The Vision paints the unique picture of what OUR church hopes to be. It is specific to our particular time and location and is longer and much more specific than the mission statement. As it relates to others, it answers the question: “WHAT will I find when I attend Good Shepherd OPC that is unique and particular to this congregation?”
Because we organized our mission statement around three verbs (reach up, reach in, and reach out), we describe our vision using the same categories. In the following list, the first two bullet points relate to reaching up (the first in corporate worship and the second in personal devotion); the next three points speak about reaching in (first to care for one another in a way that makes church a place of hope and healing, second to disciple children of believers, and third to apply the gospel to ourselves in such a way as to promote sanctification by grace); and the final point describes our reaching out (carrying the gospel into our community in both word and deed). Of course, our vision exceeds our performance and even our abilities. So while believing that God is calling us to fulfill the vision, we are thrown on his grace, in full dependence on the work of the Holy Spirit, for any hope of success. If you see any progress in our midst in any of these areas, know that God is working.
- We believe that God calls us to worship corporately with reverence and joy and a respect for the past workings of his Holy Spirit. Therefore, our services are traditional, incorporating the best music and content from church history, with special emphasis on the centrality of Scripture. We also recognize the value of beauty and creativity within the forms that God allows, so we will implement the regulative principle with skillfulness and variety.
- We believe that God calls us to love and worship him individually as well as corporately. Therefore, we encourage and provide opportunity for each member to use his or her gifts in service to the Lord, as well as exhorting God’s people to the practice of the spiritual disciplines in their own walk.
- We believe that God calls us to be a transformed community, a place of hope and healing, a living demonstration of the power and privilege of adoption into his family. Therefore, we will be active in promoting a “one another” culture, a community known for compassion and care. We will be intentional in developing relationships which edify one another and in expressing the value we place on those relationships.
- We believe that God calls us to disciple the children of believers, calling them to faith in Christ, and equipping them to live godly lives in the present age. We will assist parents in their high calling of bringing up their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord; we will provide ways for covenant children to participate in the regular ministries of the church; and we will design programs especially tailored to the needs of these younger members of the church.
- We believe that God calls us to pursue holiness by abiding in Christ and through a deeper appreciation and application of grace. Since sanctification is by the Spirit and belief in the truth, we will rescue the good news from applying only to unbelievers, and will endeavor to preach the gospel to ourselves every day.
- We believe that God calls us to evangelize in both word and deed. Biblical evangelism has a verbal element—there is content which must be stated and explained. Biblical evangelism also has an action element—there is a life which must be lived and shown. Proclaiming the gospel requires that we be Christlike for others to see and that we explain who is this Christ that is our hope of glory. Therefore, we will reach out to Fairfield and Forest Park with both proclamation and service ministries. We aim to be a “church of irresistible influence,” such a blessing to the community that they will see our good works, and with thankfulness for our presence, give glory to God.