Here are three questions and three answers about the vision of Embassy Church:
1. What Is Our Vision? … The Glory of Christ
2. How Do We Accomplish Our Vision? … By Making Disciples
3. When Have We Accomplished Our Vision? … When All Nations Are Reached
Our vision in a single sentence:
Our vision in a few paragraphs:
Our vision is the Glory of Christ.
We want to know Christ! As Paul says in Philippians 3:10, “I want to know Christ.” More than anything else our greatest desire and prayer is that we would know Christ.
Our vision is not about having a certain number of people in our church. Instead we want our eyes fixed on the one necessary person, Jesus Christ! Our primary church growth strategy is to lift up Christ. For, whenever Christ is lifted up, he promises he will draw all people to himself (Jn 12:32).
Implication # 1 – If we are going to be about the glory of Christ, then it follows that we will be a church about teaching sound doctrine from the Word.
It is through the word of God that we come to know Christ (John 5:39). When we gather together for worship we are committed to hearing preaching that is defined by these three words: Evangelistic, Expository, Exultation. We want our preaching of the word to be evangelistic so that it will be clear for outsiders to hear and believe. We want our preaching to be expository so that the points of sermon are coming directly from the passage being preached. Lastly, we want our preaching to help us exalt the name of Jesus.
Implication # 2 – If we care about the glory of Christ, then we must care more about who we worship than how we worship.
Our vision for Sunday morning corporate worship is not about some particular worship style. Instead we want to focus on the substance of Christ and all his glory because more than we want this church to be for us, we want to be a church for HIM!
Establishing that our vision is the glory of Christ we need to now answer the question, How do we bring glory to Christ?
The primary way a church is to bring glory to Christ is by spreading his name and honor through disciple-making (Matt. 28:18-20).
We want everything we do as a church to fall under the banner of disciple-making. Every meeting we have together as a church should help us make disciples. We want every program or initiative that we start to answer this question: “Will this program help us do a better job at making disciples?”
Implication # 1 – We value meaningful church membership more than we value ambiguous church attendance.
The church in the New Testament is described as a family and the household of God. Therefore, we see church membership as the process of defining who is in our family and how we are supposed to care for the members of our family. Our church should never be seen as an event to attend or a place to go.
Implication # 2 – We want to implement strategies for discipleship that are people-driven more than they are program-driven.
We want to avoid being servants of church programs because we believe programs should be serving us to help make disciples. Our hope is to establish simple and relational methods of discipleship that can be reproduced easily by all the members of the church. We think about church growth more in terms of multiplication then addition. The example Jesus left us of how to make disciples was to invest his limited time in a faithful few for the sake of the masses. So the leaders of our church try to invest their lives deeply into the members of the church so that they will be equipped to do the ministry of the church.
The task of glorifying Christ by making disciples ends when all nations of the earth have disciples of Jesus Christ. If this is true, then we should immediately ask, “What is a nation and are their disciples in all of them?”
Biblically speaking a nation is a group of people that are defined by a common language, a common culture, and live together in a geographical location. According to Global Research:
In other words, we have been given a task and it is not finished. This means that we need to redefine what success looks like in the church. We need to judge our success not by our church’s seating capacity, but by our church’s sending capacity.
Implication # 1 – A Focus on Unegaged Peoples in our Local Missions
Since we live in the Chicago Metro area and the home of hundreds and thousands of immigrants from some of these unreached nations we must be praying and laboring toward reaching our unreached neighbors next door.
Implication # 2 – A Focus on Unengaged Peoples in our Overseas Missions
If we are going to be faithful to this unfinished task of reaching these nations, then we must prioritize these unengaged nations as we take short term missions trips and as we consider where to send missionaries to.