Expanded Explanation of our Vision Statement
Jesus prayed that his disciples would be one as He and the Father are one. (John 17:21) This type of unity is a testimony that the Father really did send Jesus.
Heart for the Lost
God has a heart for the lost. He seeks the lost sheep, searches for the lost coin, and welcomes home the runaway son. (Luke 15) Jesus, who shows us what the Father is like, came to seek and to save that which was lost. (Luke 19:10) Jesus was known as a friend of sinners. (Matthew 11:19) As followers of Jesus, we need to demonstrate this same heart for those who are not Christians.
Beginning with the Four-County Region
Jesus’s mission for this local body of Christians will naturally work out in our local contexts, with our family, neighbors, co-workers, friends, and classmates. We believe that we are strategically located to have eternal impact in our Four-County area (Williams, Fulton, Henry, and Defiance) through these relationships.
To the Uttermost Parts of the Earth
Jesus has called His followers to take the Gospel all over the world. (Matthew 28:19-20) In one way or another each member will have a part in this: being aware of needs of Christians around the world, praying with informed minds of specific needs, giving financially to support foreign missions, and being willing to go on short-term or long term missions as God leads.
We are to regularly meet together for the purpose of stirring one another up toward love and good deeds. (Hebrews 10:24-25) This requires devotion to one another (Romans 12:10), honoring one another above ourselves (Romans 12:10), living in harmony with one another (Romans 12:16), loving one another (Romans 13:8), not passing judgment on one another (Romans 14:13), accepting one another (Romans 15:7), and instructing one another (Romans 15:14).
God has given leaders to His church to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. (Ephesians 4:11-16) God has also given each saint a spiritual gift to use in ministry within the body for the profit of all. (1 Corinthians 12:1-7) This means church leaders are helping church members find what God has given them to do for the mission Jesus has given us to do.
Welcomes People as They Are
People who are without God are dead in their sins and cannot please God. (Ephesians 2:1-3) Because of this, we will warmly welcome those who are exploring faith in Jesus without expecting them to conform to an outward standard of behavior. After someone has trusted Jesus as Savior, we acknowledge that all of us are works in progress (Philippians 1:6) and will purpose to encourage one another in our spiritual growth.
Sharing the hope that is found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ
- The Gospel offers a unique hope that makes people hungry and thirsty for answers. Christians are to be ready to give an answer to those who ask us (1 Peter 3:15). Our hope is in Jesus not better circumstances or conformed behavior. Placing a vision in print is somewhat like attempting to hold water in your hand. It is nearly impossible! A vision is something that is caught rather than taught. Vision has been described as a mental picture of the future that finds its realization in the hands of the one who owns the vision. It is our desire that the First Baptist vision becomes your vision; something you “own” and take great pride in seeing fulfilled. In essence, this vision is not something that you just see, but something you must be.