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Soma Austin: Mission & Vision

July 1, 2008

Last Sunday evening we began a 6-7 week discussion of the mission, vision and values of Soma Austin. This past Sunday we presented the mission/vision, including some recent adjustments. Here it is with some commentary:

‘As the gospel transformed body of Christ, we exist to worship God by renewing people and communities through declaring and demonstrating the gospel.’

As the gospel transformed…
It is critical that we ground our mission & vision in the person and work of Jesus Christ. It is the gospel that transforms us and motivates us. Mere religiosity is insufficient to transform and motivate us properly. Out of religiosity comes a false gospel that we teach others toward.

…body of Christ…
We are a community of believers united under the headship of Christ, each being equal in dignity and value, but being gifted with distinct abilities, gifts and shaping. We love one another, pray for one another, bear one anothers burdens and share our lives and resources with one another.

…we exist to worship God,…
We are created in the image of God and as image bearers, we represent God on earth and and His glory is displayed through creation and our creation in His likeness. We were created to show God’s beauty, lovingkindness and glory. We worship through our adoration and praise of God, as well as through our lives devoted to Him which add weight and worth to His name.

…by renewing people and communities…
We are to bring healing, new hope and new life to others around us and to our communities of influence.  On our first draft this said ‘by restoring people and communities’.  I have been accused of semantics at times, but words are very important and we recently changed restoring to renewing.  While they are often used interchangeably, they actually connote different ideas to me and many others.  To restore something implies to bring it back to what it once was.  To renew something is to make it new again and it has the opportunity to be made altogether different in its new form.  This is what the gospel does for us.  God is not merely restoring us back to a time before sin, back to the garden.  But God is showing His glory in making us and creation new again and better than before.  Before the fall, God walked with us.  Now, the Holy Spirit indwells us.  Before the fall, we had human bodies that were not tormented by sin.  After the end of this age, we will have glorified bodies, bodies far better than what we have now or even in the garden.  There are many times in scripture where God restores things, but the greater thing He is doing is making all things new.  And better.  As such, as we serve our community we don’t just seek restoration, but renewal.  New hope and new life where there is none and where there was none.

…through declaring and demonstrating the gospel.
We seek to both declare the truths of the gospel with our words and with our lives. We must seek to rightly declare the whole gospel to others while applying the whole gospel to our lives.

It was unpacked much more than this in person, but it is the overall gist without writing a short novel.

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 3, 2008 11:25 am

    I love this vision and look forward to seeing its incarnation.

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