The mission and vision of Bend City Church finds its root in one huge question: What is the purpose for mankind? Why did God put man on the earth?
Opposed to modern thoughts on God that views Him as a commanding, demanding tyrant that is not powerful enough to prevent world hunger, the bible teaches that God is perfect in every aspect of his character. He is perfectly just and thus hates evil. He is perfectly fair and thus shows no partiality. He is perfectly loving and thus blesses his creation. He is full of grace and thus gives to those that don’t deserve it. He is all-powerful and thus is in control of the entire world. The list of God’s attributes goes on and on and he is perfect in each and every one. There is no one like Him. When we evaluate the character of God and see Him as He actually is, we come to the conclusion that He is glorious. He is full of glory.
The amazing thing about God’s design for the world and man’s created purpose is that we (human kind) were created to enjoy this perfect and glorious God. God’s greatest gift to us is Himself. God’s purpose for creating mankind is to enjoy God!
You may say “that doesn’t sound so great. The most satisfying thing in the world is enjoying God? How does that work?”
Let’s look at just one example: Money anxiety
Many people today have many worries from our busy and hectic lives. Especially in these economic times, a great fear is that we will not have enough money to pay our mortgage, put our kids through school, or even provide food for our families. At the root of anxiety is the fear of not having what we need to live. This can lead us to believe that what we need is just a bit more money to have security, to be safe. We just need a cushion and then we will be happy. The truth is that this desire to have security is not bad. In fact, it is common to humans because we were created by a creator that promises security if we trust Him. In the book of Hebrews it is written “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” The cure for anxiety and finding pleasure in the area of money is not to have more of it. The solution is to be content with having an all-powerful God say to you “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” NEVER. This promise is valid if we have much money or very little.
That type of promise from that type of God is meant to give peace and happiness. It is meant to free us from anxiety over whether we will have enough to live.
The money anxiety example can be multiplied over and over again in every aspect of our life. God Himself is who fulfills our deepest longings. And as we begin to trust in a glorious God and live in obedience to a glorious God, the people that surround us at our workplace, in our families, or in our churches begin to see that God is more valuable than money or any other thing. By trusting in the promises of God, He is shown to be glorious. We do not add anything to His worth or value, but we expose it for the world around us to see.
One of our favorite authors, John Piper, says it this way: God gets the glory, we get the joy.
Because we believe the bible teaches this about the purpose for mankind, we find it at the heart of our mission and vision:
We exist to make disciples that live for the glory of God, enjoying Him completely
By God’s Spirit we accomplish the mission by:
Praying with Utter Dependence on Christ
Luke 18:9-14 – To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about[a] himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
James 5:16b – The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
Jesus said “when you pray” not “if you pray” (Matt 6:5). It is assumed that the people of God are praying. The prayer that God accepts as pure does not consist of a particular style or method, but one that comes from a righteous heart. A righteous heart is one that is dependent on the Lord for his righteousness. Jesus pointed out that the tax collector who cried out, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner” was the one that was justified before God rather than the pharisee who self confidently boasted of his own works. It is an utterly dependent heart that God finds pleasing.
Proclaiming the Gospel to Believers and Non-Believers
Luke 9:1-2 – When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
Acts 5:42 – Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they (apostles) never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.
Jesus sent out the 12 in Luke 9, telling them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. The good news of the Savior needed to be told and the need is no different today. The message of Jesus Christ, who He is, what He has done and what He will do in the future must be told to those that do not believe and to those that do believe. Jesus Christ is the reason for the church.
Pursuing Lives of Worship and Service in Community
Romans 12:1-2 – Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
In the book of Romans, Paul spends eleven chapters discussing Jesus and displaying Him as the God who deserves all glory. He transitions into what our response should be with the word “therefore” in the beginning of Chapter 12. The glory of Jesus Christ and His worth to the church should elicit a response that is all consuming in the life of the believer, and thus, the church. This response should be an everyday response to the goodness and glory of Jesus Christ. It is our aim that the church be filled with believers that are living lives of sacrificial spiritual worship.
Partnering in Ministry for the Sake of the Gospel
Ephesians 4:11-13 – It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
A healthy church is an every member functioning local church. God gives spiritual gifts to Christians as He determines (1 Cor 12:11) in order that these giftings be used to build up the body as a whole. Each member is prepared for works of service and only together do we reach the unity of the faith and the whole measure of Christ. Each member plays his or her part and builds up one another as we work toward this goal.
John 17:23 – May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me (Jesus) and have loved them even as you have loved me (Jesus).
Every true believer in Jesus Christ is a member of the universal church. With this said, local churches will have differing areas of responsibilities in the Lord, namely different flocks of believers. Although differing in the areas of responsibility these local churches are joined together in the common faith and for the common goal of fulfilling the great commission.
Preparing Leaders to do the Same
2 Timothy 2:1-2 – You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.
Timothy is Paul’s son in the faith and Timothy has assumed some responsibility in the early church. Paul not only encourages Timothy in his gifting within the body, but also gives him straightforward direction for growing the church. Paul’s vision for the church included the importance of raising up faithful leaders who would be able to spread the message of Jesus Christ. He saw the importance of raising up not only strong disciples of the Lord but also raising up strong disciples of the Lord that could raise up other strong disciples of the Lord.