FREE CITY CHURCH EXISTS TO EXTEND THE GLORY OF GOD BY MAKING DISCIPLES THROUGH THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST.
What would it look like for a church, a local body of believers, to give their lives away to see the above occur? There are three driving ideas embedded into our mission statement that capture our hopes and dreams as a church and as individuals.
TO EXTEND THE GLORY OF GOD…
“I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.”
This statement, this mission, this God-exalting way of looking at life and the universe has forever changed Free City Church. The hope and expectation of Paul’s life was to exalt, or bring glory to, the name of Christ. If there is one hope for this church, it centers on this idea. Our goal is to extend the fame, the renown, and the beauty of God. The mission will take much risk and much sacrifice, hence the power of Paul’s next statement, “for to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Oh that God would use people like you and me for the sake of His fame among both the Lawrence area and the nations.
BY MAKING DISCIPLES…
If asked, “How do we as a church extend the glory of God?” Our answer would be “disciple-making.” The greatest way for the world to see a stunning picture of God is for our world to see stunning pictures of the lives He has changed. Disciple-making comes in two parts. Part one is proclaiming the Gospel to those who don’t know Jesus and desperately need him. This is God’s means of making a disciple. Part two is proclaiming the Gospel to those whom God has saved. This is God’s means of maturing disciples. So we want to be a place that extends the glory of God, and we do that by making and maturing disciples.
THROUGH THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST.
Our hope of bringing glory to God through lives changed lies squarely in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul, in Romans 1:16, says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.” The Gospel is God’s means to both create a Christian and to continually change that Christian. In other words, we never move past the Gospel, just into the Gospel in deeper and more profound ways. The Holy Spirit, through the Gospel, continually works life-change in us.
We would love to have you join us in this quest of making disciples.
Core values help us answer this question, “What does God want us to be as a church?” This question then allows us to begin setting up measurable goals for success at Free City. All of our measurable goals flow directly from our core values, or who God has called us as a body and as individuals to be. Our core values are best expressed in a single passage in 1 Peter 2:9-10:
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 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.”
GOSPEL – The Gospel is central to everything.
The Gospel is not simply the means by which we are converted—it is the good news of redemption through Jesus Christ. It reconciles us to God and adopts us into his family. The Gospel renews our heart, transforms our lives, pastors our soul and changes our behavior. It creates a new person and gives us a purpose. The Gospel brings unbelievers to faith and believers to maturity. Christians are created by the Gospel for the Gospel.
COMMUNITY - Community is the primary apologetic of the Gospel.
Christian community is created by the Gospel to display the beauty of the Gospel. Christian community is the place where the reign of God can be seen and experienced. The reign of God is a reign of life, justice, peace, blessing and freedom. The people of God are to live under the reign of God demonstrating that God is good and his reign is just. We explain and exemplify the Gospel through our lives lived together in Christian community.
MISSION - All believers are called to be missionaries.
Every believer is called to be a missionary, because our God is a missionary God. Gospel ministry is not reserved for a few in full-time, vocational ministry. It belongs to God’s people. We share the same call, but we are not called to be the same. Our different gifts and personalities complement one another as we engage God on mission. We need one another. The role of pastors is not to do Gospel ministry on the behalf of others, but to prepare God’s people for Gospel ministry.