I am the kind of person who always likes to look ahead and think about a future that is bright, for me personally, for my family and for our church. I think it is good to always look forward and be excited about an even greater future that is ahead of you. But sometimes it’s also good to pause and remember the great things God has already done. When you’re grateful for the past, this will help you be even more excited about the future!
has a rich history. The vision was birthed in 2004 as a result of some conversations an American missionary, Robby Bradford, and I had. This vision materialized when we starting meeting with a small group in Robby’s home at the end of summer 2005. The launch team started growing and by April 2006 we had a “soft” launch in the building of a Protestant Church and our big launch on May 21, 2006, in the Zuiderkerk, our current building. I remember so many great stories of what God has done in our midst and am thankful for every life that has been changed by the power the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
’ vision and mission
I believe that in order to keep growing and developing in God’s way, He is calling us to be united around the vision and the mission of the church. United we stand, but divided we fall. But what is our vision? Let me quote our vision statement. Our vision is “to be a life-giving church that loves God, loves people and impacts lives for Jesus.”
Our mission, our way of accomplishing that vision, is: “To exalt God by sharing the Gospel, leading people to Jesus and connecting them to the local church; to equip believers and help them grow in faith and spiritual maturity; to reach out and serve in the church and the world.”
We’re now at the point that all of the ministry leaders have developed vision and mission statements for their ministries, based on the vision and mission statements of the church as a whole. And all of us, church builders, have to find our “sweet spot” in fulfilling the vision and mission of the teams we serve in and of the church as a whole.
How can you and I participate in the local church’s vision and mission?
Now how can you and I actively participate in’ (or any other church’s) mission and vision and help carry the plan that Christ has for this world? Here are three thoughts, three things that will make you a true church builder:
1) Become a culture carrier
Model the (good parts of) your church’s culture and be a good representative of both Christ and the local church you are part of. What does’ culture look like? Here are a few key words:
- Life-giving instead of life-sucking
- International – we’re open to everyone from every background
- Contemporary and relevant
- Focused on excellence – we do the best we can for the King of kings
- Spirit-filled, yet without weirdness
- Down to earth and practical, so that our faith can impact our daily life
2) Help build sustainable ministries
How can you help build sustainable ministries? Here are a few ways:
- Never just drop out of a ministry. Always find a replacement for yourself.
- Never see yourself as unimportant. What you do does matter. Your input impacts people’s lives, either directly or indirectly.
- Show excitement about what you’re doing and if you’re not excited anymore, ask God to give you new strength for your role! Only motivated people will be able to attract others to serve in the ministry and lower the work pressure for everyone else.
- Delegate! If all you are doing is keeping the program running, the ministry will never be able to grow. Neither will you be able to grow!
- Don’t be afraid to ask people for commitment. Don’t think of reasons why they would not want to get involved. Give them the opportunity to say “no.” They may not say “no,” so don’t say it for them!
- Don’t be afraid of people who seem more talented than you. You only increase in stature as a servant/leader if you get other people involved for something they are better at than you.
- Live your life as a positive example of what it means to be a passionate follower of Christ. As we developed a Leadership & Staff Honor Code that will give you some guidelines (send me a note if you want me to send you a copy).
3) Throw away all excuses
If the church is really to progress, we need to throw away all excuses that keep us from serving God, building the local church and reaching the lost. When you look at the early church in Acts 2, you can see how members of that church we’re so excited about what God was doing in their midst that they threw away excuses that were:
- Time-related: they were meeting in the temple daily.
- Money-related: they gave away everything so that nobody would have need.
- Privacy-related: they opened their homes for meals with one another.
God is asking you and me to take the plunge into deeper waters. Throw away all excuses you may have had in the past, whether they relate to your time, your money or your private space. We’re standing at the door of some of the biggest breakthroughs for us personally and for us as a church. We’re getting ready to buy this building, start a second service and do so many other things we have never done before.
Let’s go that extra mile! Let’s give that extra offering! Let’s serve that extra hour and see how God can use our five loaves and two fishes and multiply it for the multitudes. With God’s strength, power and divine leadership we can do it! With Him all things are possible!
So become a culture carrier! Help us build sustainable ministries! And throw away all excuses. Allow the Holy Spirit to fill you with faith and excitement for the great things God has in store for you and for us! It is His work, not your work or mine! So let’s allow Him to work miracles through us!
This post above is a summary of the thoughts I shared at our last ChurchBuilders meeting inInternational Church. Be sure to watch the full video with lots of extra ideas: