With a new church people often want to know and ask: "Who you are?" and "What are you doing over there?", or "What are you about?" How do we start to answer that question? It's kind of like going on a long trip and then coming back and trying to answer the question "How was your trip?" Inevitably you answer "good", because you're not sure how to condense and articulate all the feelings and events that you just experienced. That's how I feel about being asked about our church sometimes. There is so much to say, so many ways to say it, but I need to say something! Who are the people of Redeemed South Bay and what are they about?!
In an effort to clearly and concisely articulate an answer to this question here's a simple way to learn, remember, and communicate who we are and what we are about! The following information is based off our philosophy of ministry.
S - Saved and Sent
The church is a group of people who have been saved by grace through faith in Christ by his redemptive work on the cross and sent out on a redemptive mission to proclaim the good news (evangel).
E - Evangel
The evangel is the gospel, or the good news concerning Jesus Christ, the culmination of God's redemptive plan to offer forgiveness and restoration to a lost and broken world ravaged by sin. The gospel calls men to repent from their sins and put their faith in Jesus Christ, God's son, in order to be saved. After responding to the call of the gospel, we spend the rest of our lives in joyful appreciation and worship, learning obedience to God's word andteaching others obedience to God's word (Matthew 28:19-20).
R - Replicating Jesus
As we are sent to proclaim the evangel we replicate Jesus in the ways he taught obedience to God's word. Jesus taught obedience to God's word inlarge groups (the multitudes), in small groups (12 disciples), and in an evensmaller group (Peter, James and John) who made up what has been called Jesus' inner circle. Therefore, we believe that we should learn and teach obedience to God's word in large group gatherings (Sundays, conferences, large group bible studies, etc.) in small groups we call community groups,and even smaller groups of a few close brothers or sisters in Christ who can make up our own inner circle.
V - Vocationally
We are saved and sent to proclaim the evangel, replicating Jesus, and we do all of this vocationally. Webster's defines vocation as:
a strong desire to spend your life doing a certain kind of work
the work that a person does or should be doing
We believe that all who have trusted in Jesus for salvation have been given the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:19). Thus, the certain kind of work that we should do, or are doing, is the work of a minister of reconciliation. While we may have other work that we do to put food on the table, our main work, our true job, is being ministers of reconciliation. 24/7we are the saved and sent people of God proclaiming the evangel. We are intentional in every place we find ourselves, and in every relationship that we have, to be working as ministers of reconciliation proclaiming the gospel and teaching people to be obedient to Jesus' commands. This is our primary vocation!
The easy way to remember who we are and what we are about is S-E-R-V
Saved and sent to proclaim the evangel, replicating Jesus, and we do all of this vocationally.
Are you saved? If not, repent and believe in Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins!
If you are saved, is it evident in your life that you are a sent person on a redemptive mission?
If you are saved and sent, are you proclaiming the evangel?
If you are saved and sent, and proclaiming the evangel, are you learning and teaching obedience to God's word as Jesus did?
If you are saved and sent, and proclaiming the evangel, learning and teaching obedience as Jesus did, do you see it as your primary work in life? Do you identify yourself more by the work you do to put food on the table, or by the work that you do as a minister of reconciliation?
If you're anything like me, while thinking about this stuff you probably realize how far short you fall in many of these areas. Don't let it discourage you though! It's not all easy stuff to do. Learning obedience isn't easy, it takes a lot of time and a lot of sacrifice. It takes empowerment from the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8), and help from a community of believers who are encouraging (Hebrews 3:12-13). So be encouraged! Be apart of a community group! Memorize SERV and remember who you are and what you're about! Take daily steps to be the saved and sent people of God proclaiming the evangel as Jesus did, vocationally!!