Our Mission: Love God
Most churches have a mission statement of sorts. Its one of the first things you are taught to develop because it is supposed to be the thing that propels you into the Kingdom work you are called to as a church. However, so often the mission of a church is forgotten and unknown by all who are a part. Partially because the mission is easy to state but difficult to let shape our activity and behavior.
And yet the mission of a church is supposed to be the thing that drives the church forward in activity and participation. It should be the reason they exist and what gives them the energy and motivation to keep on pursuing the development of God’s vision even when it feels difficult or slow moving. The mission is the “Why” for the church. Why are we doing this? Why do we keep giving up our time, our talents, and our treasure to this thing? The greater the clarity of mission the better people are able to cling to the belief in that mission. It's what moves us from being a people who say, “now, what is the mission statement of our church,” to saying “we do this because we believe so passionately in the mission God has given this church.”
A church’s mission should never simply be a statement. It is the mold for a church’s way of life. It is the foundation, motivation, and passion for who we are. It’s how we make decisions about worship, ministry, and life in general. This is what a church’s mission is supposed to be.
At Missio Church, the reason we exist, our Mission, is to Love God, Love People and Awaken a Movement. The next three blog posts will take each part of the mission of Missio Church and clarify what it means for who we are as a church in the Northgate Neighborhood of North Seattle.
Love is a word we hear a lot of in our world today. We hear people talk about the power of love to move mountains or carry us through the challenges of life. And yet often it takes for us to experience a moment where love is forced to be the thing we’ve heard it can be for us to start believing the truth of what love actually is. Where the power of our love carries us to spaces of incredible healing and through moments of intense pain and suffering. It seems like people everywhere are searching for this kind of love. And yet it seems all too rare in our day and age.
In churches we often talk about Love. It is the heartbeat of so many sermons, teachings, ministry plans and more. And yet one of the undeniable truths is that both followers of Jesus, and those who have not yet become a part of his family, prefer to pass over this first part of our mission and move straight into the second part. We like the idea of loving People more than we do loving God because it's the more tangible, outward expression of what we feel like we know we are supposed to be as people. It doesn’t take long to look at the world, watch the news, and read the headlines, for us to see the great need for loving People.
So why do churches, who are supposed to be people who excel at loving God, spend their time first talking about loving God?
One of our core beliefs is that God is Love. And we can never out love the one whose very existence defines love. Which means that God loves the people around me far more than I ever could love them. And so if God loves the people around us more than we ever could love them then doesn’t it make sense to first and foremost pursue loving the one person who can help us love others the way we long to love them but so often fall short of?
Loving people is actually quite hard. You don’t believe me? Just take a minute to think about the relationships in your own life. Think of your family, your neighbors, your co-workers. For so many of us loving our own family members would be a miracle. How much harder is it to love the people who are different from us politically, religiously, economically, socially? Loving people is hard. There is no way to soften the truth of that reality.
But I am convinced that the more I come to Jesus, who has a love for people that goes far beyond anything I can muster on my own, that his love will slowly transform who I am and give me the ability to love in ways I never could on my own. This is why we talk about Loving God first. Because more often than not, I don’t have the kind of love within me that has the power to transform neighborhoods and culture. But I believe that the more I fall in love with God, his love will transform entire cities through me.
Missio Church exists first and foremost to Love God. We are not always great at this. But we want to be better each and every day. Loving God is not easy. In fact it takes a lot of work figuring out what Loving God tangibly looks like. But we believe it is worth our time and energy to understand. Because it leads to things we can’t accomplish on our own.
Let’s be a people who are passionate about pursuing God together. You don’t have to have all the right answers. You just have to be willing to go on the journey with Jesus.