The church - God’s people - should be a representation of the love of Jesus to our dark and dying world. We most certainly are not perfect, but we should be a reflection of His character. If we just tell people about God’s love they will almost never be able to grasp it, but when God’s people show them grace and love as we have been loved, they become open to hearing about Jesus.
The above picture is our "vision frame" for more on this, check out the first post in this series. If you'd like to view a larger picture of the frame you can do so by clicking here.
If you haven’t already please read the rest of our vision series before you read this post. The vision frame works together to make this future a reality.
Some people have asked me why Woodward needs another church. This question has 100% came from people who are already connected to a church and have no idea how many people don’t actually have a place to call home. The answer that is easiest to give is because Woodward doesn’t look like heaven yet. We must keep fighting forward and preaching the good news until we actually begin to believe and live it out in our everyday lives. Woodward will be glad that Ascent church is in the community if we really take this serious.
We will be the people who attack the hard problems, love the unlovable and protect the defenseless in Woodward. That is why our second legacy lane - and the topic of today’s post - is our vision for our local community.
32 by 32 vision for our local community
If you’ll remember from previous post in this series, we are framing all of our legacy lanes through the “32 by 32” vision. This means all of our legacy lanes have tangible and measurable goals we are hoping by faith and planning that we can accomplish by the year 2032. This vision isn’t just for the community of Woodward, as we hope to be a part of many different communities across northwest Oklahoma. For more on our campus/network vision check out the last post in our series by clicking, here.
With that said, here is an explanation and plan of action for our two 32 by 32 vision goals in regards to our local community(ies).
We cannot reach northwest Oklahoma by ourselves. We are not planting a church because the others aren’t doing their job. I can’t say that clear enough! We simply want to join them on the mission of spreading the good news. We have a ripe harvest and simply want to be co-labors. We will never dishonor or compete against another church participating on the Gospel mission.
As part of our vision over the next 13 years we want to invest in others proclaiming the Gospel in our area. This may take various forms and will certainly be Spirit led, but here are some ways I can see us investing in (re)present partners.
-We will support our local Baptist association. (We will give regularly. Our association provides support, training and mission equipping to all of our baptist churches across the area.)
-We will support our Baptist Kids Camp. (Many kids have been exposed to the good news over the years at this camp in Vici and Ascent will be a part of investing in it for years to come.)
-We will support community ministerial alliances. (Almost every town has an alliance of all churches across denominations who work together to love the city. We will attempt to always be a part of these alliances.)
-We will bless other churches. (From time to time as the Spirit leads, we will bless another local church in the area with support.)
-We may help with a need or opportunity. (As the Spirit leads, we want to be involved with helping other churches in the area with their distinct missions. This could look like helping a church in need, sponsoring a mission project, assisting with a building project or any other number of practical needs other churches in town might have.)
As with every piece of our vision we aren’t satisfied with just telling our community about Jesus, we want to show them His love. As a result, we hope to invest in great organizations and causes that care for the least of these. It is impossible for me to know all of the partners we will invest in, but here are a few ideas.
-Relay for life (We are going to support them even this year, in our pre-launch phase.)
-We will provide support to missional communities seeking to serve the community.
-We will help with the needs of those who come to us.
-Local schools and teachers
The possibilities are endless.
The greatest investment we can make is you
We will invest money and effort into our community as a whole but, the greatest thing we can do for northwest Oklahoma is to individually follow Jesus wholeheartedly. If each us of begin to truly live out our mission of being everyday people (re)presenting and (rep)resenting Jesus in our everyday lives then our communities will start looking a lot more like God intended them to.
Thank you for taking time to read this and the rest of our vision series. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.