We need hope. We need grace. We need mercy. We need Jesus.
As a church we cannot forget how much people need the gospel. Life is hard. We need hope. We need grace. We need mercy. We need Jesus. We won’t forget it if we understand something simple yet mind-boggling: God became a man. The incarnation helps us understand and relate to people. While the cross provides the framework of our theology (what we believe about and how we understand God), the incarnation provides the framework of our missiology (what we believe about, how we relate to, and how we reach people and our culture).
While the cross of Christ is our message, the incarnation shapes and informs how we communicate that message. And what do we see in the incarnation? We see Jesus.
In Jesus the man, God moved into the neighborhood. He loved people. He spent time with people. He met people’s needs. He shared his life with people. He offered grace to sinners and he gave up his life so we could know God’s love rather than his wrath. He didn’t see people and culture as his enemies, but as broken treasures that he came to restore.
A missional church sees people and culture the same way. Because of this we will be committed to:
Faithful contextualization — communicating gospel truths in a way the culture understands
Disciple-making — Jesus’ essential call was to make disciples
Encouraging missionaries rather than consumers — equipping people to live-out the Gospel in their everyday lives and work
Helping to build a great city, not just a good church — the goal is more than a full church, it’s a transformed city
Mercy ministry — healing real wounds and righting injustices in Atlanta and around the world
Church Planting — multiplying to new neighborhoods, states, and countries by starting new local churches
To sum up, Jesus not only lived among us, he also died for us. Therefore, being “missional” fails if it does not point to the cross. Through all we do, the message we’re translating for the culture is “Jesus Christ and him crucified.”
Village Counseling is a ministry of The Village Church at Vinings that provides professional and pastoral counseling to individuals in Atlanta, GA. Their services are open to all, regardless of your affiliation with The Village Church or your spiritual background. More information can be found at village-counseling.org.