Two of the most important teachings of Christ form the core of our purpose as a church:
The Great Commandment – Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength; and love your neighbor as yourself.Mark 12:30-31
The Great Commission – Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.Matthew 28:19-20
We are also guided by the example of the very first church:
— selected verses from Acts 2:41-47
Those who believed (in Jesus)… were baptized and added to the church… They joined with the other believers and devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, sharing in the Lord’s Supper, and in prayer. A deep sense of awe came over them all…and all the believers met together constantly and shared everything they had…with those in need. They worshiped together…with great joy and generosity – all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their group those who were being saved.
Taken together, we find our purpose includes these major components:
Worship – to worship God with all that we are – offering him our praise, celebrating all of his mercies and blessings (especially the gift of his Son, Jesus Christ), honoring him with our generous giving and our service, and seeking him continually in prayer and in the meal of Holy Communion.
Fellowship – to love each other as Christ loves us – meeting together continually to share our lives and our faith together, to celebrate joyous moments of life together, and to offer comfort and support in times of loss or grief or pain; to invest ourselves in each other, helping each other grow to be all that God created us to be.
Discipleship – to study God’s Word and learn more and more about Christ so that we become reflections of his love, agents of his grace in the world today – and to teach others in this same way.
Missions – we are blessed to be a blessing to others, so we reach out to others in need in our community and in the world, sharing with them from our resources, meeting them at the point of their needs, making a real difference in their lives, thus showing them the love of Christ.
Ministry – finding ways to share Christ with others, to tell of the difference he has made in our lives – how in Christ we found forgiveness and mercy and grace, how in him we found our identity as treasured children of the Most High God, and we have new life, filled with joy and hope and peace and purpose – and thus to help lead others to Christ, too.