RIPLEY, David ProfileAnother very important component of our mission statement is to “actively connect the people in our communities to Jesus.”

When arriving at a new church to serve as the pastor I would always ask the clerk for the meeting minutes so I could learn from the history of the church. This was a big task for one such church since it had a history going back over 100 years!

I was excited when I read one entry of the church Board! Here is the statement:

“Resolved

The MV Society and its Sabbath afternoon meetings will stop meeting in the church every Sabbath afternoon. Instead of spending the time talking about ministry in the community, we will from henceforth go into the community and actively be involved in ministry in the community on Sabbath afternoons”

This statement would be great “DNA” for the future of the church!

Imagine my surprise when reading notes from six months later.

“Resolved

The MV Society will return to its meetings every Sabbath afternoon. It was determined that going out was not helpful for the reasons the MV Society exists.”

And yet Matthew 28:19 says, “Go therefore and make disciples. . .”

This means that the mission field is “out there” not inside of the walls of the church. Healthy vibrant churches build a strong team of disciples to go out into the community and connect people to Jesus, His church, and His mission.

Going out can be dangerous, so the full armor of God is necessary. But the command is to “Go!”

Organized to Save?

Is your church organized to keep the saints safe from the world, or is it organized to equip and send disciples into their neighborhoods to build relationships that connect people in your community to Jesus?

I would encourage you to bring your leaders and then your church together and discuss these questions:

1. Which is the greatest focus of our church, what happens within the walls of the church, or outside? How should this be balanced?

2. What percent of the church budget is spent to maintain and operate the programs and needs within the church? What percent of the church budget is spent on mission outside the church to connect people with Jesus? What percent balance is correct?

3. What kind of relationships should we encourage our members to build with non church members? What kind of preparation and training is necessary for our members as they develop relationships in the community?

4. How can your various age groups be prepared for outreach? Discuss ways that different age groups might be a part of connecting people in your community to Jesus.

5. Discuss ways the church members, church building, worship, and programs can be prepared to enfold and involve the new people from your community that have been connected to Jesus.

Lord Bless!

David Ripley, President