Our Mission Statement can be expressed with three simple words:
Gather, Grow, Go.
To expand on those three words, we believe it is our mission to Gather in community, Grow in Christ, and Go into the world.
We believe that we are called to be God’s people in the world, just one small part of the global Body of Christ.
One part of this calling is to Gather together for worship. While many acts of worship can be done every day at an individual level, we believe that gathering together in community to proclaim and celebrate the greatness of God is still a crucial part of what it means to be God’s people. At First Friends, we do this in a variety of ways. We gather weekly on Sunday mornings (at 8:30 and 11:00) to worship together through music, prayer, testimony, silence, fellowship, reflection and the study of Scripture. We have many small groups that meet weekly or monthly to do some of those same things in order to further foster our sense of community under the direction of the Spirit.
A second part of our calling, lived out in mission, is to Grow in Christ. We believe that each individual person is lovingly called by God into a deeper relationship with Jesus through the power of the Spirit. The ways in which this growth can happen are almost limitless. We grow deeper into Christ as we use Scripture to increase our understanding of God. We grow deeper as we listen for the movement of the Spirit in our hearts during times of solitude. We grow deeper as we serve one another. As we Grow in Christ, we better reflect his character and see the fruit of the Spirit sprouting in our lives.
The third piece of our mission is to Go into the world. We have not been called, redeemed and sanctified in Christ in order to live stagnant, static lives. If we only Gather for worship and Grow in Christ, we live an incomplete life as a community. In the Great Commission, Jesus gave a clear directive to his followers: Go into all the world and continue to make disciples. That mission remains in force. The God we serve is still passionately seeking the people in this world who have yet to surrender to his loving embrace. It is his mission to reach them, and he has called us to participate. This mission takes us outside the walls of our church building and individual homes. While we can hold events and activities with this mission in mind, it will be primarily fulfilled by individual disciples reaching out with the love of Jesus into their own personal relationships.
Each of these three pieces of our mission statement feed into and from each other. Our worship deepens our growth and reminds us of our missional God. Our internal growth in Christ leads us to more appreciative worship and more passion for the world. Our going into the world assumes that we both know and love God deeply enough to confidently and humbly share him with others. And, that going carries with it the invitation for more people to know and worship Jesus.