By James C. Sprouse, Senior Pastor
Why does Trinity Church exist? According to Matthew’s Gospel, the reason is made clear – we are to “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:19-20.
Based on the Great Commission, Trinity Church follows the stated purpose of the United Methodist Church, “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” The mission of our congregation from our Next Level Innovation weekend is Bridging God’s Word into Everyday Life. I see this as a four-fold task.
First: we reach out to people and welcome them into Trinity Church. We have the missional challenge of connecting our church to the world around our facilities, and the communities where we work, play, shop, study, and worship. We have the missional challenge of connecting our church to all the hurts, doubts and questions of the people around us. Our mission is to find them, reach out to them, listen to them, accept them and share the gospel in word and deed.
Second: we relate to people and help them deepen their spiritual relationship with God. Trinity does this by providing opportunities for growing closer to God. Whether guests or long-time members, we all need God’s love in Christ. Through worship, prayer, study, honest sharing, and finding where God needs us to be in mission – we help each other discover that the Holy Spirit is not far off but a present reality among us. We need to encourage each other to give our lives to Christ, and to center our lives in a very real, living and present God.
Third: we nurture people in Christian lifestyle. Trinity Church helps people practice the disciplines of discipleship. Our church exists to serve not be served. We gather for worship not only for our own personal spiritual formation and growth, but also to prepare and equip ourselves for doing the work of love and be Christ’s disciples in our community and world. We are strengthened for ministry through worship, baptism, Communion, Bible study, prayer and all other means of grace.
Fourth: we support people in their ministry. As members of Trinity Church, we’re sent into our community and world to serve others in need and make our community and world more loving and just. We believe the Holy Spirit empowers and guides us. Where ever we go we can expect to meet Christ already at work. Our congregation exists, in part, to surround and support each other in her and his ministry. With the loving support of this kind of community we can continue to grow and reach others for Christ.
All this is the missional challenge of the church and Trinity Church. The only mission that counts is God’s mission. We need to view the world and Christ’s mission in a new light. We no longer look at the world for any gaps in mission so we can take God to where God isn’t now. Instead, let’s look at the world as God’s- a place where God’s love and care are already, and everywhere, at work. We don’t take mission outside Trinity’s walls – we go out to meet the mission already there.