FOCUS 2018: “For the sake of the other”
In John 1:39, Jesus invites two disciples to “come and see” and they spend the day with him. When Andrew returns home he tells his brother Peter “we have found the Messiah” and takes him to Jesus. Our mission is to invite others with these same words…”come and see”.
Come and see is an invitation to a new identity and a better way of life. This is open to everyone who has a personal relationship with Jesus and discovers who they are meant to be. As the disciples found, this involves “a life lived for the sake of the other”. And this will be our motto for 2018 as we build on the vision introduced last year.
In 2017 we launched a vision of the kind of community we would like to become. A community that longs to encounter Jesus in a way which helps us understand our purpose, our meaning and the path that God has for each and every one of us.
It is a journey to a more satisfying and fruitful life. One in which we encounter Jesus in ways that help us understand community. We will see how God does not intend us to travel this journey of life and faith alone, but to embrace the people who God brings into our lives. Based on this encounter with God and by embracing one another, we also want to be a church which understands that we are called on this journey into a living faith which has a genuine impact on our lives. A life lived for the sake of others, with the courage to engage the world around us. With this in mind, we will to focus on the following:
Developing a discipleship pathway
Alongside Sunday mornings, we aim to develop clear ways for people to grow in their faith. To discover in a new way who we are meant to be and how we are called to: “A life lived for the sake of the other”.
Identifying, developing and deploying new leaders
Growth needs leaders. As a larger church we are blessed with many opportunities to grow, but that requires building up leaders of all ages and releasing them to lead in every area of our life together. We are committed to offering leadership training, mentoring and resourcing throughout the year.
Developing a clear care pathway
As a church we want to stand by people who are going through a season in life where they need care. Our aim is to create a clear pathway so people in need know how to find that help within XRDS.
Establishing our new community centre
2018 is the year where we hope that we will find a new ‘home’. Our prayer is that the new community centre will be a place which can be used to reach the community around us.
As we read Scripture it becomes clear that God has a deep and unending love for us; to see the broken restored, the sick healed, the purposeless finding purpose, the marginalized finding meaning. It begins with an encounter with Jesus. And our vision is that XRDS will be a place, where, no matter who you are or where you’ve been in life, you can come and experience this life transforming encounter.
Just like a potter taking a piece of clay, applying pressure to it and skillfully transforming it into something beautiful, this encounter can be painful at times. But the end result is always life. So part of our vision is to create an environment here at XRDS, that will make this process of change possible for every person.
And that’s why we want to put a lot of time and energy into the Sunday morning experience as a key moment in encountering Jesus, and in realizing the change process in your life. It is in the presence of God that you find healing and transformation.
We want the Sunday morning to be a space where everyone feels welcome to explore and develop their faith in Jesus.
Embrace one another
Part of our vision is to see XRDS developing a culture of community. A community where people feel they belong. A community that places high value on learning how to embrace one another. A community that understands that you can’t get closer to God without getting closer to God’s children. A community that understands that I am, because you are. We want XRDS to be a place where people not only meet Jesus, but also value meeting one another.
At the very essence of being community is understanding that community is an attitude of the heart – a heart ready to give, a heart that believes I exist not for myself, but for the sake of others.
That is why being community is not always easy. When one struggles, we all struggle; when one is in pain, we’re all in pain and that makes community difficult. But it is one of the greatest gifts that God has given us. Community is a gift, a gift we want to embrace and celebrate here at XRDS.
That is why we put such a value on LIFEgroups and we would like to see every group in XRDS function as a LIFEgroup. So that as a community we are working and growing towards our shared goals and stimulate conversation around our shared vision.
We have identified key areas that need growth and development in XRDS. We need to better care for one another. We need to get better connected with one another. We need to better communicate with one another.
Engage the world
We want XRDS to be a church that takes seriously its responsibility of being the presence of Christ in a world that is broken, lost and hurting.
In Scripture we read of lives transformed as they encountered Jesus, we read of them re-discovering that they are not alone, but part of a family and then we see them sent into the world. XRDS must be a church that helps its members to fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20).
God, the master potter, shapes us and moulds us so that our lives, which are uniquely shaped and gifted, might be an offering of life, hope, and light to a hurting world. We are constantly developing new ways of equipping one another for service.
Our missions committee is also exploring new opportunities for short term mission events, locally and around the world. Our vision is that we remind one another that together we can make a difference in this world.