Following hard after Jesus, becoming like Him, turning people to God, and engaging in the extraordinary life He gives.
Following hard after Jesus
It is our belief that the clearest revelation of God to humanity is found in the person of Jesus Christ. We believe that Jesus calls us to make Him the Lord of our life, and therefore we choose to follow His lead when it comes to the direction, purpose and identity of our lives.
“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” Luke 9:23-24
Becoming like Him
Through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, Jesus taught and modeled the way of God’s kingdom. Since we are called to be citizens of the Kingdom He demonstrated, we allow the Holy Spirit to more fully form the character of Jesus in us and pattern our lives after Him.
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
Turning people to God
God desires that all people be reconciled to Himself, and through Jesus, offers peace to those far and near. As followers of Jesus we are called to bring this redemptive message to those who don’t yet know the true God, actively walking alongside people as they journey towards Him. In this way we give ourselves to making disciples; new followers of the triune God.
“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.” Matthew 28:18-20
Engaging in the extraordinary life that He gives
Jesus defined His reason for coming to earth as providing a way for people to experience an abundant life. He didn’t come to simply defend a status quo existence, or to provide the hope of something good beyond this life. He came to make possible, now, the best life imaginable. As followers of Jesus we are called to settle for nothing less than the experience of all that Jesus life, death and resurrection secured for us; a life of substance, depth, and quality that is beyond what the world sees as normative.
“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
The vision of South Abbotsford Church is the experience of “Joy, Hope, Freedom" in Jesus. We believe that this phrase captures the essence of the kind of abundant life that our mission statement indicates we are growing towards; the kind of life we also desire to demonstrate and offer to those who don’t know Jesus.
Specifically, we believe God has led us to 11 tangible dreams that, when true of our church family, would be indicators of our growth into that future. We view these dreams as “north star” statements that help give focused direction to the church.
The church we dream of is a community of people who share an unquenchable hunger and thirst for the living God, revealed to us in Jesus Christ. It is a congregation on a journey of perpetually encountering and discovering this God and one engaged in Christ centered living marked by joy, hope and freedom. (Psalm 16:5-11, Psalm 63:1-8, John 8:36, 1 Peter 1:3-5)
The church we dream of is a community of people so radically transformed by Jesus that goodness and love spill out of them and create tangible, positive change wherever they go. It is a people who make God's kingdom visible in their homes, neighborhoods, workplaces, schools and places of recreation. It is a community that experiences unprecedented favor with others and leads people to embrace Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. (Matthew 5:16, Matthew 6:10, Acts 2:47, 2 Corinthians 3:18)
The church we dream of is a true spiritual family in which love, mercy and grace characterize every interpersonal relationship and interaction. We dream of a church in which people are free to be their authentic selves as they journey towards becoming their true selves. (Ephesians 4:20-24, James 2:8-13, James 5:16, 1 John 3:1-3)
The church we dream of is a multi-generational community in which divergent demographics don't merely “make room” for one another, but truly embrace, appreciate and celebrate the diverse ways in which the journey of discipleship takes form. It is a community of people who honor and love one another, believing that it is in true unity that the church reveals that God has sent Jesus and has loved the world through Him. (1 Corinthians 12:21-26, John 17:20-26)
The church we dream of is a community of people who are expectant and exuberant in assembling together for the glory of God. These gatherings are characterized by an outward and visible demonstration of the joy, hope and freedom that redeemed people experience as they are aware of the presence and love of the living God. (Psalm 95:1-7, 2 Samuel 6:21-22a)
The church we dream of is a community of people whose primary activity is not derived from staff run programs but is characterized, first and foremost, by grass roots initiatives; the empowered obedience of every individual to the divine dreams and passions endowed by their Creator. (Matthew 25:14-30, Ephesians 4:11-16)
The church we dream of is a community of people alive to their global context and wholeheartedly embracing the responsibility that comes with being entrusted with much; active in global generosity with both our message and our resources. (Matthew 28:18-20, Galatians 2:6-10)
The church we dream of is a community of believers who engage prayer as the first point of action in all things. It is a community in which people are regularly and confidently initiating prayer with others and inviting prayer for themselves. We dream of a church full of prayer warriors; people who boldly bring their requests before God and who persistently seek His presence in expectation of what's to come. (Isaiah 56:7, Matthew 21:22, Acts 4:31, Philippians 4:6, James 5:16)
The church we dream of is a community of people that embraces all people equally, regardless of ethnicity, gender, or socioeconomic status. It is a people who value others on the basis on the worth God has endowed them with as creatures made in His image. It is a church community in which the living out of God’s radical love transcends all human boundaries. (Leviticus 19:33-34, Mark 12:31, Galatians 3:28, Revelation 5:9)
The church we dream of is a community of people that loves God’s creation, recognizes the whole world as sacred space, and fully lives out the human vocation to both look after God’s world and to gather up creation’s praise and reflect it back to Him. It is a people who believe that God’s work to redeem all things is inclusive of everything that He has made, and they actively participate in that work with Him. (Genesis 2:15, Romans 8:19, Colossians 1:15-20, Revelation 4:11)
The church we dream of is a community of people empowered by, responding to, and walking in the fullness of the Holy Spirit. It is a church that is far more than the sum of its human parts; it is doing and experiencing things only possible when the living God is at work. (Acts 1:8, Ephesians 3:20-21)