On Mission at Willow Creek Church
Justin King. Justin and his friends at RAPID (Reliable Advocacy for People with Intellectual Disabilities) are in the Willow Creek Church sanctuary picking up items from this past Sunday. If you were at WCC on Sunday, you heard me mention Justin's love for God and his church. I'd like to use Justin as a jumping off point to help point our people at Willow Creek Church to the church's mission.
We all have a role to play in the mission of the church. What is the mission of the Church throughout the world you may ask? The mission, from Jesus himself, is to "Go and make disciples (Jesus worshippers) of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit." -Matthew 28.
The Church (the single worshipping community of Jesus Christ) was set aside as the primary means for God's good news message, which is that Jesus came to save, redeem, and adopt people into God's eternal family (Ephesians 3.) Disciple-making then, is sharing this good news, and encouraging the receivers of the good news to share that good news with someone else. And we do that as the church, in a variety of ways, often (but not always) through ministries.
RAPID, the ministry Justin participates in, is an affiliate ministry of Willow Creek Church, meaning that their group meets on our church campus, is encouraged to thrive by the leadership and staff of WCC, but is not directly led by staff or leaders of WCC. We have various ministries that look similar in that they are meet and minister on the property of Willow Creek Church without being organized and led by Willow Creek Church staff. The goal of these ministries (from Willow Creek Church's perspective) is for people to enter our building through specific avenues (Christian Help, Basketball, Art, school graduations, etc...) as a means to care for our larger community.
Ministries, regardless of if they are run by church staff or community volunteers, are not the mission of the church. God's mission to make disciples is done in various forms and fashions both inside and outside the physical walls of the church building. However, the New Testament repeatedly points to the truth that the church (the physical location where believers in Jesus Christ gather) serves as the primary outpost of God's ongoing mission to the world.
Ministries therefore, are not the mission of the church. Rather, ministries are the mechanism to mobilize people to do God's mission of making disciples.
Justin and his friends at RAPID quietly go about their work of cleaning the sanctuary and folding bulletins, just as they do every week. When I ask Justin why he helps out at the church, he says it is because he wants "lots of people to know God." Thank you Justin for being a part of God's mission work! Come, join Justin in the good work of being on mission here at Willow Creek Church.
Pastor of Families & Connections