Missio Dei Church exists to glorify God by giving every man, woman, and child a repeated opportunity to hear, see, and respond to the gospel.
This has been the mission of Missio from its earliest days. Although the church will grow in a variety of ways and change as God shapes and refines His people, our aim has remained the same.
“To glorify God” – We were created for God’s glory (Isaiah 43:7). In the Old Testament, the word for glory (כָּבוֺד – Hebrew kavod) may be rendered honor, dignity, or splendor, but can also mean weight. In the New Testament, the word for glory (δόξα – Greek doxa) points towards God’s excellence and majesty. The word carries with it the idea of praise which is why the “Doxology” sung by the church begins, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow…” Taking these two concepts together, to glorify God means we praise and worship Him because He’s worthy of it. He matters.
“…every man, woman, and child” – Jesus’ commission to His church is to make disciples of all peoples (Matthew 28:18-19). The early church father Augustine wrote, “Thou hast made us for Thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in Thee.” Augustine’s statement is often communicated like this: Everyone has a God-shaped hole in their heart that can be filled with nothing else other than God. Apart from a saving knowledge of God that comes through the proclamation of the Gospel, men and women, boys and girls, will spend eternity under God’s wrath for their sins (Romans 5:9,10; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 2 Thessalonians 1:9). With utmost seriousness and urgency we desire that all may know and worship their Creator God.
“…the repeated opportunity…” – Sharing the good news of God’s salvation from our sins through His Son Jesus is not a one-and-done work. We like to think that God changes people overnight. We share the gospel, they hear it, and boom!!…their lives will never be the same. Although there are examples in the scriptures of this kind of radical, overnight transformation, the Bible also speaks of gospel-change like a planted seed (Mark 4:1-20; 1 Corinthians 3:5-7; 1 Peter 1:23). Although we WILL see the germination and fruit of that seed over the course of time, there is much happening below the surface before we see visible sprouts. The gospel works this way for the Christian and non-Christian alike (Titus 2:11-13). The Christian needs Jesus ever before their eyes, and as often as God gives us opportunity, we seek to speak and live before a watching world in such a way that Jesus might be seen as the treasure he really is (Matthew 5:16; 13:44).
“…to hear, see, and respond…” – The life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is a historical event. Communicating this good news of God's work to restore a broken people to himself must be shared with words - spoken and written (Romans 10:14, 17; 1 Corinthians 15:1, 3). The Holy Spirit, by the grace of God, will take those words and transform hearts and lives through it (Romans 1:16-17; 1 Thessalonians 1:4). Those lives then become reflections of God’s saving grace and put His gospel on display (2 Corinthians 2:14-17; 3:1-3; 1 Peter 2:9-10). We are zealous for good works that reflect the love and mercy we’ve received from God. In both word and deed we seek to honor him and make him known (1 Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:17).
“…to the gospel.” – The word gospel means good news. The gospel is a shorthand term meant to communicate all that God is and does for us through Jesus. The whole of the Bible communicates this account of God’s work from Genesis to Revelation. The story unfolds in four great themes: Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Restoration. In the gospel we find that a holy, righteous Creator God made us to love and be loved by Him. Our representative head, Adam, sinned (Genesis 3:1-7; Romans 5:12) and in so doing, we are now all sinners by nature and choice (Romans 3:23). But God, being rich in mercy and love, sent His Son, Jesus Christ to atone for our sins by living a perfect life (1 Peter 3:18), dying a substitutionary death in our place (Colossians 2:14), and winning for us our salvation and freedom. The gospel tells us that we all stand guilty before a Sovereign God. He put forward his own Son to live the life we could not live, die the death we should have died (Romans 6:23), and rise from the dead that we would be declared right before Him (Romans 4:25; 6:22). In a word, the gospel is all about Jesus (Acts 2:36; 2 Corinthians 1:20; Philippians 2:10-11).
The vision of Missio Dei Church is to engage and equip disciples who are on mission to share the gospel.
If you think of mission as an answer to the question "where are we going," then vision answers the question "how are we going to get there."
We seek to move toward our mission along the path of discipleship in two parts:
For people lost in their sins, hardened in their hearts, and darkened in their understanding, discipleship begins the same way – the call of the gospel goes out and the Holy Spirit transforms lives through it (Matthew 22:14; John 3:5-8; Acts 13:48; 16:14; Ephesians 2:1-10; 1 Thessalonians 1:4). In this way evangelism and discipleship are intimately connected. In fact, you could say the first stage of discipleship is that an unbeliever becomes a believer through the spread of the gospel (Matthew 28:19). To engage disciples means sharing our faith, spreading the gospel, worshipping our Lord (1 Corinthians 14:16), loving the church (John 13:35), and doing good works (1 Peter 2:12) so that people might come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
The second stage of discipleship involves the growth in godliness and maturity of the believer (1 Corinthians 3:2; Colossians 1:28; Hebrews 5:12-14; 12:14). This process does not end in a person’s lifetime. The whole of the Christian life is one of sanctification (Hebrews 10:14) – being changed to look more like Jesus (Romans 8:29) through the Word, sacraments, and life together in the community of faith (1 Corinthians 12:12-31; Ephesians 4:11-12). Equipping is not fundamentally or finally a program of the church, but an organic process whereby a person serves and is served in the context of the local church.
Values are both characteristics and benchmarks. You can observe a person’s life – where they spend their time, money, energy, and thoughts – and gauge their values (Matthew 6:21). Values may also serve as a benchmark, an ideal, to attain. Missio’s values operate in both ways. Our values are characteristics that define us as well as benchmarks that tether us to tangible outcomes for our lives and ministries.
The three values of Missio Dei Church are easily remembered by thinking of the abbreviation for Missio Dei Church as MDC. Our values are:
M – Mission
D – Doctrine
C – Community
It’s been said that the mission of the church is missions, and the mission of missions is the church. The church does not exist for itself, but for God and for those whom God will save and call His people, the church. We desire, pray for, and work toward more and more people finding satisfaction and joy in knowing Jesus Christ as their sole sufficiency, meaning, and purpose in this world (Galatians 2:20).
In an era of immense confusion and uncertainty, definition and precision matters. Although doctrine can be a scary word for many, it comes from the Latin word doctrino and simply means “I believe.” Some may say that “doctrine divides but love unites,” which is itself a doctrinal (“I believe”) pronouncement upon which dividing lines are drawn. We believe doctrine unites us around Jesus as we live by faith in him while striving to love him and others the way he defines it (1 Timothy 4:16; 1 John 3:11-24; 5:1-3).
When God saves us he saves us into community (Ephesians 2:14-15; Colossians 1:18; 1 Peter 2:9-10). The idea of a lone Christian, plodding along the journey of life in isolation is a foreign concept to the Bible. In his book, Gospel in Life, pastor Tim Keller identifies three marks of God’s call for gospel community: affirmation, sharing, and service. The church affirms each other’s strengths, importance and value in Christ, all the while loving each other (Romans 12:10; 1 Thessalonians 3:12). We share each other’s resources and gifts so that needs are met and burdens carried (Galatians 6:2). Finally, the church serves one another through mutual accountability (Romans 15:14; James 5:16), forgiveness and reconciliation (Matthew 18:15; Colossians 3:13), and self-sacrifice (Romans 15:1-2; Galatians 5:13; Hebrews 10:24).