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People of faith are faced with the opportunity to be witnesses for God's kingdom in a growing, changing world. How do we go about being witnesses for the kingdom? God envisions our church to be Faithful to Scripture, Creative in Ministry, Passionate for Outreach, Offering Christ to All! So what does that statement mean?
- First and foremost, as the founder of Methodism, John Wesley, would state, First UMC is a people of one book, the Bible. The Bible is the primary source of our Christian faith. It is written by human authors over many centuries who were inspired by the Holy Spirit of God. That same Spirit inspires our understanding of Scripture today and directs us as we seek to follow that inspired understanding.
- With this inspired understanding, we are encouraged to be creative in our lives of ministry. Ministry is not just reserved for the preachers and the staff of our church, but is a way of life for each professing Christian. "We love, because Christ first loved us." (1 John 4:19). And if you have been loved, you will want to love others in ways that reach into the their hearts. That is creative in ministry. When you reach out to a friend/acquaintance/stranger and touch their heart, God is glorified and that person is changed as well.
- Being faithful to Scripture and creative in ministry is only part of the story. Our church doesn't exist just to make its members feel good about themselves.The church that claims Jesus Christ as Lord exists to reach out to a hurting and struggling world with the love that God has given us. We have a passionate desire to share with those people who are not part of of our church that God loves them!
- We want to offer this world the only sure path to the peace and love that God has given and that is to offer the world the person of Jesus Christ! The bottom line desire in the life of this world is a desire to know who God really is and in Jesus Christ, that desire is answered. Not only do we have the perfect example on how we should live, but we also are able to see who God is through Jesus!
Love God and love others. "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:35) Be Faithful to Scripture, Creative in Ministry and Passionate for Outreach, offering Christ to All.
And the world will be changed for the glory of God!