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Hey Deer Flat Family,

I’ve been spending time over the past couple of months considering the Mission of God’s Church, and, how important that is to Deer Flat. I’m sure that most of you already know that the mission and vision of any organization are integral to the strategy of the organization because they are used to define future goals and be able to measure if they are remaining on task, on mission. If you ask a random number of people what they think the mission of God’s Church is, you’ll hear a wide variety of responses. Let me take a few minutes of your time to clarify what the Bible states is the Church’s highest priority:

To proclaim the Gospel throughout the world and make disciples of all kinds of people. Jesus drew near and said to them, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Go, then, to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples: baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And I will be with you always, to the end of the age.” Matt. 28:18-20. "And He said to them, Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" Mark 16:15.

The passages above, often referred to as the Great Commission, were among Jesus' final admonitions to His disciples before He ascended to Heaven. Mark's gospel refers to Christ's command for his followers to "go preach the gospel to the world," while Matthew's reflects His emphasis for the church "to go and make disciples of all nations." The combination of these two elements, evangelism and discipleship, are generally considered as Christ's primary mission for His church. "Evangelism" is the ministry of proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ that will bring men's souls into fellowship with God, while "discipleship" is the training of believers to become fully dedicated followers of Jesus and His principles.

The mission of the church is, in reality, a continuation of Jesus earthly ministry. Jesus viewed the redeeming of men's souls as His whole purpose for coming to the earth. "For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost" (Matt. 18:11). And in turn, He imparted this same objective to His disciples. He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men" (Matt. 4:19). Later on in Paul’s writings, he confirmed that the ministry of bringing people to God has been imparted to all those who have been brought to Him, meaning the Church. He wrote, "God... has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation" (2 Cor. 5:18). It is the purpose of every believer, not just pastors, to share Jesus with those who don’t know Him.

Perhaps the statement which best summarizes this mission of Christ and His church, was given as Jesus read from Isaiah's prophecy in Nazareth's synagogue on the Sabbath day. He said, "The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to preach the acceptable year of the LORD" (Luke 4:18-19).

This Sunday, we’re going to be taking a look at, WHO WE ARE. We have a chance to consider what the mission and the core values are concerning Deer Flat. It’s going to be a fantastic Lord’s Day. Come expecting a fresh encounter with the Living God.

On a second note… It’s finally arrived! There are so many who have asked about when and what are the next Biblical Journey trips that are going to be offered. So, this Saturday morning at 9 a.m. in room 5, we will cover all the details on no less than 3 upcoming opportunities to travel to some of the amazing places talked about in the Bible. If you’ve got an interest, curiosity, or if you’re just bored, join us for a look at some things that might be worth your time.

I can’t wait to see you this Sunday! I love my church!

Pastor D

Pastor Dave McGarrah