The Advance of the Gospel

           Jesus Christ is beautiful in his open

             embrace of all who come to him:

high and low, Jew and Gentile, sinner and “righteous”

           —all types of people everywhere!

Bulletin for: 
Sunday, February 21, 2016
Order of worship: 
Pastor to People: 

The (revised) Mission of Stone Hill Church

Jesus said, “All authority has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (from Matthew 28:18-20).

Why does Stone Hill Church exist? What are we trying to do together as a community of faith? The answer to these questions is found in our mission statement. And, as I announced last Sunday, we have a new – better, a revised – mission statement. The previous one, which served us well for over twenty years, read:

Making disciples of Jesus Christ in Princeton and around the world!

I love that statement. It’s catchy, memorable, and in line with Jesus’s parting words to his disciples, quoted above. But there are holes in the statement, which I can say bluntly since I was its author. For one thing, it sounds like we are on our own in “making disciples”: no Father or Son or Holy Spirit at work among us. What’s more, the statement jumps quickly from Princeton to “around the world.” What about Trenton? New York? Philadelphia?

Our revised mission statement enriches the previous one, filling in the holes and providing greater clarity. Here it is in its short form:

Advancing God’s kingdom of making dedicated followers of Jesus Christ!

I love the way this new statement positions Stone Hill in the middle of God’s bigger plan, a plan for bringing his rule down to earth by joining him in making dedicated followers of Christ. The longer form adds some geography and makes plain our commitment to what Jesus Christ would call our “Judea and Samaria” (Acts 1:8), the Northeast:

Advancing God’s kingdom of making dedicated followers of Jesus Christ in Princeton, the Northeast, and around the world!

So there you have it—our new mission statement. Of course it would be meaningless if we didn’t do anything with it. And so in the weeks ahead I will be explaining how it connects to some exciting new initiatives at Stone Hill. For now, though, the biggest thing you can do to “advance” our mission is to participate in the REVEAL Spiritual Life Survey (explained elsewhere). The results will provide clarity on how we can better serve one another in becoming “dedicated followers of Jesus Christ.”