Guiding Mission Principles

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Guiding Mission Principles

In the synagogue in Nazareth, Jesus shared a passage from Isaiah that shapes how we see his ministry here on earth.  On a hillside in Galilee, Matthew tells us that Jesus gave his disciples the Great Commission.  In Acts, we hear we are to be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Samaria, Judea, and to the ends of the earth. Jesus uses these words and others to call us to be part of the redemptive mission of God.  Mission is the natural result of being a disciple of Jesus. At First Baptist Knoxville, we take the call to join God’s mission seriously.  The words we use to talk about how we live out our sense of mission in the world matter.  Five principles shape how we choose to live out our missional call:

Christ-centered: Many people do good deeds as expressions of compassion or benevolence.  While we appreciate these endeavors, we believe we are called to more. Who we are and what we do must be Christ-centered, emerging from the love on display in Jesus Christ’s life and ministry and reflecting Christ’s redemptive mission. We seek to be Christ’s hands, feet, and voice in the midst of our community, throughout our region, and across the globe. (Philippians 2:1-11, John 20:31,  Colossians 2:6-7)

Relational:  Over and over again we see the Gospels paint pictures of Jesus engaging with people face-to face, heart-to-heart.  We are called not only to be resources for others but also to join them and be actively engaged in their lives.  We are committed to a mission born in relationship, in which we seek to know and invest in those we serve through our various mission expressions. (John 4:1-42, Mark 2:13, Luke 5:1-11)

Collaborative:  We understand we are just one expression of the Body of Christ, each bringing unique gifts and skills to the table.  We seek to live out our call with a commitment to collaborate with other organizations and congregations so that together we might have the strongest possible impact for the Kingdom.  This commitment invites us to work with a diversity of indigenous leaders, missionary personnel, mission organizations, and community partners that share our heart, our faith and locational priorities.   You can learn more about our collaborative partners listed in our Mission Partners section.   (Ephesians 4:1-6, I Cor 12:12-20, II Cor 8:1-15)

Transformational:  We are committed to live out our missional expressions in ways that help transform people’s lives.  While we may provide resources to help meet short-term needs, our desire is to avoid fostering dependent relationships, but instead to help people move toward a sustaining and fulfilling future with God.  (II Corinthians 5:16-21, Luke 4:14-21, Acts 3:1-10)

Lived out in Word and Deed: Throughout the Gospels, we see Jesus meeting people at their place of need and bringing God’s word meaningfully into their lives. This model of word and deed compels us to do likewise. We are called to step into people’s lives in the midst of their hunger or homelessness, in the midst of their struggle to find community or employment—but to do so in a fashion where compassion born in Christ’s love and the gospel story’s truth are displayed. (Matthew 10:5-8, Mark 6:30-44, Colossians 3:12-17)