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A Second Slice of Mission “Pie"

If we likened ASCC’s mission to a delicious pie, one fat slice of that is seeing people come to saving faith and being baptized. We want to grow our church not merely by transfer growth but more ideally through conversion growth. Picture how “DELICIOUS” it would be…

How thrilling it would be if young college graduates who follow Jesus take their first jobs in Chicago, move in to our parish neighborhood and join our church on its mission. Or, how amazing would it be if just a fraction of the young singles moving to Chicago’s north side for the vibrant night life come to know the Light of the world through ASCC!

Wouldn’t it be great to see generations of biological families gathering and scattering from here weekly as part of the bigger spiritual family of ASCC! As couples choose these “safe”  neighborhoods for the schools, they raise their children in this church. How great not only to see those kids becoming Christians but then have some of them as adults deliberately returning to ASCC to be on mission with us. This isn’t a pie-in-the-sky dream. It’ll take diligent prayer and patience—at least a generation and not just one sole leader doing all the work. In fact, it’s supernatural in so many ways; larger than me and you. It won’t happen without the Holy Spirit engineering it. “With God all things are possible.”

Wouldn’t it be lovely if single believers found joyful acceptance among the families? We don’t merely want to be a church of one race, one social or economic class. As this happens, we’ll know that by God’s grace we are accomplishing our mission.

Not long ago, Dwayne Sommersell asked God for something bold during one of our worship services. Do you remember? He prayed that 2 families from our parish neighborhood would come to saving faith, be baptized and become members of ASCC in the next year. That’s what I call a B-HAP: BIG, hairy, audacious prayer— the kind that God enjoys answering. You might be tempted to think: “Sheesh! We haven’t seen that before.” No worries! Let’s not look back, and let’s pray confidently for this and see how the Lord acts!

Posted by Will Pareja with

Conversions & Baptisms

Dreaming a Bit…

About a year ago, together we clarified what we thought we should be aiming for as a church over the next 5-10 years (and possibly longer). We envisioned a future for our church that includes our community (or parish neighborhood); mainly, that they would no longer be able to ignore the Lord Jesus. How do we see THAT through? Then, we decided that our mission would be to establish redemptive presence. In other words, we need Christians actually living in our mission “field”. Now, I have a question that will make you squint…

What would accomplishing our mission look like?

Conversions & Baptisms.

Our mission as a church really is no different than the one Jesus originally gave to his disciples. If he didn’t think it would work or that the ability to carry it out wasn’t there, he wouldn’t have given it. BOTTOM LINE: Making disciples and maturing them IS the main work of an obedient  church.

We may get excited if someone from Sacramento transfers their membership to our church! Or, maybe a struggling church votes to merge into ours— cool! But those aren’t as good as faithfully  doing the work of loving our neighbors by sharing the good news with them and trusting what God does with that over time. Conversion is the human response to God’s gospel call of grace. It’s what Jesus simply stated: “Repent and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15). We can’t force anyone to do this. It’s a supernatural, internal work of the Holy Spirit. Then, once that person realizes what God did to them, they naturally go public with their faith by baptism.

Numbers aren’t everything… We can’t gauge our success (or “apparent” lack of it) by what we see. But, God does talk about growth or “increase” in the New Testament. It is spiritual, and often it is imperceptible. We’ll know we’re accomplishing our mission as precious neighbors convert and get baptized. If we aren’t at least trying to spread the good news of Jesus to our parish neighborhood, we will have failed. But, if we are trying to be faithful witnesses as those in the book of Acts without much visible fruit, that’s ok. That’s just one part of the Mission “pie”. Stay hungry for more...

Posted by Will Pareja with

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