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Love First

Brian Mashburn

January 10, 2021

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Love First

As promised back in October, we begin today doing a deeper dive on our brand new church family vision statement. We exist to love first, become like Jesus, and advance his mission.

I know Iím overly excitable about such things, but I have fallen in love with these new words that give a glimpse into who we are, but even more, describe what we do. Geek out with me for a minute and let me share with you some of the observations I have made about the three pieces of statement.

First of all, this isn't a new vision for us, really, they are just new (and in my opinion, better) words. So I love that this is consistent with what we have been doing for a very long time, AND excited that they give us an opportunity to do it afresh.

Secondly, I like what each of three phrases represent. "Love First" represents the priorities of Christianity. "Becoming like Jesus" represents the point of Christianity. And "advance his mission" represents the purpose of Christianity. As always, there is so much more to say, but these three statements, in my opinion, sure capture the essence of scripture fairly holistically.

Thirdly, while they easily can represent the three separate pieces of our discipleship pathway (connect, grow, go), each phrase also beautifully infers the other two! Bibically speaking, the person who loves first will be being like Jesus and advancing his mission. The person who is becoming like Jesus will necessarily love first and advance his mission. And the person who is advancing his mission, well, what is that person doing? You guessed it, they are loving first and becoming like Jesus.

I told you, I'm overly excitable about such things. And I haven't even scratched the surface.

So I'm excited to look at all of the pieces of our statement by spending a couple of weeks on each piece of our statement. Bear with me as we take a glance at each of them through theological, personal, and ministry lenses. In other words, how does our vision flow out of the God, how do you follow it as a disciple of Jesus, and how do we enact is communally as a church together.

And so, today, we begin with what we mean when we say that we exist to love first.

Brian Mashburn

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