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Top Prioritiesby Duane Mabee on April 7, 2018
At the top of the bulletin each Sunday, we print the mission statement of North River. Have you seen it? Could you write it out without looking? Try it now, without looking it up or reading any further.
A mission statement is much more than a nice sentence to put on bulletins and letterhead. A mission statement is a declaration of the things that we believe are, or should be, the top priorities of our church. North River has chosen to express our top priorities as: “North River exists to Worship God, share the love of Christ, disciple believers, and share the gospel locally and worldwide.” If you tried to write that out without looking, how did you do?
That statement means that we have identified four top priorities for North River. It means that if we could only do four things and nothing else, we would do these four things. Each priority is broad enough to encompass a lot of ministry activity, but they are also focused enough that, if accurately applied, they would prevent us from doing some things. A good mission statement, whether it is for your personal life or a church, will prohibit you from doing everything. A good mission statement says, “Because I believe these are my top priorities, I will not do anything that distracts me from accomplishing them.”
Our mission statement is based on the Greatest Commandments found in Mark 12:28-34 and the Great Commission found in Matthew 28:18-20. Based on these commandments we believe our top priorities, both as individuals and as a church, are to: 1. Worship God, 2. Love People, 3. Disciple Believers, and 4. Share the Gospel. If these are our top priorities as individuals, then each one of us should be learning how to do them better. We should be evaluating our lives to see that we are prioritizing them appropriately. We should evaluate our actions to ensure we are doing what we say we prioritize. The same goes for North River as a church. We must give intentional focus to growing in worship, love, discipleship and evangelism. We must continually evaluate how well we are doing in each of these areas.
The sermon series over the next four weeks, is going to intentionally focus on these four priorities. That focus can’t stop at the end of a sermon series, though, or these really aren’t our priorities. Hopefully, setting aside some time to study these commands will help launch us into an active pursuit of spiritual growth and deeper discussions about how to do them better.
I encourage you to take the time to read Mark 12:28-34 and Matthew 28:18-20 several times over the next four weeks. Read them in different translations. Read their parallel passages in the other gospels and in Acts 1:8. Meditate and pray over them. Ask the Lord to show you what you need to do to make these truly top priorities in your life. Ask Him to show us as a church how to do the same.