Joe Leach – 25th October 2022
On Sunday, 2nd October, we launched our updated Grace Church Vision. That’s despite the fact that in recent years, I have had mixed feelings about the idea of a church vision. I have always appreciated that there is some value in it but, on occasion, I have felt that the whole concept can feel unnecessarily (or even inappropriately) dramatic and specific.
Some questions I have wondered about:
- Why does an individual, local church need their own vision?
- Shouldn’t all churches have the same vision and be about the same thing?
- Aren’t we all just supposed to love God and people (the Great Commandment) and be on mission and make disciples (the Great Commission)?
These are valid questions and worth asking. But having thought and prayed about it a lot, I have come to conclude that there is a real value and worth in us, as Grace Church, having a clearly articulated and understood vision for what kind of church we strive to be. The greatest benefit in having such a vision is that it helps all of us (myself included!) to know and remember what we should be prioritising as we build and trust God for our future together.
Waking Up to Vision
That said, the thing that ultimately convinced me to think seriously about reviewing and profiling our church vision was something that happened to me a few months ago. At the time, church vision wasn’t something that was particularly on my mind; but I woke up inexplicably in the middle of the night and suddenly felt able to articulate what our vision might be. I made a note on my phone of it and then tried, quite unsuccessfully, to get back to sleep. Whilst I wouldn’t say in as many words that “God woke me up and gave me a vision!”, it was an unusual enough event to give me cause to talk to the other elders, and for us all to think and pray more about it. Having done that, we have felt more and more convinced and excited that this is the vision God has given us for where we should be going as Grace Church.
That vision is… to grow a healthy church that enjoys the grace of God and declares and demonstrates that grace to the communities we live in.
Breaking It Down
We have a vision to grow…
Healthy organisms grow and we want to believe God for growth. That includes all of us ‘growing up’ into increasingly mature Christians. It also includes having faith that God would add people to us and grow in number. This is not for our glory but for God’s.
…a healthy church…
We want to be a church that values the things that God wants us to value rather than the things that the world might value. We don’t want to get distracted by the latest ideas or what is popular, but keep on task to being an uncompromisingly Biblical church in every way.
…that enjoys the grace of God…
We want to be Grace Church in more than just name. All that we do is focussed around the grace of God, and the first thing is for us to know and enjoy that grace. That includes finding joy in gladly worshipping God with our lives and being discipled to become ever more like Jesus.
…and declares and demonstrate that grace…
This amazing grace is not just for us to keep to ourselves but to declare to the world around us so they can know and hear the good news about Jesus. We also want to model that grace by practically doing justice and showing mercy to our communities.
…to the communities we live in.
Being a multi-site church means that we are able to declare and demonstrate God’s grace to multiple communities in a more meaningful way by being regularly visible and active in Chichester, Bognor Regis, and Havant.
To see this vision fulfilled will require the involvement of many different people from all backgrounds and walks of life. If you are already part of Grace Church, let me encourage you that now is not the time to shrink back but keep involved to play your vital part. You are so valued! If you are new or looking in, please know that there is a place for you here to get involved and join with us in enjoying the grace of God!