My Personal Vision For Mars Hill
Written July 26, 2011
his past week I had opportunity to share something with the deacons at Mars Hill that I hope will inspire and motivate others as we work together for the glory of our heavenly Father. It was my personal vision for the church and what I truly hope we will strive for and will be known for both within our walls and throughout the community.
First I hope we will be known as a loving place. Jesus said in John 13:35 “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” My vision and hope is that whatever is done at Mars Hill Baptist Church will be fueled by the love we have for God and the love we have for others. I believe we most glorify God when our actions are fueled by a genuine love for our Savior and fellow man. It is through a deep love of others and of God that great evangelistic works are fulfilled. It is by that same love that the church works to fulfill its mission of making disciples and is able to be an instrument of change in this world. It is also by this love that Jesus Christ Himself said that we would be identified and recognized in this world. In saying all people Jesus indicated that by our love both the lost as well as true believers would know we are truly Christians. Far too often the fuel tank of the church is filled to the brim with a mixture of tradition, apathy, and desire to simply meet the status quo. I don’t believe the church of Jesus Christ was ever meant to be that stagnant. I believe it was meant to be filled with a love for God and man that would invoke great worship, obedience, and action for the glory of God. If the church is to have traditions let those traditions be fueled by love and let them be done for the glory of God. If we as a church are to known in this world as anything let us be known a place fueled by a love that was placed in our hearts by Jesus Christ.
Beyond being a place of love I have a vision that Mars Hill would be a place of learning. The struggles Christians face today are numerous. Many of these trials and difficulties were unknown to previous generations while there are those struggles that have been endured by the great men and women in church history. Not only that, but the call to witness to the current generation calls for Christians to know the Word of God and as 1 Peter urges us to be able to give a defense for our faith. ‘Why’ is the question that every Christian is called to answer to this lost and dying generation. My hope is that through the wonderful Sunday School that is here as well as the VBS, Wednesday Night Services, and the Sunday morning preaching Mars Hill will be known as a place where we teach the Word of God and others can come and learn the Bible and learn of God’s truth for this world and His plan for our lives. Biblical illiteracy is far too common among this generation of Christians and we have far too great a freedom in this great country as well as far too great a pool of resources to allow that to be present in our time. We have a treasure in the Word of God, let us at Mars Hill be committed to making this a place where the Word is taught that we might be known throughout our area as a place of learning the greatest Book that will ever be written. Let our hearts have the conviction of John Burton when he wrote the now well known hymn.
Holy Bible, Book divine,
Precious treasure, thou art mine;
Mine to tell me whence I came;
Mine to teach me what I am.
Mine to comfort in distress;
Suffering in this wilderness;
Mine to show, by living faith,
Man can triumph over death.
Mine to tell of joys to come,
And the rebel sinner’s doom;
O thou holy Book divine,
Precious treasure, thou art mine.
Finally, but just as important, my vision is that Mars Hill Baptist Church would be a place where people would learn that they are loved. Throughout the world there are cries coming from the lives of countless persons that they want to be loved. Many look for this love in many hurtful and toxic places because they think no other place exists where they can find love. It is sad to think of the church of Jesus Christ as guilty of being a place where love is oddly absent from its halls and the hearts of those that are its members but there is too much evidence to the contrary to throw out this conviction. Christ’s churches as a whole have had many failures when it comes to loving those that Jesus Himself ministered to and commanded us to help and have compassion on which is why I think it is so important to have a vision that Mars Hill Baptist Church would be a place where others would come to know that they are loved by its members and by God Himself. My vision is that those that would come into the doors of the church building would find themselves at a place where they are genuinely loved. Not because of anything they have done or said but simply because they are individuals whom Jesus Christ died for and they are precious not only in the sight of our Savior but also in the sight of His church. This will only come through the church catching that vision and to dedicating ourselves to Christ’s calling to love one another and in the end there can be the greatest reward. If, through time and dedication, others would come to know they are loved by the church and loved by God, that soul can understand God’s plan and desire for their life. In understanding that love that soul can come to Christ for salvation, what a glorious event! Beyond this the church could receive the greatest recognition and testimony from the world that it can receive and that is that we are like Jesus Christ, for what is Christ known for but that He loved the world. What a testimony for the church to strive toward!
Now is this vision utterly complete? No, but I think it is a goal we can all strive for and in reaching for that goal we will see God move in ways we never thought possible and see things done that will bring amazement to our hearts each time we think of them. The plan is simple to be known as a place and a people who are loving, learning, and making a place where people learn that they are loved. Would you join me in striving to achieve that vision for Mars Hill Baptist Church?