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Mission and Strategy

VISION AND STRATEGY

Our Mission is “to be a gospel-centred, disciple-making community in Snug, the Channel and beyond”.

  • Keeping the gospel central,
  • Making new disciples and
  • growing mature disciples,
  • Being an intentional Christian community,
  • Locally and Overseas.

Now this isn’t just “our mission”… we believe it’s God’s mission for his church – and so none of those things should come as a surprise.

Expanding on this a little:

Being gospel-centred, means being word-centred, for the gospel is a ‘good word’ – a good news message. It is the message that Jesus died in our place, redeeming us from the consequences of sin, reconciling us to God and purchasing our eternal life with him. That word has all sorts of implications and God continues to speak to us through his Spirit-inspired word, which is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so we may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. God created by his word, communicates by his word, saves by his word and rules his people by his word. So being gospel-centred means God’s word is central to who we are and what we do. That gospel word saved us and continues to shape us as we listen to it and obey it.

But being gospel-centred means we must also be mission-centred… because the gospel is a good news message that just has to be told… so that people may respond in faith and be saved. That’s when a disciple is made.

This is God’s mission that he calls us to be on board with, which is why we should be about ‘making new disciples” – inviting people to respond to the good news and follow Jesus.

But we also want to be about growing mature disciples. Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations… teaching them to obey everything I have commanded.” We don’t just get people ‘over the line’ and leave them hanging! Jesus wants us to ‘build each other up for works of service’, to be mature, to be standing firm amid a world of hollow and deceptive philosophies, growing up into Christ, as each part does its work. This means we all have a part to play.

And we play our parts in this mission … in community. This community is the people of God we are saved into. In our individualized society, we have to remember that God’s central purpose in this world is to save a people for himself – “I will be their God and they will be my people” is a theme that recurs again and again all through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. This means we must learn to see ourselves not as individuals, but as an integral part of God’s new community. It shapes our identity[1].  We believe Christian community should be an amazing expression of what it means to be in God’s family as we live together as his people and build each other up in the truth of his word. The Christian community should model what it means to live under Jesus’ rule[2], showing to the watching world that we are Christians by our love for one another.

As God’s people following the example of Jesus, we also see ourselves as missionaries to our non-believing neighbours. Just as Jesus came to us, taught us and suffered for our good… he tells us to take up our cross and follow him, and he sends us to go and make disciples. In fact, Christians on mission together have better community together[3].

Therefore, it is in the context of intentional Christian community that we seek to make new disciples and grow mature disciples.

How can Christian community help to make new disciples and grow mature disciples? By being intentional about making new disciples and growing mature disciples in the things we do. We have a leadership team committed to modelling this and facilitating it on three levels:

  1. The whole-church gathering,
  2. Smaller groups, called Gospel Communities (GCs),
  3. And even smaller ‘discipling relationships’.

I.e., there is intentionality at each of these levels to both make new disciples and grow mature disciples.

  1. At the ‘whole-church’ level, we want to welcome, connect, teach, praise and pray in such a way that helps make new disciples and helps grow mature disciples.
  2. At the smaller ‘Gospel Community’ level, everyone is on mission together intentionally trying to… you guessed it… make new disciples and grow mature disciples. So a ‘GC’ is much more than a weekly Bible study. How each one looks is different… but that doesn’t matter, as long as each group is intentionally seeking these now familiar goals.
  3. Discipling relationships fit naturally within the context of Gospel Communities – they are just the next size down. They’re not necessarily just one-to-ones, there might be three or four people meeting together. These more intimate relationships have been shown to be one of the most effective means of growing mature disiciples – Jesus himself demonstrated this with his 12 disciples!

How might all this look in practice? Well that’s our Vision! We are currently in the process of developing a vision for each area of our church life.

This is what we have so far:

Community Vision:

Our vision for the Snug Christian Church community is a church family, in which:

  • each and every member has deep spiritual, personal and practical connections with others;
  • we enjoy spending time together;
  • we are gracious and committed to each other;
  • we encourage and support each other;
  • everyone feels they belong and have a role to play;
  • we communicate openly, honestly and lovingly.

Mission Vision:

Our vision for Snug Christian Church in the area of mission is:

  •  WATCH THIS SPACE!!

Finally, because God’s mission is world-wide, we don’t want to limit our mission to Snug! We want to reach the whole Channel region and we want to support the spread of the gospel throughout Australia and the rest of the world. To that end, we are involved with Vision 100, FIEC Australia and we support native missionaries in India and Nepal through Gospel for Asia, and a church planting network in the Philippines. Because we recognize that we live in an incredibly wealthy country, our goal is to give half of our financial giving to local and overseas gospel ministry and we are getting closer to that goal every year!


 

[1] Tim Chester and Steve Timmis 2007, Total Church, 38.

[2] Ibid, 48.

[3] According to Alan Hirsch, we should aim for communitas, not community. Communitas is a community on mission together. “The most vigorous forms of community are those that come together in the context of a shared ordeal or those that define themselves as a group with a mission that lies beyond themselves— thus initiating a risky journey. Too much concern with safety and security, combined with comfort and convenience, has lulled us out of our true calling and purpose. We all love an adventure. Or do we?” – Alan Hirsch, adapted from ‘The Forgotten Ways’.