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.

Value: Missional Living

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 Missions 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.

In this post, we will look at our second value: Missional Living

Missions is often the term used for going overseas for the cause of Christ – hence the word missionary. Sadly, it has led some to feel that missions is something that happens “over there,” creating a dulled sense of the needs on our doorstep.

One author wrote, “When the church is at its best, mission is not something we do; it is something we are.”

This describes our desire. We want to live every day on mission for Christ.

The Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:1-7:

Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

In this passage, we can learn five keys for missional living.

1. Be Authentic

Paul admitted he was having to renounce certain things. There were desires that did not honor God, but he was not allowing those desires to control him. He refused to lose heart. He saw that as cowardly. He honestly desired to honor God above all things. He was not trying to trick anyone. He was not superficially religious, but transparent, humble and real.

If we want to make a difference in our world, we must be authentic each and every day. We should strive to be the same person on Monday that we were on Sunday. We should love God and serve others because this is the model we see for daily living in Scripture.

2. Stand on the Word of God

Paul saw no other option. He believed in a straightforward presentation of the Word of God. Over and over again, he simply presented the Word of God.

Often, we want to do anything but simply present the Word of God. Paul would urge us to stand on the Word. Present Christ as the solution to all of life’s difficulties because He is the only one who can ultimately do anything about it.

3. Expect Opposition

Paul, in this passage, determines that the Gospel is veiled to those hearing his message. When they did not understand, they easily dismissed, discounted or persecuted Paul because of the message. This was nothing new or unexpected for Paul.

So many times, when we encounter opposition the first thing we do is RUN! Paul would encourage us to expect opposition and preach the gospel in the face of opposition.

4. Speak of Jesus

When we are living missional lives, it is easy to speak of Jesus. No transformation can take place a part from Him. Jesus was often on Paul’s lips and he should also be on ours.

5. Serve

Paul saw himself as a servant to the people. Serving them Jesus. He was not looking for position or power. He simply desired for people to know Jesus.

If we want to live Missional Lives, we will recognize these five keys and be certain they work their way into the fabric of our lives.

Value: Intimacy With Christ

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 Missions 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.

Intimacy with Christ is an imperative for every Christ follower and the first value of our church. Intimacy means closeness, togetherness, affection, confidence. If we do not walk in intimacy with Christ, we’ll never be able to join Him in the mission.

The key to intimacy with Christ can be summed up in one simple word: ABIDE.

To abide is to remain. It seems to suggest an effortless resting in the Lord.

In John 15, the Scripture says:

 I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.  Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.  Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.  If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.  If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.  As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.  If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.  These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

If we want intimacy with Christ, this passage shows us that we must abide in Christ. Our heavenly Father will fashion us into who He wants us to be as we abide in Him. It will not always be easy or painless, but the resulting intimacy with Christ will be worth it.

All who desire to be used of God, must walk closely with Him. If we want God to use Apex Baptist Church in 2015, then we MUST intentionally focus on living intimately with Christ.

I can’t wait to see all God does in us and through us in 2015. We’re off to a great start. So lets continue to walk with Christ!!

Dear Apex Baptist Church,

At the beginning of every year, it is important to take a few moments to remember who you are and where you are going. My family has done this personally, and I hope over the next few weeks, we can do this as a church family.

Our vision at Apex Baptist is to fulfill the great commission found in Matthew 28:18-20:

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

We like to say it like this:

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 simply want to make disciples as Jesus commanded EVERYWHERE we go, EVERYDAY we live, and EVERYWHERE we go.

This mission guides us. From this mission, we have developed five values that define us.

Our Values
1. Intimacy with Christ
2. Missional Lives
3. Ministry Excellence
4. Disciple Making Community
5. Generosity

From our mission and values, each ministry of our church develops a ministry plan snd works to fulfill the vision of the church.

Check back over the next few weeks as we unpack each of our values…

Helpful Articles For Leaders

I sat in a freezing cold conference room (why are all conference rooms so cold?) as a 10th grade high school student when for the first time I heard the simple statement, “leaders are readers.” That simple statement made an impact on my life. Since that day, I’ve worked to develop a discipline of reading. Each day, I read the Bible, a chapter or section of a theological book and a chapter, section or article on leadership.

(I know, I know. I should broaden what I read to include fiction, biography, etc. One day it will happen.)

Along the way, I run into many helpful articles for church leadership and personal leadership. Check these links. I do not think you will be disappointed.

7 Ways to Draw Millennials to Your Church

Four Primary Tasks of a Senior Leader

Read or Get Out of the Ministry

The Pastor and His Culture

The Problem with the Harvest is Not the Harvest

Great Leaders Live By Strong Convictions

An Autopsy of a Deceased Church

 

Happy reading!

Holy Week Bible Reading Plan

Sunday, April 13 – Luke 19:28-44

Monday, April 14 – Mark 14:32-42

Tuesday, April 15 – Matthew 26:47-56

Wednesday, April 16 – Mark 14:53-72

Thursday, April 17 – John 18:28 – 19:16

Friday, April 18 – Luke 23:26-56

Saturday, April 19 – John 14:1-31; John 16:5-11

Sunday, April 20 – Matthew 28

Worship Music We’re Singing

Like I mentioned in my last post, God is moving in our worship services. Over the past few months, we’ve been intentional to sing songs to God. We call these songs, vertical songs. They are not focused on what is happening around us, but are songs that help us worship God for who He is and what He has done.

Each time we introduce a new song, I’m asked where to find the song. So, instead of just pointing people to Itunes, here are direct links to the song’s we’re singing:

We have sung these recently:

High King of Heaven

Forever Reign

Oh Our Lord

Lay Me Down

This Is Amazing Grace

Waiting Here For You

Christ Is Risen

We will sing these over the next few months: 

Victor’s Crown

Jesus Son of God

Great I Am

God and King

Build Your Kingdom Here

Song of Moses

Revelation Song

No One Higher

Come to the Water

These are great songs to worship all week long! Enjoy!!