Our Mission Focus
A focus on one’s purpose is in life can be healthy and valuable for us as individuals. Such a focus can aid us through life as we make decisions about what we do, how we spend our time and energy and resources. It can be valuable in a host of experiences as it helps gives us direction and focus in a world filled with many distractions. Such a focus is all the more important for an organization like a church. Therefore, I am excited to announce a new mission focus here at Rose of Sharon Lutheran Church. After discussing the matter with the Board of Elders, Church Council, Outreach, and the Voter’s Assembly our mission focus will be as follows: Gather, Grow, Go.
Gather: The importance of gathering regularly with our fellow Christians is often underestimated by many people. After all, people will say, “you don’t have to go to church to be a Christian.” However, consider what God says in regard to the importance of gathering together with our fellow Christians and worshiping the Lord. In the 3rd commandment God says, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy...” (Exodus 20:8). Furthermore, Hebrews 10:25 puts it this way: “not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Clearly God desires that we gather together with our fellow Christians regularly. This is of a great benefit to us individually. It is also of a great encouragement to other people, our family and Christian friends and neighbors, when they see us at worship.
Grow: Growing is a natural part of our lives. We all grew from a tiny organism of only a few cells to a living and functioning human being. Furthermore, we have continued to grow and mature throughout our lives to be what we are today. Continuing to grow throughout our Christians life is also important. This point is made in many places in Scripture but consider these words from God as found in 2 Peter 3:18: “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen” God desires that we grow in our faith of what Jesus has done for us through His life, death, and resurrection so that believing in Him alone we may receive eternal life. He also desires us to grow in how we live that faith out in our daily life in this confused and troubled world. Such growth comes about as God the Holy Spirit enables our growth through the means of the Word and Sacraments God grants to us. This is yet another reason why it is important to daily study the Bible and to regularly worship and gather for Bible study. For here God enables us to grow. Furthermore, as we live our lives, as we visit with our fellow Christians, have the various experiences we do, and engage the world with God’s word, we will also grow in our faith and understanding of the grace God gives to us through Jesus.
Go: There are almost an endless number of Bible verses where God communicates to us the importance of going on the mission our Lord sends us on. Perhaps the most famous are those words of Jesus as found in Matthew 28:19-20, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always to the end of the age.” God wants us to go not only into all the world, but also to our families and neighbors, even to the strangers around us in order to show true Christian love in a world filled with hate. We share how Jesus has gone into the world to fulfill the mission the Father sent Him on to save and deliver people. We share the hope that we have in Jesus.
We will consider this Biblical mission focus more in the future. But even now you can begin by praying that God the Holy Spirit would enable you and others to gather together regularly here at Rose of Sharon, that together and individually we may grow in our Christian faith and walk, and that we would go on the mission to do those things God has prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10). Secondly, you can consider how such a mission focus of Gather, Grow, and Go fits in your personal life as well as in the activities you already participate in at church. May God in His abundant grace bless us and the world we live in as together we Gather, Grow, and Go.
Something Everyone Needs to Know
“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
Ever since Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3) every human being has come into this world as a sinful being. Our sin separates us from God. Left to ourselves we would perish for eternity in hell (John 3:36 & Hebrews 10:26-27).
“For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
God loves you so much that He came into this world as a human being (Luke 2:1-20). Jesus, the Son of God, lived a perfect life for you (Hebrews 4:14-16), suffered and died upon a cross for you (John 19), and rose from the dead for you (Luke 24). Now our risen Lord will forgive your sin (1 John 1:8-9) and grant eternal salvation to you if you believe in Him.
“Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved…” Acts 16:31
When God blesses you with a living faith in Jesus you will have a place in heaven. Such salvation comes not by our works but by grace through faith in Jesus (Romans 3:28; Ephesians 2:8-10).
“And He died for all, that those who live, should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again.” 2 Corinthians 5:15
Now as those who have been given the gift of heaven we live no longer just for ourselves but to serve God and our fellow human beings. (Ephesians 2:10)