Our Purpose and Who Are We?

The purpose of Celebration Church is to make disciples from all backgrounds.  That is our purpose, but who are we?

This is one question we have asked in the Auxano group; a group of people in our church looking to see what we need to do as a church to reach 400 people in our community in the next 2 years.  We called the answer to this question the churches Kingdom Concept.

What is the Kingdom Concept?  The Kingdom Concept is the sweet spot of our church.  It’s what we do naturally.  It is the simple, clear idea on how our church makes disciples.  Every church is to make disciples.  A Kingdom Concept is more than that obeying this command.  Our Kingdom Concept is what makes us unique from any other church on how we will make disciples.   During our discussion we sought to answer these kinds of questions, “What can we do better than ten thousand other churches?  What is the great permission within the great commission?”

To discover our Kingdom Concept we looked at three criteria:

  1. Local Predicament: What are the unique needs and opportunities God has placed us?
  2. Collective Potential: What are the unique resources and capabilities that God brings together in us?
  3. Apostolic Esprit: What particular focus most animates or energizes our church family?

After much discussion and observation this is what we feel is the Kingdom Concept of our church.

The “Kingdom Concept” of Celebration Christian Church is to reach the 50,000 unchurched people in the Suffolk area by accepting them for who they are and meeting their needs through the love of Jesus.

We believe the identity of our church is one word, “acceptance.”   Our churches strength is acceptance as a means of grace.  This is who we are.  We are a church that brings you in warts and all.  No matter your background, sin, skin color, or style of dress, we accept you.  Many of the comments I get back from visitor’s say we are a “real” church.

I believe this is a word that we need to get out to our community.  Specifically, we need to get this word out to the very neighborhoods that surround our church, Kings Landing, Hillpoint, and Burnetts Mill to name a few.  So far we have had an outreach strategy of people inviting their friends to church.   This is great and we have done a good job of inviting our friends.  Our next step is to make sure the very neighborhoods that are around us know there is a church in their midst that will accept them.

This coming year I have made acceptance the theme of my preaching.  I’ve decided to preach so much on it that I’m going to make myself sick!  We’ve got to get this right and as I have been studying and preparing for next year I have made this observation:  I think if you are a Christian you are going to have a problem with this idea of acceptance and grace.  When you really get deep into it really is too good to be true!  But if you are a sinner I think you are going to love it.

My goal is this:  I want our church to as well known for accepting people as Jesus is.  After all, isn’t that the point?

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2 thoughts on “Our Purpose and Who Are We?

  1. Acceptance implies people are getting turned away. I think value might be more ideal. We do accept those who come but our goal is to make disciples of those not only here but those we reach. Semantics maybe but it could be the difference between a flash light and a laser. Focus is so hard when the vision is blurred. We are definately going in the right direction. Keep working and well keep praying.

    1. After we (the Auxano team) came up with the word “acceptance” for our church a friend of mine refered me a book by John Burke called, No Perfect People Allowed. He is the founding pastor at Gateway Community Church in Texas. His church has focused on the word acceptance and his chapter on acceptance really rocked my world. It really challenged me (and got me studying and rethinking Romans 6-9!). Here are a few quotes:

      “if you interview people on the street, few, if any, associate Christanity with anything closely resembling grace. What they feel is law- zero tolerance, judgement, and condemnation. Why doesn’t the church utilize it’s greatest assett? Though the world cannot offer grace, in its absence, it found an inexpensive substitute: tolerance.”

      “Acceptance is the most tangible outworking of grace- drawing near in relationship without condemnation.”

      “When Christians wrongly assume thier job is help make others acceptable-even though we could never make ourselves acceptable- this tells people God will not accept them “as is.”

      “Grace is the soil where people best grow, and creating a culture of acceptance defines the work we can do to prepare the soil of grace.”

      Afte the Auxano team came up with that word acceptance, then with this chapter, I have to admit that I am camping out on the idea of “acceptance as a means of grace.”

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