Item 1 (Pastor Cory): What is the church?
One Definition: A redeemed people, called by God in Jesus Christ, to regularly assemble for ministry (service) to God, to one another, and to the world.
Here’s what our Church Constitution says: We exist to glorify God in worship (John 4:23), strengthen believers in Christian nurture and instruction (1 Corinthians 14:26, 2 Peter 3:18), and spread the gospel by evangelism, and by missions, adorned with loving deeds (1 Peter 2:9, 3:15; Matthew 28:18- 20; 5:16).
You can see how these first two definitions fit with one another…all the elements of the first accord with our formal understanding of what the church is all about.
Another way to sum it up memorably would be to say we exist to go “Up, In and Out!”: We go UP with our praises to God. We go IN as we equip and encourage each other. And we go OUT to the world with the gospel and good deeds. *I’m borrowing this definition from a pastoral friend who uses it to summarize their church’s mission.
It’s not hard to see all these elements in a passage like 1 Peter 2:9-10
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession [here’s the calling from definition 1], that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light [here’s both the brotherly equipping and the evangelizing through the gospel]. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy [here we can infer that we would also go out in mercy as those who received mercy].
Item 2 (Pastor Brandon): More language for understanding mission, vision and values
Vision: This is God’s better future for us – where God is taking us. Another word for this is prayer. Vision is our prayers for the churches future.
Mission = What the church hears.
Marks = What the church becomes.
Map = What the church does
Values = What the church feels
Why are these things important?
- Knowing these things helps us say “no” to good things so that we have energy and resources for the main things.
- They build commitment to a community goal rather than a person (pastor), or a program.
- We grow more when we know who we are outside of a person (pastor) or program.
- Knowing these things unites us around the main things so we don’t fight over personal preferences.
Item 3: Facilitated discussion on mission vision and values
Current Mission, Vision, Values Document:
MISSION: To proclaim the gospel and to equip people to become wholehearted followers of Christ.
VISION: We see Discovery Church exercising a vital outreach to the community of Yankton with the gospel of Christ. We see creative outreach ministries to the community taking place with seeds of the gospel being sown at each. Through inspiring worship, we are glorifying God. Through the faithful preaching of the word of God, we are seeing people come to know Christ and becoming wholehearted followers of him. With our unique and expanding storefront location, we are seeing new people coming to check out this vibrant downtown church. Many newcomers end up calling Discovery home because the love and care of Christ is demonstrated here. Lives are transformed as we worship in spirit and people respond to the truth of God’s word which is clearly taught. We see a vital youth ministry helping teens commit to following Christ as they pursue life. We see people being equipped to serve Christ as they discover the joy in serving Christ by using their gifts and talents to build up the body at Discovery Church.
Biblical Preaching and Teaching
God Dependent Prayer
- We had a challenging but truly encouraging discussion
- We desire to do a much better job of promoting the next one to give folks ample time to plan to be there
- Our mission: “To proclaim the gospel and to equip people to become wholehearted followers of Christ” is still very much what we want to be doing and have no desire to shift from that mission
- Areas of vision that remain strong are the preaching and teaching ministry of the church. A survey of new members from the past two years reveals that those who join and stay do so because of the doctrinal convictions and biblically faithful preaching and teaching.
- A discussed area of vision that needs to be renewed and reinvigorated is our desire to see more people feel welcomed. Our vision speaks to our prayer that many newcomers would end up calling our church home because our love and care is demonstrated. In light of this we will be laboring to rebuild a greeting team that can prioritize meeting visitors, handing out contact cards/mugs and connecting them to other people in the worship service. Members like Robin Neth and Tony Frederick were commended for their continued efforts to meet and converse with visitors.
- Heavy Losses: It was discussed that our church has faced all kinds of loss. It was suggested that this may be something God is using to uniquely position us to have a ministry that will be equipped to comfort others who suffer heavy and painful losses (See 2 Corinthians 1:3-7).
- Our values were discussed as items that accord with our vision.
- Time was spent discussing what we mean by “inspiring worship”. The overall consensus in the room was that “worship” referred to the whole Sunday experience, not just music and that “inspiring” referred not to the worship itself but to the internal condition of the worshipper in light of God’s truth in the gospel. There was agreement that the terminology of this value could be tweaked to reflect the intended meaning more clearly.
- Giving was discussed and we decided it would be encouraging to begin collecting offering in the service like we used to do before COVID hit.
- Adding “repentant community” to the values was suggested.
- Adding “inter-generational” ministry was suggested as an appropriate value since we often seek opportunities for multiple generations to gather for the same things. Multi-generational ministry was affirmed as a good value.