“Leadership without vision is just management.”
We as leaders at First Free have a responsibility to communicate the vision for our church. Many elements of a local church’s vision are non-negotiable, set in motion by the Christ we serve. The mission of EVERY church ought to be the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) and the Great Commandment (John 13:34-35).
But what is vision?
There is a temptation as leaders to set a vision for First Free as an institution. But we have a first responsibility to God’s people, to focus first on our "vision for the people who call First Free home."
When people capture the vision it becomes both a unifying and mobilizing force, if Biblically-grounded and Spirit-led. Ideally the unique vision of a local church builds off its heritage and leadership. We are grateful the Lord has given us a strong commitment to preaching the Gospel (at home and around the world) and inspired by the inerrant Word of God.
At First Free we exist to glorify God by making and maturing disciples of Jesus Christ to minister to the world with the gospel by the Holy Spirit. With this in mind we are firming up our vision for the future, and would like to share some elements of that vision.
What is our vision for people who come to church on Sunday?
We expect each person who comes to First Free on Sundays will receive sound teaching and exposition on the Word from our pastoral staff.
We expect each person to worship corporately in spirit and truth, in a multi-generational setting.
We expect each person to have a community that holds them accountable to live the life to which we have been called, in a Sunday morning fellowship and/or small group.
We also expect all adults and youth to serve in ministry according to their capacity and gifts, including ministries within and outside of First Free.
To that end, we elders and staff want to focus our attention on preparing and equipping our people to scatter into the Twin Cities and beyond. Our focus will be:
That each new person who comes to First Free will be able to connect in community. (1 John 1:5-10)
That those who call First Free home will receive encouragement in their walk, in times of need, especially during difficult times (Hebrews 12:1-2) but also in the spiritual "dry spells" that inevitably come as we walk in faith through life. (Ezekiel 37)
That First Free is a community of "doers of the word." (James 1:19-26)
We have therefore organized our staff in support of this vision, with special emphasis on connecting people in fellowship, and growing them in spiritual maturity. And with maturity, these people become God's tools in Maplewood and the world.
No vision for a local church would be complete without including some vision for the physical facilities in the near and long-term future. Coming next, this blog will address the current property and harvest sites.
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