When Jesus began His ministry we went out preaching: “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
These few words summed up His message and declared His mission. That’s what the gospel writers recorded for us to capture in brief the heart of His words and work. Jesus final words as He ascended were a great commission for His followers for all time. Matthew and Mark record in a few words the mission of Christ for His church. Matthew 28:19-20 give us five parts: mobilize, evangelize, baptize, stabilize, and energize. Go (mobilize), make disciples (evangelize), baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (baptize), teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you (stabilize), and surely, I will be with you always, to the very end of the age (energize).
When Jesus commissioned Paul to mission work we discover that Paul stated the gospel in clear, concise words: 1 Corinthians 15:3-5 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.
When we think of Christ’s mission and think of the Signal Mountain Church of Christ here in southeast Tennessee in the 21st Century, what few words might help us capture the heart of His mission for us?
Our leadership has been considering this challenge of defining our mission, our purpose in just a few words. Above all it must be biblical, shaped by and from the very word of God and actually selected from the word of God. Secondly, it must be practical, and must express what we do in obedience as we represent Jesus Christ in this community. Three words have been put forth for consideration as a mission statement for the Signal Mountain Church of Christ:
Seeking, Serving, Saving
Seeking – Jesus said: Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness… (Matthew 6:33). Jesus also said, “For the Son of man has come to seek and save that which was lost. (Luke 19:10)
Serving- Jesus said: The greatest among you shall be your servant. (Matthew 23:11). Jesus also said, “I am among you as one who serves.” (Luke 22:27b)
Saving – James said: he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins. (James 5:20) Jesus said: For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost. (Matthew 18:11)
These three words capture things in the heart and life of Jesus and things that should be in our hearts and lives. They are action words that describe and give direction to the mission of this church.