This blog is the fourth entry in a series of blogs focused on clarifying the vision culture at Freshwater. My goal is to bring absolute clarity to who Freshwater is, why we exist, where we are going, and how we are going to get there. If you need to catch up, go back and read the last several blogs with similar titles.
Freshwater’s vision culture stems from six different sources (previously I stated there were seven) that are aligned to support the goal of making disciples. This culture can be taught and caught by everyone at Freshwater, from the first time guest to the seasoned staff member. The six sources stem from the following questions:
2. Who are we? This question examines our core values.
3. Why does Freshwater exist? This is a question of purpose.
4. What will we do? This is a question of mission.
5. How will we do it? Strategies are the practical plans for making it happen.
6. Where/when are we going? This is a question of goals.
Think of it as a six-layer pyramid with our goals on top and our core-beliefs at the bottom anchoring everything we do. Today I am discussing question number four in order to give you a better idea of Freshwater’s mission.
What is Freshwater’s mission? This question seeks to answer what we are doing. Our mission statement is different than our purpose and vision statements. Our purpose statement is printed every week in the program, and the key words are even printed in the lobby of each campus. Our vision statement may also be very recognizable: Freshwater’s vision is to “share the life-changing love of Jesus Christ in a real, relevant, and relational manner.” But our mission statement, what is it? Our mission statement comes right out of the Christian and Missionary Alliance literature pack. Officially it reads:
Our mission is to know Jesus Christ; exalt Him as Savior, Sanctifier, Healer, and Coming King; and complete His Great Commission:
• Evangelizing and discipling persons throughout the United States, and
• Incorporating them into Christ-centered, community-focused congregations,
• Mobilizing them for active involvement in a missionary effort designed to plant Great Commission healthy churches among both unreached and responsive peoples worldwide.
This is a great mission statement, but long and hard to memorize. I didn’t know our mission statement by heart, so I had to go to the archives to look it up. That gives you an idea of how often I reference it in messages and in print. Basically, we choose to lead with our purpose statement rather than our mission statement. Our purpose statement asks: Why does Freshwater exists? To reach, connect, grow, discover, and honor (short version). Our mission statement asks: What will we do? Freshwater’s mission is to make disciples and we are doing it. Discipleship happens on multiple levels in a variety of ways. We have a variety of small groups that exist to disciple people. Men are meeting together in “fight clubs” learning the bible and holding one another accountable to grow in their faith. Women meet together in multiple groups and locations digging deeper into God’s word. We have a one-to-one discipleship program that helps people grow. Students gather weekly and Freshwater Kid’s teaches the kids on weekends and mid-week with the AWANA program. These are just a few examples of our disciple making ministries.
Dozens of people have recently made first time commitments to Christ. I had the joy of speaking with a person after church who told me that they had given their life to Christ. We celebrated then he was given a bible and a packet of information that will help him begin to grow in his faith. We always follow up with people who give their lives to Christ so we can help them find a mentor or group that will walk with them. This is the process of discipleship.
Currently the Elders are working on defining and communicating our vision culture in order to clarify our language. This will make sure that both campuses are united in reaching our goal (I will talk about our goals in an upcoming blog). Until then, let’s continue to fulfill our mission to make disciples, just like Jesus told us to do. Together, by the power of the Holy Spirit we are making an impact on this region and around the world for the glory of God.
“19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20