What is the vision and mission of Amazing Grace Nazarene? Who are we as a people, and specifically, a Christian church body? Is the discipleship process supposed to be tied to the vision and mission of the local church? These are important questions that need answering.
The vision of Amazing Grace Nazarene is to be a church were you can know God, grow in community, serve others, and go proclaim Jesus as the answer. It is simultaneously our vision, mission, and discipleship process. Our new logo represents this process as: KNOW, GROW, SERVE, GO.
We begin with the necessity to KNOW GOD, the first quadrant in the cross logo. This is not just an intellectual ascension, it is a relationship with Jesus Christ that transforms the whole person. Matthew writes in 22:37, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind”. Entering a relationship with God is the most important decision we will ever make. We say "Yes" to a relationship with Jesus by grace through faith. We don't earn it, we simply respond to God's calling on our life and receive the free gift of salvation. We can then know God and begin growing and developing as a disciple of Jesus. Becoming Jesus' disciple is more than knowledge, it is lived out in a holy life, engaging spiritual practices such as family worship, prayer, studying scripture, generosity, and receiving the sacraments, all of which provide a solid foundation for knowing God. We know God by studying his Word in AGU Classes, participating in Family Worship and Kid's Crossing. Remember, knowing is more than just knowledge, it is relationship.
GROW IN COMMUNITY
As we continue on our discipleship path we come to the second quadrant around the cross, GROW IN COMMUNITY. Fellowship is a powerful way to grow together and develop community. Acts 2:42 provides a beautiful scriptural picture of this rich experience where, “They devoted themselves to the Apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Jesus calls us into a community of light and hope. Core practices of acceptance, forgiveness, and accountability are foundational to grow as a community of faith that truly loves people. We develop relationship in community, have fun together, and live life together. At Amazing Grace a central way we grow in community is through Life Groups where we grow, fellowship, care, and pray together.
As we continue around the cross into the third quadrant we develop as a disciple of Jesus as we SERVE OTHERS. “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45). We believe that knowing Jesus and following Him naturally translates into a life of service. Following the servant example of Jesus, we seek to be compassionate people who offer hospitality, encouragement, and generosity to all, but especially to those whom Jesus called, “the least of these” (Matt. 25:40, 45). Each person is encouraged to serve in a ministry at Amazing Grace, to identity your spiritual gifts and find a great place to connect and serve in our local congregation. An excellent way to do this is through our Ministry Teams. You can contact a Ministry Team Leader and they will help you find the perfect place for you to help out. Amazing Grace is able to operate because of the incredible and generous servant-hearts of our people.
GO PROCLAIM JESUS AS THE ANSWER
Jesus tells us to “Go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matt. 28:19). As Christ followers we are a sent people, a people who GO. When you look at our logo you may notice that the Go quadrant is rather empty. That's the point. The arrow says that as a church we are poured out, our faith becomes incarnational as we are sent into the world to proclaim Jesus as the answer. Our faith becomes active, reflecting the active Word of God. We do this primarily through Missions. Whether local or global in scope, we are a people sent out to proclaim Jesus! The logo isn't a closed loop; we are always learning, always growing, never hidden away behind church walls. We are a people actively proclaiming the good news of Jesus to the world!
Beginning in February 2014 we will take four weeks to expound on each of the four quadrants of our vision and mission statement. I am excited and honored to cast vision for Amazing Grace. I believe that God has incredible things in store for our local church. I look forward to Spirit-led leadership, teaching, preaching, and instruction as we know God; dynamic and organic growth in community as the body of Christ; sacrificial service as we give ourselves to Kingdom work; and God-honoring missions as we go and live out our call to be a sent people.
Together let's remain Christ-formed, Spirit-Led, Kingdom Bringers!
* You can learn about the mission and vision of our denomination, The Church of the Nazarene, by clicking here.