins has said

“Innocent children are being saddled with demonstrable falsehoods,” he says. “It’s time to question the abuse of childhood innocence with superstitious ideas of hellfire and damnation. Isn’t it weird the way we automatically label a tiny child with its parents’ religion?” [World Net Daily]

and

“So we should no more allow parents to teach their children to believe, for example, in the literal truth of the Bible or that the planets rule their lives, than we should allow parents to knock their children’s teeth out or lock them in a dungeon.” [pp. 325-326 of The God Delusion]

Dawkins is free to have his opinion, just like we all are.  But I am curious as to how far he is willing to take this principle.  Does this just apply to religious beliefs or can we extend it to its logical conclusion?   Who gets to decide what is acceptable to teach to our children and what is not?  Obviously parents can’t be trusted with this choice.

Following Dawkins’ logic you could easily make a case that no belief of the parents can be taught by the parents to their children.  Children should be free from any parental influence to explore and develop their own values and beliefs.  If the parental influence is removed then who will get to influence the kids?  The answer is truly scary.  Our children would be influenced by their friends, teachers, TV, movies, music, and magazines.  Now, think for a moment at what values these things would be teaching our kids.  Do you want that?  I sure don’t.

What does the Bible say about this?  Proverbs 22:6 is probably the best known verse on the subject.  It says “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”  Ephesians 6:4 says “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”  From these examples we can see clearly that it is the responsibility of parents to pass on their faith to their children.

It seems to me that any parent who loves their children will be concerned with what their children will be like when they get out on their own.  We want our children to be well adjusted and have the proper perspective on things.  This can only be done if we are willing to teach these things to our children.  It is not always easy.  We have to know what we believe and why so that we can answer the many questions they are sure to have.  It forces us as parents to actually think through tough issues, to spend time informing ourselves, and sometimes to take stands that are not popular.  Teaching our values to our children is not child abuse.  It is one way in which we show we love them.

What do you think?

Albert Einstein On Human Stupidity

“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.” —Albert Einstein

Source:  The Patriot Post

Rudy Giuliani hints at dropping out

Click here to read the story.

Have Humans Created Life?

You can read the story here.

Lets be very clear…..humans cannot create life, only God can.  Humans can only modify what God has already created.

Which Theologian Are You?

Here are my results.  I rated as a Martin Luther.  I must admit I am a little surprised.  Click here to find out what theologian you are and then leave a comment letting me know.

Quiz results:
 
Which theologian are you?
You scored as a Martin Luther
The daddy of the Reformation. You are opposed to any Catholic ideas of works-salvation and see the scriptures as being primarily authoritative.
Martin Luther
 
80%
Karl Barth
 
67%
John Calvin
 
67%
Jonathan Edwards
 
47%
Anselm
 
47%
Jürgen Moltmann
 
40%
Charles Finney
 
33%
Friedrich Schleiermacher
 
33%
Augustine
 
13%
Paul Tillich
 
7%

Ronald Reagan On Political Parties

“A political party cannot be all things to all people. It must represent certain fundamental beliefs which must not be compromised to political expediency or simply to swell its numbers.” —Ronald Reagan

Source:  The Patriot Post

Ann Coulter On An Informed Republican Electorate

”Dear Republicans: “Please do one-tenth as much research before casting a vote in a presidential election as you do before buying a new car.” —Ann Coulter

Source:  The Patriot Post

Thomas Jefferson On Taxation

“Would it not be better to simplify the system of taxation rather than to spread it over such a variety of subjects and pass through so many new hands.” —Thomas Jefferson

Source:  The Patriot Post

Does God Let Good People Into Heaven?

This is one of the common objections or misconceptions that we hear when we try to share the Gospel with others. They will say something like “I am a good person so God will let me into Heaven.” Have you ever heard that. I have. My mother has actually told me that. It was her way of ending the conversation in which I was trying to explain the need for salvation to her. In this post I would like to examine this and see if it agrees with what the bible teaches.

There are several problems with this. The first thing we must ask is what are the standards or what must we do to be good enough to get into Heaven. To say that you are good enough implies that you have met, or must meet, some standard. What is that standard and where is it written? If you were to ask people if they considered themselves to be a good person, what do you think they would say? The vast majority would tell you that they are a good person. What do they base that upon? Most of us would base that upon the fact that we know people who we would label as bad and rationalize that we are better than them so we must be a good person. The standard changes based on the person and we will always meet the standard. No matter who we are we can always point to someone who is a worse person than we are. It is our nature to want to think of ourselves as good and based on the criteria we create, we can think of ourselves this way.

This belief amounts to a works based salvation. It is basically a belief that we can earn our way into Heaven. If we can only do enough good things to raise us to that minimum standard we have created then God is obligated to allow us into Heaven. Even though we recognize that we have done bad things in the past we are able to rationalize them in our mind….after all there was a reason why we “had” to do them so they don’t really count that much. Other people don’t face the same problems that we do so when they do bad things they don’t have an excuse. Right?

I am here to tell you that God has set THE standard for entering into Heaven and it is perfection. I also want to tell you that none of us meet that standard no matter how good we are. Romans 3:9-12 says (9) What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, (10) as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; (11) no one understands; no one seeks for God. (12) All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one. We are clearly taught in these verses that no one is a good person. We are all tainted by sin. None of us us good enough to get into Heaven no matter how good of a person we think we are.

For Christians, salvation is not based on works and cannot be earned. Ephesians 2:8-9 says “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast“. This is very clear…salvation is a gift from God and not something we can earn with or works.  So how does God accomplish this?   He sent Jesus and Jesus affirms this.  John 14:6 says “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  This means that Jesus is THE standard.  Jesus has the perfection that we need.  Hebrews 4:15 says “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

The only way that we can be good enough to enter Heaven is if the righteousness of Jesus is applied to us.  The only way that His righteousness is applied to us is if we accept Him as our Lord and Savior.  There is no other way.  God does NOT allow good people into Heaven but He does allow redeemed sinners to enter Heaven.  Which one are you?

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