"What Is Church Membership?"
OUR GPS (God's Path for Servants)
* Fairfax Baptist Church places Jesus, the Christ, the second Person of the Trinity, at the center of our focus. Placing such a high value on Jesus, we will focus on:
by prayer (Luke 11.2-4) and obedience to Him (John 14.15), based upon the Word of God (2 Timothy 3.16-17).
- following Jesus and living by faith (Matthew 4.19)
- loving God and our neighbor (Mark 12.28-31)
- making disciples (Matthew 28.18-20)
Our values were chosen during a series of discussions by the church in order to determine what is most important to us as a church. The first sentence may seem overly specific to some, but in a culture where words are losing their meaning, and many have a misunderstanding of who Jesus is, we wanted to absolutely clear of our focus. To fulfill these values, we are committing to following Jesus, which includes living by the Great Commandment and the Great Commission and being dedicated to His teachings as revealed in the Bible.
* To Know Christ and to Make Him Known (John 17.3)
This statement is, in some ways, a mission statement, but we are using it as a guide to the vision we want for our church to see. We want to be a church that is engaging with others – not for our sakes, or even for their sake (although both are true), but for the sake of Jesus, and His Kingdom. And just as we want this idea to carry us, we want it to be evident to others that we be known as a people who desire to know Christ and to make Him known.
* Exalt the Savior (John 12.32)
* Equip the Saint (Ephesians 4.11-13)
* Evangelize the Sinner (Acts 1.8)
These phrases were borrowed from the Missouri Baptist Convention, although Fairfax Baptist Church has long expressed objectives in our constitution which resemble these phrases. The phrases simplify the more formal declaration from the constitution allowing us to both remember our purpose easier and carry it out better.
We are all on a journey which will bring us before God one day where we, like the first disciples, will have to have already answered the question, "Who do you say I am?" As such, our strategy at Fairfax Baptist Church uses an acrostic to help us identify the necessary components of living a Kingdom-focused life.
The letters do not represent steps, but rather are all aspects of a life focused on following Jesus, and thus becoming more like Him.
- Jesus (Matthew 16:18-19)
- Obey (Colossians 1:28)
- Unite (1 Corinthians 1:10)
- Revere (John 12:32)
- Nurture (Ephesians 4:12)
- Engage (Acts 1:8)
- You (Matthew 16:15-16)
Finally, no JOURNEY is possible without movement. Thus, each part of the JOURNEY strategy between the Y (you) and J (Jesus) has various steps which allow each of us to measure our growth. These steps form the process of the JOURNEY.
Learn. We must first learn. We are incapable of virtually anything until we have learned what to do and how to do it. This is true in life, and this is true as a follower of Christ. Jesus’ followers called Him rabbi, which means teacher. Jesus taught His followers and sent the Holy Spirit to teach us (John 16:13).
Live. As we learn, we must apply what we have learned to our life. In essence, how we live is based on what we know, which is what we have learned (formally or intuitively). Jesus said we are to teach other to observe all that He has commanded, which implies we are observing (living) out these commands as well (Matt. 28:20). Therefore, we live what we have learned.
Love. The focus of what Jesus taught was to love God (Mark 12:30), love our neighbor (Mark 12:31), and love one another (John 13:34-35). However, love as a step in the process also includes learning to love how we live. As we mature as followers of Jesus, we become more like Him, and begin to find our attitude changing about many things. Thus, in addition to the love we are commanded to give, we find ourselves learning to love what we do (live). Consider, for instance, giving. Many do not like to give to the church but, as they mature in Christ, find themselves wanting to give more not just for the joy of giving, but from the love they have for others. Thus, they have now learned to love how they live.
Lead. The final commandment Jesus gave His disciples was to make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 1:8). Making disciples is more than getting someone to come to church or engage in Bible studies. Jesus had followers. So did Paul. If someone is following it implies a leader exists. Jesus and Paul led by example so others would not only learn of the gospel, but begin to live out its truths, and learn to love because of it. Just like Jesus, and just like Paul, we are called to lead others to be followers of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1; 2 Timothy 2:2).
The above represents the vision, the mission, the strategy, and the steps for Fairfax Baptist Church to fulfill her calling to become the people God has chosen us to be. However, these are merely words on a page unless each person does their part to fulfill their individual calling for God's Kingdom. The Church is God's chosen agent (tool) to minister to this world, and He calls each of us to bond together in love, to serve, for His glory.
PO Box 350, 604 Angell Street, Fairfax, MO 64446
660-686-2794 (Church Phone)
www.fairfaxbaptistchurch.org/blog (Church Blog)