The church exists because of the gospel. The gospel is the power that creates church community. But one reason the church exists is because its goal is to proclaim the gospel. That’s why we’re called to be a missional community. For our church, being missional means being deeply invested in missions, community outreach, church planting, and evangelism.
We support missionaries – some of them are overseas, some of them are in the US. We support them in prayer, and we support them financially. But we don’t want to promote a view of the missionary that’s unbiblical. Our commitment is to the biblical idea of a missionary – and according to the Bible, every Christian is called to be on mission. The gospel calls us all in and sends us all out with a message of hope to proclaim and a life of hope to live. So, whether you’ve been a Christian for 5 months or 50 years, you are called to live a missional life.
The gospel doesn’t just save individuals, it renews this world. The gospel brings hope and healing to dark places, and we reach out individually and through other agencies. As the church, we want to be a blessing to our neighbors, and to the world. We “seek the peace of the city” (Jeremiah 29:7) by sponsoring seasonal neighborhood outreach events, by partnering with local and national ministries and agencies to provide relief to the poor, hope for children, and practical help for women (and men) in crisis, and through our our food pantry and other diaconal ministries to our community.
The pattern for missional ministry in the New Testament involved multiplication – the multiplication of Jesus followers (disciples) and Jesus communities (churches). We believe that planting other gospel churches is still the most effective way to spread the gospel in our cities and in the world. One of the highlights of our experience as a church has been helping to plant New City Presbyterian Church, a sister church in South Bend, Indiana.
Being a Christian is hard. Most people in our culture were not raised in Christian homes, but even if you were, it can be difficult to embrace all that Christianity teaches. Sometimes it’s hard because it seems counterintuitive. Sometimes it’s hard because the gospel is a dazzling, demanding proclamation. And talking to others about it can be both scary and difficult. We know that. We understand that. So we’re committed to training and equipping people to learn how to talk about the gospel in ways that invite dialogue and further conversation with others.