New Here? - What is Our Purpose...
"A Growing Family of Friends"
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God - John 1:12
Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother. - Mark 3:35
Early Christian communities sought to live what Jesus taught them. We recognize that at the heart of the church is relationship. In fact, the Greek word ecclesia from scripture that we translate church more literally means the called out ones. The church therefore refers not to a building, or an institution, but a community of people.
Our hope is that the statement a growing family of friends represents our desire to focus on people and relationships. As we build relationships with each other, we will challenge and support each other to develop and enrich the most important relationship of all, a relationship with Jesus Christ. Through that relationship we enter into a new kind of relationship with each other, that of a spiritual family.
Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. -Mark 10:42-45
As we seek to proclaim the kingdom, we do so in word and in deed. Giving ourselves away is a key principle by which we strive to do this. Giving oneself away and living for others is how Jesus intended His followers to live. It was the example that He set, and the life He expected from those who would call themselves followers of Christ.
We should be seeking to live for the Kingdom, investing our lives in representing Jesus and proclaiming His Kingdom. Our goal is that this principle of giving ourselves away would permeate our community and be a guiding principle behind all that we do.
the Kingdom of God"
After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. Acts 1:3
The Bible talks about the kingdom as being both now and not yet. With Jesus, the kingdom of God was inaugurated. Jesus preached and taught about the kingdom, and performed miracles to demonstrate its power over the evil of this world. The Scripture also suggests that the kingdom is not yet in that it points to a time when Jesus will return in glory to establish the kingdom in its fullness. We are therefore in the middle, between Jesus earthly ministry and the inauguration of the kingdom, but awaiting Christs return and the kingdoms establishment in fullness. It is here that we find our key role. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit the church is the sphere in which the kingdoms power is active, and we are here to continue Jesus mission to proclaim the kingdom of God in word and in deed.
Our goal is that
all we do as a growing family of friends, giving ourselves away, is to
proclaim the kingdom of God.
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