“Clarifying vision is about looking to the past as much as to the future... Clarifying vision is always about what God is already doing.” Church Unique by Will Mancini, page 53.
God has been empowering and blessing our SBC Children and Families ministry. What a joy it is to have so many children and youth a part of our church family. It is a privilege to help their families teach them about the love of Jesus. And yet there are many more children in our communities who need to hear about the love and grace of Jesus.
The vision of Summerland Baptist Church paints a picture of where we want to go. It is a snapshot of God’s better intermediate future. (Our ultimate future is in heaven with Him.) It is a panoramic view from the mountaintop of what is possible because of the love, hope and grace of Jesus. The current reality is not a pretty one. Ours is a challenging culture in which to raise a family. It is a tough time to be a family. While some relationships are strong and thriving, many could use some help, and others, frankly, are broken. Our vision is clearly focused on children and families. We will not stop ministering to seniors or singles or any other demographic the Lord entrusts to us. We will, however, invite everyone to join us as we address one of the greatest needs of this time: marriage and family.
Like a painting, the vision itself is set within a picture frame. For those who would like more detail and background information, you can check the links to the four sides of the frame. They are explained briefly below.
At the top of the frame is Mission. This answers the question What, as in What should our church be doing? In Matthew 28: 19 – 20, Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” This is what all churches, everywhere, throughout time should be doing. Our Mission is a restatement of the great commission for our unique church, in this place and at this time. Following Jesus Together: Reaching, Restoring and Deepening. Why restoring in place of risking? It is certainly not because our church will stop risking, but risking is a strategy (not what we will do but how). We see the great need for restoring and know that only God can truly restore broken relationships.
On the right-hand side of the frame is Missional Values, the answer to: Why do we do what we do? What motivates us? This is our common heartbeat; these are the shared values of our congregation: Relationships, Serving, Prayer, Everyday Faith and Scripture.
Missional Strategy is at the bottom of the frame. How is the church going to attain its vision? Someone outside the church could connect with SBC through any of the four components: Reach, Worship, Serve, Grow. Ideally, each person at SBC would eventually be involved in all four.
Finally, the left side of the frame, Life Measures, provides a way of evaluating the progress of the church towards its vision. When do we know we are successful? Different from what is often measured: attendance, size of the building, size of the budget, these are evidences in the life of an individual believer.
The vision that we feel God has given our church family is a journey, an emphasis and a direction. Our journey is to continue to follow Jesus. The emphasis will be his love, grace and healing. The direction is to focus our gifts and energies on the pressing needs of families, marriages and parenting so his love, grace and healing are experienced.
FIRE by Justin Wiebe
Look around you.
Can you see it? Do you hear it?
Open up your ears and listen. It roars to make us fear it.
Do you smell that? That’s the stink of souls going up in smoke
And yet this world dawdles as though this fire is just a joke.
It burns, igniting marriages, oh the hurt and grief it brings,
Transforming vital, passionate people into sleepless, broken things.
It consumes with indifference, unfaithfulness, and shattered trust.
We turn down the feast before us and nibble on just the crust.
It devours. Sacred sex, as though dipped in kerosene,
Goes up in a burst of heat leaving nothing but the obscene
Twisted and perverted version of the truth
And the flames are fuelled further by passing our habits to our youth.
It’s taking homes. Breaking bonds between father, daughter, mother, son
So rapidly it seems the only option is to run
Headlong into bitter confusion without love and form of hope.
Where can you turn after being burned? You simply learn to cope….
But there’s a different fire present here.
It’s strong and hot and bright.
This flame fights for goodness and everything that’s right.
Like a torch that boasts everlasting fuel, it won’t be put to rest
For God himself is the One who lit this ember in our chest.
This is where the battle is, this is where it starts;
Shoulder to shoulder against the destroyer with this backburn in our hearts.
His might is as an earthquake. His love a sea too vast to sail
And though we know we’re prone to falter,
He will never fail! We are His fireline standing against the heat of the human condition
So as Christ’s body this is Summerland Baptist church’s vision:
The unfailing love and grace of Jesus can restore families and heal the brokenness of those scorched by the fires of failed relationships. We believe that one day people within our valley and beyond will experience healthy, God-honoring family life, marriage and sexuality. We foresee the divorce rate declining, marriages thriving, and parents as the spiritual champions of their homes, leading children and youth to know Jesus and His teachings. We will follow Jesus, extend His hope, love and grace and we will invite everyone to experience this life.
For a more indepth look at our vision, please click here for the complete framework.
Do you have questions regarding our vision? Please click here for our SBC Vision: Questions & Answers.