Our mission is to shine the light of Jesus in such a way that through us the Lord might develop fully functioning followers of Christ.
Our Core Values
These are the expression of who we desire to be. They represent the ideals that guide us and the virtues that shape us. Recognizing that we are imperfect human beings, we know that we will not always reflect them as evidently as we would like, but these are the qualities that we aspire to as we seek to follow in the footsteps of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ:
- Biblical Faithfulness – We make Scripture the final authority for our life and practice rather than church tradition or our personal comfort. (2 Tim. 3:16-17)
- Spirit Empowerment – We endeavor to use our God-given gifts and resources for the benefit of others under the direction of godly leadership. (1 Cor. 12:7; Eph. 4:11-12; 2 Cor. 9:6-7)
- Life Transformation – The goal of everything we do is centered on becoming more like Jesus Christ in every walk of life. (Rom. 8:29, 12:1-2)
- Grace Orientation – As those who are the recipients of God’s unmerited favor, we desire to extend the same consideration toward others in the hope that they too might know the love, compassion, and forgiveness of Jesus. (1 Pet. 4:10)
- Redemptive Community – Our relationships with one another are paramount, with the foremost purpose of encouraging all toward an intimate, dynamic walk with Jesus. (Gal. 6:1-5)
- Family Affirming – We acknowledge God’s ordained plan for the family from the first days of creation and strive to cultivate an atmosphere which strengthens biblical marriages and families. (Gen 2:24; Mal. 2:13-15; Eph. 5:22-6:4)
- Internal Unity – Through prayer and obedience to Christ’s commands, we will place unity within our fellowship above our individual preferences and convictions. (Rom. 14:1; Eph. 4:3, 13)
- External Awareness – We take seriously our Lord’s calling and commission for every one of us to engage our community, nation and world with the gospel. (Matt. 28:19-20; Rom. 10:14-15)
- Love Above All Else – If all else should fail, we will strive to love each other the same way Jesus has loved us and treat everyone with dignity and respect. (Luke 6:27-35; John 13:34-35; 1 Cor. 13:1-3)
A picture of our dreams for what the future looks like as we accomplish our mission within the parameters of our core values. It is an image of what can be when each member contributes to the mission using their God-given gifts, passions, and calling.
Statement of Vision
We envision First Baptist Church of Stryker as a unified community of faith in Jesus Christ that has a heart for the lost. We believe our church with this vision will have rippling effects beginning with the four-county region and then to the uttermost parts of the earth. Being a unified community of faith involves mutual encouragement to follow Jesus whole-heartedly and being equipped for the work of the ministry. Having a heart for the lost first requires building a community that welcomes people as they are and sharing the hope that is found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
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.