Value: Disciple Making Community

Our church mission statement is: Apex Baptist Church is an authentic community of believers worshipping God EVERYWHERE we go, becoming more like Him EVERYDAY, and serving EVERYONE we meet.

We believe our mission statement comes directly from the Great Commission found in Matthew 28:19-20.

Our Mission Guides us. Our values define us.

Our values:

  1. Intimacy with Christ
  2. Missional Living
  3. Ministry Excellence
  4. Disciple-making Community
  5. Generosity

These values help us fulfill our mission of being a New Testament church.

A few days ago I received a letter encouraging me to join the alumni association at one of the universities I attended. One of the perks of membership was the privilege to audit a class for free. When you audit, you attend the class but do not have to do any of the work and it does not become part of your permanent academic record. You are exposed to the thought, but do not have to work like the rest of the students in the course to get a passing grade and continue toward graduation.

It may be a perk of an alumni association to audit a course on campus, but it is a travesty for people to simply audit the Christian faith. BUT IT HAPPENS! The solution is a community of believers built upon disciple-making.

A disciple-making community is a family on mission. It is a group of believers who desire to live centered on the Gospel of Christ and encourage each other as they pursue Him together.

In 2 Timothy 2:1-6, the Apostle Paul, writes to Timothy instructing him about making disciples.

You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.  An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops.

Four pillars we are trying to build a disciple-making community upon are found in this passage.

1. Developing Leaders.

Having just shared his disappointment over the growing apostasy spreading through Asia, Paul turned to Timothy and wrote, You then, my child, be strong. Sometimes difficult circumstances, our own weaknesses and fears, and the negative attitudes or unfaithfulness of others determine our course in life. Developing leaders takes intentionality, effort and encouragement and it helps us understand what God sees in us, not what we see in ourselves. It, always, happens best in community.

2. Focus on the Main Thing.

A disciple-making community is marked by holiness and perseverance. This is only possible if we stay focused on the main thing. The main thing being glorifying God with our lives. The main thing being living centered on the Gospel. Paul used the analogy of a soldier. A soldier expected hard times. They trained for hard times. They met hard times face to face and persevered through them. A good soldier does not try to escape hard times or look for the path of least resistance. He carries out his mission through the difficulties by staying focused on the main objective instead of the obstacles to accomplishing the main thing.

3. Discipline.

Paul uses the example of an athlete to show us the discipline it takes to excel in a disciple-making community. Like a relay team, each member of a disciple making community is valuable and important to the team. There are rules and there are requirements by which every competition is governed. We are to be disciplined by the Word of God to develop into a disciple-making community.

4. Faithful Service.

Finally, Paul uses the example of a farmer to teach Timothy about the priority of faithful work. A disciple-making community does not spring up overnight. It takes time, care, energy and effort. This is a worthwhile effort because the church will grow more and more healthy as a disciple-making community is established. Just like farmers have to do more than plant, water, and harvest, A disciple-making community must go through daily battles to produce fully devoted followers of Christ.

These four pillars will not be easy to establish, but through the faithful efforts of many men and women, we can establish a biblical community consistently making disciples at Apex Baptist Church

Value: Ministry Excellence

Our church mission statement is: Apex Baptist Church is an authentic community of believers worshipping God EVERYWHERE we go, becoming more like Him EVERYDAY, and serving EVERYONE we meet.

We believe our mission statement comes directly from the Great Commission found in Matthew 28:19-20.

Our Mission Guides us. Our values define us.

Our values:

  1. Intimacy with Christ
  2. Missional Living
  3. Ministry Excellence
  4. Disciple-making community
  5. Generosity

These values help us fulfill our mission of being a New Testament church.

Dr. Andreas Kostenberger wrote, “God is the grounds of all true excellence. He is the one who fills any definition of excellence with meaning and He is the reason we cannot be content with lackluster mediocrity…. Excellence starts and ends with God and is first and for most a hallmark and attribute of God…. Everything God is and does is marked by excellence.”

Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 10:31 – “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

Doing all we do for the glory of God is the pathway to excellence.

So what does a value of ministry excellence look like?

Jesus described it in Matthew 5:38-42:

You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.  And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.

1. An attitude of mercy.

Jesus is urging us not to return evil for evil. Life is not about evening out the score or taking what is ours. We must recognize that God is our avenger. We show mercy because of the mercy we have been shown through Christ’s redeeming work on the cross.

If we want to value ministry excellence, we must minister with an attitude of mercy.

2. An attitude of service.

Chick-Fil-A has created an attitude of service in their employees. They urge employees to go the second mile as they serve people. If a business recognizes the blessings of the second mile, how much more should a church set the pace in this biblical principle of serving others. A Tunic, cloak, time invested, energy spent, or additional miles walked show value and love for others.

One theologian wrote, “The first mile is where the burden is, the second mile is where the blessing lives.”

3. An attitude of sacrifice.

Jesus encouraged his followers to meet the real needs of others. He desired generous followers. Not men and women hoarding material possessions, but men and women living open handed to meet the needs of others. This lifestyle involves sacrifice.

Sacrifice includes the things we think we need or like, not our extra items. Sacrifice means we are generous even when it is not particularly comfortable. Jesus was a willing sacrifice and laid his life down for us. His sufficient sacrifice shows us what excellence looks like and how we can possess an attitude of sacrifice.