“Where are we going?” is a question my children ask anytime our family gets in the car for a trip. After many years of answering this question I have learned that there is one answer my children absolutely hate to hear. No it’s not “We’re going to your doctor’s/dentist’s appointment,” or “We’re going to buy groceries,” or even “We’re going clothes shopping.” What gets them more than anything else is when I reply to their question with these 6 little words…”You’ll see when we get there.” Those 6 words are guaranteed to spur increasingly heated questions as well as frustration and even resentment as they consider the possibility of being taken somewhere they don’t want to be or following someone they don’t trust. I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes I respond this way because I know it will aggravate them. Yes, I’m that kind of dad. Other times it’s because I genuinely don’t know where we’re going, & still other times it’s because I want them to be genuinely surprised when we get there. What is interesting is that no matter what my reason is for responding with this answer, their response is always the same and always just as strong.
When you stop to think about it, is it any wonder that they respond so strongly? Those 6 words have the potential to communicate so many different things. For instance, “You’ll see when we get there” could communicate: : I have no idea where we’re going, You don’t need to know where we’re going perhaps because you’re not old enough, good enough, smart enough, etc…, or simply that I don’t want to tell you. Naturally, such communication demands another question from them, “Why should I follow you?”
“Where are we going?” isn’t just a child’s question. In fact it is a legitimate question that should be asked of any group that we belong to not just our families. This is especially true of the church. Unfortunately, churches don’t always have a clear answer or they don’t communicate it well. If we’re going to expect others to follow us without fear, frustration or hesitation then we need to have a clear idea of where we are going and be able to share it with others.
For many months now our church has been involved in what is called ICMP (Intentional Church Multiplication Process). In this process our Church Health Task Force has been examining our church’s history as well as the current makeup of our community and our church. In other words we’ve been looking at where we are as a church. Alongside of these studies, we’ve been committed to studying Jesus’ model of ministry as well as the early church and it’s practices found in the New Testament. The purpose of this was to gain a biblical view of where we needed to be as a church. After much study, discussion, and prayer we have confirmed what God’s vision & mission is for us here at Salem Baptist Church. In other words, we have a clear answer for where we are going and we want you to know where we are going so that you can join us:
Salem Baptist Church exists to make disciples who actively follow Christ, are being changed by the Gospel, and are engaged in His mission in the world.
OUR MISSION: (or how we plan to get there)
Salem Baptist Church seeks to develop a culture:
- That has abandoned ‘civic-religion’ and become connected to the church by embracing Christ, His cross, His resurrection, & His call to follow Him.
- Whose worship is intentionally a reflection of heaven & the heart language of our community.
- Whose prayer is that they and the nations might know God.
- That understands, values, and acts on the call to multiply by making disciples who make disciples as individuals & small groups.
- That is committed to doing life together in authentic fellowship.
- That is equipped to intentionally live out their faith, in word and deed, in the culture around them.
- That serves one another within the body of Christ.
OUR CORE VALUES:
- Love for God & fellow man (Matthew 22:37-40)
- Culture of prayer (Matthew 21:13; Ephesians 6:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:17)
- Commitment to Scripture (Psalm 119:105; 2 Timothy 3:16-17)
- Every member a minister, every believer a disciple-maker (Matthew 28:18-20; 1 Peter 2:9)
- Authentic fellowship (John 13:34-35; Hebrews 10:24-25)
- Worship & glorifying God not just as an event but a lifestyle (Romans 12:1-2)
- Evangelism (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8)
- Family – a commitment to protect and strengthen what God has designed (Genesis 2:24; Psalm 127:3-5; Ephesians 5:22-6:4)
Won’t you join us on this journey as we seek to be…