Mission. It is something we are about and it is something we do. We have a mission and we are on mission. Mission defines us and mission compels us. Mission is not our identity (Christ is), but mission is our response. We can not just talk about mission. We have to act on it. Newark Naz’ mission is “leading people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.” That is something that we say and something that we do.
Here is how we are doing mission recently and in the next few weeks:
- We gathered a group of more than 20 educators to pray and network with each other before they start school this week in order that their work is a reflection of their faith. We called it “Faith @ Work” and it will be an ongoing gathering. Mission!
- We installed a new campus pastor who is living and working in the Eastside of Newark to reach people with the gospel. Mission!
- We are reaching out to our community this weekend to give almost 600 back packs to kids to start school this year and hosting a day of fun for them and their family. (Operation Gear Up) Mission!
- We sent more than 70 kids and adults to camp for discipleship training and summer fun. Many of those kids were financially sponsored or subsidized by Newark Naz families. Mission!
- We are starting a fund to support future pastoral leaders in the church. Mission!
- We are hosting a local non profit start up that supports families struggling to support their loved ones with drug addiction. Mission!
- Our Real Life Community Campus collected and donated back to school clothes that will help dozens of families provide for their kids. Close to a hundred kids received bags of clothes. Mission!
- We are active in child abuse prevention and foster care family events and programs in our community. Mission!
- We are working with a local Nazarene congregation who is planting a new church in the Baltimore area. Mission!
- We sent a great group of students to the Franklinton community this summer to serve in inner city Columbus through Lower Lights Church and Compassionate Ministry Center. Mission!
- We have people actively involved in weekly visits and ministry to the Licking County Jail to encourage and evangelize. Mission!
- We are partners with 3 neighborhood schools where we encourage and pray for faculty throughout the year and host gatherings for them at one of our campus locations. Mission!
- Our Food Bank is one of the largest in Newark and lovingly assists families every week. Our volunteers in that ministry are faithful and friendly to all who meet them. Mission!
- An Urban Garden Network (Together We Grow) has 8 gardens this summer and has a stall at the Canal Street Market to sell food and encounter people with Christian witness. Mission!
- We have had conversations with a health care ministry interested in Newark as a site to bring wholistic, Christian health care to our community as a partner with local congregations. Mission!
- I’ll just make a blank for all of the other ways we are on mission that I don’t have time to list. _______________________ 🙂
God has been good to us and God is working His goodness through us as His people. We are acting in faith to lead others to grow in their faith and walk with Christ. Sometimes people respond and follow quickly. Other times we need to be patient, consistent, affirming, and nurturing so that they respond and follow. In all things we need to believe the God is working for the good of those who trust in Him and call upon His name.
If you are “into” our church I hope you are “into” our missional outreach. If you are not, that may be why you aren’t “into” our church. Mission is an expression of our faith in God, a response to His call to love our neighbor, and an exercise of our spiritual gifting that He has put inside of us. When we faithfully act on/in mission we are acting with God in redeeming the world. When we refuse to do so or get too busy, burned out, or bummed, we are not in on what God is doing in our world or our church.
Mission work is the canvas that the gospel is painted in our community. Let’s stretch our canvas this week and make more room for God to paint His gospel in our church and community. It’s not about our program or activities and it is not about making Newark Naz famous or fabulous. It is all about glorifying God as we lead others to grow in relationship with Jesus Christ. That is the WHAT. Mission is the HOW.