“To glorify God by seeking Christ-centered transformation for ourselves, our community, and the world”
This statement is intended to capture the key aspects of the vision described above, and to keep in mind the end purpose of all churches – to glorify God! Our desire to develop loving relationships, disciple others, and teach/learn the truth will lead to transformation in our own lives. Working from this foundation, Westbrooke will be positioned to witness both to its local community and to the broader world!
Over the past few years, God has been speaking to many people at Westbrooke. As people have prayed about the church, a number of recurring themes have emerged. When put together, they represent what the elders believe to be the direction in which God is leading this church. God reveals His plans to us incrementally as we respond in faith to the scriptures and information that we have been given. As such, the elders do not believe this to be a comprehensive, long-term plan but rather that it represents the things that God has asked us to focus on at this time.
What is a Church Vision?
Just as every person is a unique creation of God, we believe that every local church body is a unique grouping of people, brought together by God for a unique purpose. Just as all believers should seek God’s will in their lives, each local church body should seek to understand why God has brought them together, and what His will is for their collective lives.
A Mission statement describes the broad purpose of an organization. In the case of the church, God’s global church has a single mission. A vision statement describes the subset of activities that a particular church is being called to for a season of ministry. Thus, though all churches serve a single, broader mission, each local church body can develop a unique vision.
The reason for creating a vision for a local church is to capture, clarify, and communicate God’s will for the church for a particular season, or time. An effective vision statement can inspire, challenge, and focus the local church body on whatever God has called them to do.
What Are the Key Components of The Vision?
The elders feel a great deal of clarity as to God’s desire for us to focus on four specific activities. Though each is currently being acted out in the church to some degree, Westbrooke is being called to a higher standard. These areas of focus are as follows:
Loving One Another
As believers, we are members of God’s family, and are called to love each other as He loves us. To do so, we must learn to love each other in a deeper way than we see modeled in the world today. To build the kind of relationships Jesus wants us to share with one another, we aspire to: (John 13:34)
- Help everyone at Westbrooke to be known and loved for who they are – faults and all
- Deal openly and honestly with the issues we face in our lives every day
- Develop an environment of personal accountability, supporting each other as we grow in our walk with Christ
Everyone has gifts from God, including both spiritual gifts and experience from their lives. Jesus calls us to share these gifts with others, to continually build up the body of Christ. (1 Peter 4:10)
Westbrooke has a wonderful spiritual heritage, and has been called out many times for the maturity and wisdom of its members. These gifts must be passed on to other Christians to build up and equip the body of Christ.
None of us would know Jesus if not for the work of others to tell us about Him! Just as Jesus used others to help bring us to Him, He wants to use us to reach others. Though we aren’t all evangelists, we are all ambassadors of Christ, and we can all play a role in helping others to get to know Jesus by living our lives as Christians every day, in every setting, and in every relationship. (Matthew 28:19)
Teaching the Truth
Paul called the church “the pillar and support of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15). God’s truth is the foundation of our lives as believers and the testimony of God to the world. Like all local churches it is our responsibility to learn, teach, and defend the word of God. Solid biblical teaching has always been a foundational strength at Westbrooke, and will continue to be as our knowledge of – and love for – the word of God is passed on to each generation. (2 Timothy 1:14)
Each of these key components is covered in greater detail in a separate document.
How Do These Components Fit Together?
Though each aspect of Westbrooke’s vision is valuable in itself, they also flow together to make the church more effective. As these activities come together, they will have the added benefit of:
Weaving the church together. Though loving relationships are critical, they can be difficult to create and maintain – especially for people of different ages, backgrounds, lifestyles, etc. However, these obstacles can be overcome through ministries that are meaningful to all Christians – namely, through discipleship, outreach, and teaching the truth. These ministries have the potential to weave a group of believers together! Put another way, deep and meaningful relationships can be created through discipleship (a type of relationship that tends to be cross-generational), outreach (creating valuable shared experiences), and teaching the truth (building shared values and beliefs).
Energizing and activating the church. God has written in each of our hearts the desire to be a part of something greater than ourselves. Coming together as a body, training and encouraging each member to create confidence and maximize their abilities, and sharing in the joy of spreading God’s word will create a level of enthusiasm, excitement, and energy that seems to be lacking in most churches today!
Creating the next generation of believers. In addition to weaving the church together, living God’s vision for Westbrooke will result in:
- A body of loving believers who will naturally attract people who are seeking a better life for themselves and their families
- Mature Christians capable of leading and developing new believers
- A “missional mindset” that will enable Westbrooke to reach society through every member’s interactions at work, school, local events, etc.
What is Our Vision Statement?
What Can Each Member at Westbrooke Be Doing?
Though many members have expressed parts of this vision, the majority are still endeavoring to understand God’s plan for this church. There are many ways to do this, including:
Praying –that God will make His will clear for our church
Seeking – studying God’s word to understand His plan for His church
Asking – clarifying questions, and what each of us can do to help bring this vision to life
Helping – using individual gifts and experience to bring the vision to life
Acting – by stepping forward to build deeper relationships within the church, finding a less experienced Christian to disciple, and looking for opportunities to reach the world for Christ