Posted by Pastor Stuart

Even though it’s already printed here in the newsletter, I want to repeat the church’s newly-crafted mission statement:

The mission of Hickory Rock is to show our love for God through worship, prayer, service, and fellowship, as we proclaim God’s love for all people, encouraging them to grow in the hope, peace, and joy of Jesus Christ.

I really like that. We spent many weeks on Wednesday nights studying Bible passages like Matthew 22:36-40 (the Great Commandments), Matthew 28:19-20 (the Great Commission), and Acts 2:42-47 (the Great Community). We talked about who our church is and prayed about what we should do as a church. We wanted to boil all of that down to one sentence, and I think we came up with a good one.

However, someone might ask, “Why spend time coming up with that since we already know our mission anyways, right?” Fair question, and to that I would reply, “Kind of.”

I think if you asked a random person at a random church what their church’s mission is, if they hadn’t crafted a mission statement already, the person might say, “I don’t know. To just follow God and stuff?” And if you continued, “So what does that mean for your church?” Then they might respond, “Well, ya know, do good things for people I guess.”

I’m exaggerating, but you get the idea. While those vague responses are basically true, they need some focusing in order to really guide a church in its mission. I don’t want Hickory Rock to be a random church; I want us to know who we are, whose we are, and what that means. I don’t want our mission to be vague, either; I want us to be focused and passionate about what we’re doing in our community and around the world.

Our mission statement is wonderfully comprehensive because it covers the Why, What, Who, and How of things we do as a church. The first part is the “Why.” Why do we do what we do? Because we love God and want to show it. Next is the “What.” What do we do together? We worship God, pray for ourselves and others, serve people, and enjoy warm fellowship. Then comes the “Who.” Who are we trying to reach and help? All people; that’s who. And last is the “How.” How do we reach and help them? By encouraging them to grow in the hope, peace, and joy of Jesus Christ just like we are.

So there you have it. I think having a church mission statement is helpful, not because it tells us something we didn’t know, but because it tells us something that we should never forget.

As we continue our trek into a new calendar year, may our mission statement guide us. May it inspire us to appreciate our worship, deepen our prayers, increase our service, and embrace our fellowship. May it push us to show God’s love to more people–all people–as we encourage them to follow Jesus along with us. Here’s to a grand new year!

Grace and peace,

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