Our MISSION – Reason to be… is to:
Love God, by loving others,
helping them become
fully functioning followers of Christ Jesus
Our VISION – what we want to accomplish… is to:
Establish a growing body of believers in Urbandale Iowa,
who embrace and live out the gospel of Jesus Christ,
to the end of making healthy, maturing followers of Jesus across generational, gender and racial lines.
The way we seek to accomplish our MISSION and VISION is called Our Pathway and consists of 3 specific points at which the ministry will engage people’s lives…
· Worship Gatherings
· Life Groups
· On Mission
Whereas our Worship Gatherings are about the whole “body” coming together to focus on Christ, through God’s Word… in our reading, preaching, praying, singing and observance of baptism and communion…
…Life Groups are about coming together in smaller groups for the purpose of growing relationally and facilitating discipleship.
It’s no small thing that we find the 1st generation church exploding because they were committed to full-body gatherings at The Temple, and small-group gatherings house to house.
Christ-followers continue to need opportunities for teaching, worship and service, gathered as “the body of Christ” and opportunities for encouragement, relationships, and the accountability in “small-groups”.
The Mission Church see’s both as vital parts of engaging the mission of disciple-making.
What Is a life group
Definition: A Life Group is 6 to 12 people who gather regularly (weekly, semi-monthly) to encourage, challenge, and care for one another for the purpose of becoming fully functioning followers of Christ.
What is the difference between a Worship Gathering and a Life Group… do we really need both?
YES! The difference is RELATIONSHIPS.
Church is being part of “The Body of Christ” and by its very nature, that is about relationships. John 13:34-35
One of the distinctive ways Jesus loved His disciples was by being part of a small-group community with them. Jesus and the 12 did life together.
Why Life Groups
1. Relationships: Faithful participation in Life Group is the best and most natural way to develop strong relationships in the church.
Think of Jesus and the 12. Did they grow to know Him most through the times He was teaching in the Temple or on a hillside gathered with 100’s of others, or when they were relaxed under a tree or in a home engaged in informal conversation?
2. Accountability – Support:
· Accountability = giving others permission to encourage you to be faithful to God and His family when they see you becoming lax in your faith walk.
· Support = being blessed to have others around you who care and know about your life circumstances who are willing to give of their time and effort to minister to your need.
Both accountability and support are positive benefits of being part of a Life Group and both are critical to our development as followers of Jesus.
3. 1st Line of Congregational Care: A distinctive ministry of The Mission Church’s Life Groups will be Congregational Care.
The 1st generation church practiced congregational care by the individual members knowing each other and taking it upon themselves to provide the care others needed. Acts 2:44-45
This became a tangible demonstration of the believers love for one another that was not missed by the unbelieving pagans that lived around them.
It is not wrong to have a Pastor of Congregational Care, but it is better to have the congregation involved in one another’s lives to the point that the congregation cares for one another.
The Pastors, Elders and Deacons of The Mission Church are here to serve the body in their time of need, and that won’t change, but moving forward, our goal is to train and connect people to Life Groups, because they will be the primary method for providing Congregational Care.
4. Leadership Development: Because Life Groups are a catalyst for disciple-making, The Mission Church wants increase Life Group participation among the current congregation and multiply them as new people become part of the church.
When it comes to the future leaders of The Mission Church, the incubator in which they will most likely be born is the Life Group Ministry of Our Pathway Model.
5. One Another’s: Did you know that there are some 50 passages in the New Testament known as the “One Another’s”.
These passages instruct followers of Christ on how they are to relate to one another. Take time to consider the following 10:
1. Romans 15:7 2. Ephesians 4:32
3. Thessalonians 5:15 4. James 5:16
5. Romans. 12:10 6. Galatians 5:13
7. Philippians 2:3 = prefer one another
8. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 9. James 5:16
10. 1 Peter 4:9
One of the best environments to learn to practice these “one another’s” is in the Life Group where you are knowing others and being known.
6. Summary – 1st 5 is what discipleship is all about
While our weekly Worship Gatherings have an important “teaching” aspect to the process, it is in the Life Group that what is taught becomes what is modeled and learned
There’s no way to address Disciple Making apart from…
· Accountability & Support
· Congregational Care
· Leadership Development
· One Another’s of The New Testament
The best place to address these aspects of discipleship is in the context of Life Groups.
The Mission Church does not see Life Groups as an optional program for people to take or leave, but as an integral part of what it means to disciple of Christ and part of the body known as The Mission Church
· Life Groups are our primary relationship building, disciple making arm of the church
· Desire all adults and/or youth to be a faithful participate in a Life group
· Life Group ministry will be our primary means for supporting missionaries, single parents, widows, and the primary prayer engine for the church
· Life Groups will be our primary congregational care method and the first step in a new person or family attaching to the church family
Foundational to our disciple making ministry will be the formation of the church body into small-group ministry designed to facilitate life-on-life connection aimed at helping us grow as fully functioning followers of Christ.