Core Values: Missional
In my newsletter articles for the last few months, I have been discussing our core values. This month, I address our fourth and final value: what it means to be missional. This value requires us to be somewhat cautious. The Church’s mission isn’t really up for us to determine. Instead, we are called to embrace the mission given us by Jesus Christ. And this will make us distinct from every business, non-profit, and charity out there.
What is it? We turn to Jesus’ own words in Matthew 28, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”
Everything that we do as Church revolves around making disciples – learners and followers of Jesus Christ. And disciples are made through Baptism, teaching, preaching, and prayer (Acts 2:42). This is why the focus of our congregation is on the Divine Service and Bible classes.
Discipleship begins with the Sacrament of Holy Baptism. It continues as we return to the Divine Service for Confession and Absolution, and the Holy Supper. And then we store up God’s Word in our hearts (Psalm 119:11). The Words of God in written, spoken, and sacramental forms are the mission of the Church, and the only source for the Christian faith.
Discipleship also extends into the home and our personal lives. We don’t leave the Word at Church, but it goes with us. The home especially is to reflect the depths of our faith, whether we live alone or with a full house. In Deuteronomy 6, we are instructed, “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
The Mission of the Church is faithful Word and Sacrament ministry in the Church, home, community, and around the world. We are a Biblical, Confessional, Liturgical, Missional Church. And now I hope you feel a little more prepared to give an answer to the person who asks you about your Church.