In ministry, we hear a lot of people talk about their mission. Not mission in the sense of mission trip
, but in the sense of mission statement
. Organizations exist around the world that focus on very specific ideas: The Water Project, for example, focuses on providing clean, safe, and reliable drinking water. Feeding America focuses on (you guessed it) feeding America through a nationwide network of food banks. The Red Cross provides emergency assistance, disaster relief, and disaster preparedness education in the U.S. The list goes on. Yet when you’re an organization like us—a church with activities serving a multitude of different demographics—how can we define our focus in a simple, understandable way? We focus on so many things! Yet members of our church, staff, and Board of Elders came together to tackle just that task. We’ve had our new mission statement—Love People. Know Jesus. Live Transformed.—for about a year and a half at the time of this writing. We’ve heard it, learned it, lived it, and want to introduce (or reintroduce) our mission statement as a church. Let’s dive in.
What does loving people mean? You can care for others and do good deeds, but here at Memorial Park, we take that concept a step further. Our first goal, or focus, if you will, is to love people
by making them feel like they are known here. Have you ever walked into an event and realized you don’t know anyone, and no one talks to you? That can be isolating. We want to make sure that doesn’t happen here! Whether we are welcoming a newcomer to worship, listening to a church member’s concerns, or simply providing a cup of coffee and a smile, our goal is to make everyone we meet feel like they are known and loved.
Loving people also means that we intentionally invite people to participate with us and serve others, whether our church family, our neighborhood, or across the world, regardless of age, gender, or race. We have local outreach partners that we work with regularly to provide care for those in Pittsburgh. We also have many mission partners in various countries that serve those we can’t reach on our own.
So, how did we come up with Love People as the first aspect of our mission statement? Through the Bible, of course! Throughout Scripture, the command to “love one another” appears eleven times in the New Testament. “Love each other” appears four times. God’s love for us is mentioned 310 times. The word “love” appears 551 times in the NIV
version of the Bible (which we’ll pull Scripture from throughout this post). That’s a lot of love going around! We narrowed the scripture down to two verses that support our choice in this part of our mission statement:
“A new command I give to you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34)
“We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, who they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.” (1 John 4:19-20).
In both of these verses, we are told to love others as God loves us. That is what we feel we are called first and foremost to do as a church. Without love, we can’t achieve the other parts of our mission statement.
Jesus was phenomenal. He did incredible things in His life (including loving people!), but the ultimate sacrifice of His life for our sins is the icing on the cake. He gave everything
for us. And continues to provide a way for us to have a relationship with Him and grow in our faith. intentionally know both about
Jesus and One of the scripture verses we chose to support this second part of our mission statement is John 1:1: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” We covered the relationship between God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit in our Trinity series recently, which breaks down this very same verse so we understand that Jesus is the Word. He was there in the beginning and was part of God. When Jesus came to earth, He spread the Word of God to others so they might also know Biblical Truth, which is part of what we mean when we say Know Jesus.
We want to Know Jesus through studying the Bible together, worshiping together, discussing the Bible and life struggles together, and learning together. We want to grow closer to Jesus through all of these things. We want to pray and listen to what God is saying to us, leading lives that submit to His will. Essentially, we want to live like Jesus and to do that, we have to Know Jesus. This is summarized in the second scripture verse we chose to represent this part of our mission statement:
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me… My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me.” (John 10:14, 27)
Knowing Jesus is the center of our mission statement because Jesus is the center of our lives. Knowing Jesus isn’t just about knowing about
Jesus; it’s about knowing
Jesus. This part of our mission statement is beyond informational; it’s relational.
You might have noticed that in the last section, we touched a bit on how part of our mission is to live lives that follow God’s will. This is the beginning of how we came to the last piece of our mission statement: Live Transformed. We believe that if we first Love People, we will eventually be led to having a relationship with and Knowing Jesus. From there, we take the next step into living like
Jesus so that others can see God’s glory reflected in us so they are inspired to know us better and know Him.
Living Transformed is more than just continuing to love people and know Jesus, though; it’s about telling our story of how we were transformed by Christ. Living in obedience and joy, living faithfully to God and sacrificing of ourselves to follow His will. “Man’s chief end,” we read in the Westminster Shorter Catechism, “is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.” This is where we want to be, this is where we want all of you to be: living your best lives.
Summarizing this simple statement—Live Transformed.—we chose 2 Corinthians 3:18. This verse shows not only how our faith can change how we appear to others, but also how we are transformed by His grace:
“And we all, who with unveiled faces reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
So, as we love people and know Jesus and live transformed, we can then lead others to a transformed life. This is our mission: Love People. Know Jesus. Live Transformed.
The Wrap Up
We hope this deep dive into our mission statement helps you to get to know who we are! We’ll be exploring our mission statement in our sermon series this September. Plus, if you want to hear from the dream team that developed the mission statement and church values, be sure to check out our podcast on the MPC Mobile App. We brought the team back together for some Q&A and reminiscing. Listen here!
And if you’re new to the blog or have been reading for a while, we encourage you to Just send us an email
with your questions, comments, or for more information on resources. We’d love to hear from you!