Our vision is wrapped up in our mission statement: "to advance God's Kingdom, cooperating with His restoring work in our hearts, his equipping work in the Church, and His reconciling work in the world." In other words, as a relationally connected family of Churches, we simply want to become all that Jesus wants us to be, individually and together. So our vision is to see what He sees for us, and to cooperate with Him as He works in and through us. This vision is simple, but it's not easy. And never dull!
Having clarified that we are not running after our vision so much as Jesus' vision for us, over the years we have felt that the Lord has deposited some things that He would have us value and carry in a way that is unique to us. Of course, the things we value over other things don't make our Church better or worse than anybody else. Every local Church has its mandate from the Lord to be what He calls them to be. So with this in mind, here are some things we feel that Jesus has written into our DNA at WECC...
Response over Initiative
This priority of response over initiative is the logical outcome of the fact that Jesus Christ is still the Head of the Church, and that He has specific plans and purposes for each Church fellowship that He has planted. It basically means that before we are off and running with our own wonderful and creative projects, we ask the Lord Jesus what He wants us to do. In other words, we are not interested in good ideas so much as God ideas. Too many good ideas make a Church crazy busy and aimless in the sense of aiming everywhere at once. Sticking with God's ideas for us keeps us in a balance and a grace that can only come from the Head of the Church - Jesus.
People over Programs
We believe that the Church is primarily about people - followers of Jesus experiencing meaningful fellowship with one another in Christ. So the Church is a family, and when the Church gets together, it's a family gathering. You don't need to program that too much. Of course we have programs, but we feel that the Lord has told us to keep it simple, keep it family.
Integration over Segregation
This is a big one. Understanding that the Church is a family, and that it is the Body of Christ, as we meet, we try to have everyone together as much as possible. So on Sundays, we have the whole family in on the worship time - children are part of things along with the rest of the generations. Of course, we get the kids into age-level groups for the sermon time, so that they can get the message delivered at their level. But other than that, we try to stay together. We have separate men's, women's and youth events, but there is an integrated foundation under all this. Because integration operates as well in the larger Body of Christ, we also have rich relational connections with other Churches, especially in the Salt & Light Family of Churches, in our city and in our region. We have become convinced that it is healthier to be an integral part of something larger than ourselves than to be Lone Rangers. Although, come to think of it, even he had Tonto.
Multiplication over Addition
We received this idea prophetically when our Church first began, and it has become a key for how we do things. We believe that we are called to grow by multiplying disciples of Jesus, multiplying leaders, multiplying functions, even multiplying Churches! Multiplication expresses itself in intentionally mentoring emerging leaders, musicians, sound people, teachers, etc. - giving those up-and-comers a chance to be the Church, not just come to Church. It's how God's Kingdom grows.