Christianity is not a program, nor is it a check-list. It is a way of life. Christianity is about being a disciple of Jesus. In its simplest form, a disciple is a close follower of Jesus. So our way of life is to be a close follower of Jesus Christ.
We believe there are three aspects to being a disciple that are defined by Jesus Himself as He calls His first disciples in Matthew 4:
As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him. (Matthew 4:18&19, New International Version)
A disciple follows Jesus. Jesus called out to Peter and Andrew,
“Come, follow me…” As disciples, we don’t ask Jesus to follow us and where we’re going in life. Rather, it is our desire at RCC to do the best we can to follow Jesus. A disciple also goes through life transformation. Following Jesus isn’t just about change. Change deals with behavior, while transformation deals with priorities and values. Jesus calls us to repentance from a self-centered life to surrender to a God-centered life. Jesus told Peter and Andrew, “Come, follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” Jesus promises to transform their lives. Finally, a disciple lives on mission with Jesus. Jesus is clear that He will make Peter and Andrew into fishers of men. In other words, before it’s over they will be about the very things Jesus is about.
At RCC, we believe that Jesus has given the vision for His church to us. Our desire is to be a Matthew 28 church.
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18—20, New International Version)
Our Vision Statement is to be making new and growing disciples.
Our Mission Statement
Mission statements are similar to vision statements, in that they, too, look at the big picture. However, the're more concrete, and they are definitely more "action oriented" than vision statements. A vision statement inspires people to a dream; a mission statement should inspire them to action. It almost always refers to a goal. They don't go into a lot of detail, but they begin to hint - very broadly - at how RCC might reach these goals.
Having a clearly defined mission statement helps everyone better understand things like organizational-wide decisions, organizational changes, and resource allocation, thereby lessening resistance and conflict.
Our Mission Statement is to have a community of disciples who love God, grow in faith, serve others, and go to share Jesus.
Love . . . Grow . . . Serve . . . Go
Foundational principles are vital to fulfilling this vision and mission that God has given us because foundational principles dictate behavior and action. These are expectations that help us fulfill this vision. They are road signs to keep us from getting lost as we try to get to where we’re going. Although not directly stated, you’ll hear about at least one of these foundational principles most any given Sunday at RCC. Our foundational principles are:
- Exalt Christ and live like Him.
Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. (1 John 2:6, New International Version) It is extremely important for us to walk as Jesus did because a true disciple reproduces who they really are. If our desire is to make disciples who live like Jesus, then we must be living like Jesus.
- Follow the Word of God as the absolute truth for life.
For the word of the Lord is right and true… (Psalm 33:4, New International Version) This is how we get to know God and understand how He wants us to live. At RCC, we have a deep commitment to preaching and teaching God’s Word as the true standard for living. We believe God’s Word is not meant to be advice, but meant to be applied to our lives.
- Pray for the growth of God’s Kingdom and His church.
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. (Colossians 4:2—4, New International Version) We desire to be a church devoted to prayer and praying with a purpose. We want to pray for our message, for lost friends, for our own spiritual growth, for opportunities to tell the Jesus story to those who do not yet believe.
- Live a lifestyle of worship.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness. (Psalm 29:2, New International Version) Worship is not an event; it’s not something we go to on a Sunday morning. It is our life. We live a life of worship because He is holy and He deserves all the glory we can give Him. There should be nothing and no one in our lives that produces a more intense feeling of love than the love we have for God, and our daily worship expresses that love.
- Commit to doing life with other believers.
All the believers were together… (Acts 2:44, New International Version) As followers of Jesus we are joined in the same thing, we are united and engaged in the same community. You don’t have to journey through God’s Word very long before you discover that God has made us for relationships, and He has designed us to work best within a community. There are 52 “one another” verses in the New Testament that directly instruct us on how we should relate to one another.
- Glorify God through the use of our gifts and talents.
For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10, New International Version) As we live for Christ we have good works, which God prepared for us to do. We have been saved to serve! Serving is neither glamorous nor glorious, and it pushes us out of our comfort zone. But, serving brings glory to God.
- Trust God by giving generously.
Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:7, New International Version) God doesn’t want us to look at giving as something we have to do, He wants us to see it as something we get to do. We believe giving isn’t about the amount of money given, but what the willingness to give represents—the heart.
- Live unashamedly and share Christ in the home, school, marketplace, and community.
At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:3—7, New International Version) What transformation! We go from passions and pleasures and malice and envy and hatred to having the hope of eternal life…all because of Jesus! That’s the good news we have, and it’s not right to keep the good news to ourselves.