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Perched on the Shoulders of Giants Part 2

Written by Ed Stetzer on . Posted in Ed Stetzer

Building on Legacy for the Sake of Mission

Vision & Strategy

Our history and relationships are vitally important, but the missional impulse of a church will plateau if the overall vision and strategy for mission is not clear. Based on the history and relationships that God has woven into the life of a church, we should ask the questions that Will Mancini offers in Church Unique: “What can your church do better than 10,000 others?” and “What does your church uniquely bring to the kingdom?”

Jesus’ words to the first disciples at the beginning of Acts serve as a helpful guide toward vision and strategy: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Clearly, this outlines our purpose as God’s people. Within the New Testament, however, we see individual churches—whether those in Jerusalem, Antioch, or Corinth—working out this purpose uniquely. The distinctive imprint of each of these churches gives us clues to the vision and strategy they were living out in response to the mission of God.

The Jerusalem church shared all things in common, later struggling with having enough to get by, perhaps because of social status or ostracism within the Jewish capital. The Antioch church, sitting at a social and economic crossroads of the empire, became a multiethnic community reaching the diverse ethnicities walking its streets. The Corinthian church grappled with the raw issues of devoting the whole of life to Christ, including food, conflict, legal issues, and sexuality. Each church found its unique vision and strategy that matched its calling and setting.

We continue to wrestle with this at Eastbrook. ...

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