Vision & Mission
That through an overwhelming encounter with God we would grow in holiness, be compelled by the love of Christ and be fruitful in our walk with the Holy Spirit.
The call to be a holy people is a thread running through the whole of Scripture. In 1 Peter 1:16 Peter reminds us of God’s call for his people to be set apart for him, “be holy.”
To the Jewish ear this call to holiness would have evoked the call of being consecrated to God, to imitate God’s holiness and to a commitment to keep God's laws. It reminded them of the Old Testament covenant that God made with his people that through obedience they would receive blessing. The New Testament writers extend that call to holiness. St Paul reminds us how this holiness is possible through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and is brought into effect through the power of the Holy Spirit living in us. So if we genuinely seek to encounter God we will be changed and transformed (Rom 12:1-2). Holiness is both a gift from God and it is a process that we are part of; the process is often called “sanctification.” Jesus prayed that we would be sanctified by the truth and he clarified the word of God as that truth, John 17:17. So to be a holy people we need to rely on God’s grace and pursue holiness. We need to be plugged into God’s word, the Bible, and open to the Holy Spirit. We realise we are a work in progress and are excited by the prospect of the Lord changing us.
The second part of our vision, to be compelled, flows from the first and is a result of our encounter with a Holy and loving God. The vision is to be compelled by the love of Christ. We are focusing on being a people who have experienced the love of God through our relationship with Jesus Christ and have been changed from the inside out. This transformation then results in us being compelled in various different ways. St Paul describes this as being compelled “by the love of Christ” in 2 Corinthians 5. The Greek word to compel (synecho) means to hold something together so that it doesn’t fall apart. The love of Christ recreates us (2 Cor 5:17) so that we can receive and share his love through the power of the Holy Spirit at work in us. We are a new creation and receiving all of His wonderful love compels us out of our comfort zones to serve and share the good news of Jesus Christ!
The fruitful part of our vision is resultant on the first two parts. One of my favourite biblical pictures in the New Testament is the vine in John Ch 15. Jesus says "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." To increase the fruitfulness the gardener focuses on the health of the plant. In short this points us back to our holiness, discipleship and sanctification. Our fruitfulness therefore relates to our spiritual health. Jesus says "if you remain in me you will bear much fruit…" We want to walk in step with the Holy Spirit and so to bear much fruit.
Holy, Compelled, Fruitful.
In March 2013 the vision for St John’s was formulated.