But God has not left us in the dark regarding this matter! The Bible gives us a very clear picture of how and why a church like ours is to function. We have summarized our understanding of Scripture in a mission statement that we believe expresses God’s mandate for Campus:
LINKING TOGETHER TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR CHRIST IN OUR WORLD!
OUR METHOD: LINKING TOGETHER
The work of our church is not programs or policies or buildings or strategies or renewal or growth. It’s people. Those who have trusted in Christ are “blood relatives” and have a responsibility to love each other. Jesus said by this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13:34 NASB). At the end of His life, Jesus prayed for us when He asked that all of them may be one, Father. . . .May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you loved me (John 17:20-23 NIV). Our identity is described in the analogy of the body, Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it (1 Corinthians 12:27 NASB). We belong to each other!
Because we belong to one another, Scripture exhorts us to be “standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the Gospel. . . being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose” (Philippians 1:27; 2:2 NASB). The New Testament uses the phrase “one another” nearly sixty times, emphasizing the relational dimension of the church.
This means that one of our most valuable assets is the person who sits down the row from us on Sundays. The local church offers enriching relationships and mutual support so essential to personal and corporate growth. We need each other!
Will you commit yourself to enlarge your interpersonal network and link up with others in fellowship and service? Find a group where you can build friendships. Join a Bible study, Sunday School class or leadership team. Take time to greet newcomers, to get acquainted with fellow worshippers. Practice hospitality.
We want every ministry at Campus to help us connect with each other. Whatever we accomplish, our method is to build up people and enhance our unity as we do it.
OUR OBJECTIVE: TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Each of us enjoys church for different reasons. Some focus on the teaching, others on music, still others on seeing friends. But our ultimate objective is not learning for learning’s sake, or worship for worship’s sake, or fellowship for fellowship’s sake. Rather, we seek IMPACT! We want what we do to make a difference!
Jesus described his followers as the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Matthew 5:13-14). The early Christians were considered dangerous and were called those who have upset the world (Acts 17:6 NASB). Our lives should also make a difference!
But in order to make a difference, we need to be different! The first step is to experience the “new birth,” which transforms us into children of God. Jesus said, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3 NASB). The way to experience this rebirth is described in John 1:12, But as many as received Him [Christ], to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.
But the process does not stop here. It produces a lifetime of transformation (2 Cor. 3:18). One who has believed in Christ is called a disciple, or “learner.” Here are four characteristics of a disciple:
- A disciple puts Jesus first in his life. Possessions, aspirations and relationships are secondary (Luke 14:26-33).
- A disciple loves and obeys Christ’s Word (John 8:31-32; 14:23).
- A disciple becomes more and more like Jesus (John 15:1-5, 8).
- A disciple loves other followers of Christ (John 13:34).
Obviously, a disciple is different. And that “discipleship difference” will show! Our learning, worship and fellowship should change us and make us more like Jesus. But this transformation process involves more than one service per week. None of us can survive spiritually on one forty-minute sermon.
Each of us must be personally studying God’s Word, linking with others in study and service, and applying God’s truth to our lives. Before every devotional time, church service, Bible study or church activity, ask God to change you through it!
Then, you will make an impact. You will seek to introduce others to Christ and help them follow Him. You will also live differently and affect the people around you. The Bible tells us to be “blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world.” (Phil. 2:15 NASB).
Are you making a difference in your family, on your campus, on the job? Ask God to help you live a consistent life, verbally witness for Him and stand up and be counted as a Christian. You can also make an impact as you help the needy and show God’s love to the hurting (Galatians 5:10).
Campus has a mission to help win and equip men, women, boys and girls to be transformed disciples who are making a difference in their world.
OUR MOTIVATION: FOR CHRIST
Why do we link with others to make a difference? To be famous? Well-liked? Scripture reminds us that we are to “please him [Christ] in every way. . . .and whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 1:10, 3:17 NIV).
In other words, our goal is to please Jesus Christ. We could adopt the Apostle Paul’s motto, “For to me, to live is Christ” (Philippians 1:21 NASB). Our lives must be centered around worship of the Savior into whose likeness we are being transformed by the Spirit of God (Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Philippians 3:3). Campus seeks to be a congregation centered on and excited about Jesus Christ.
OUR TARGET: IN OUR WORLD
The target of our efforts is this needy world in which God has placed us as His representatives. Jesus gave us a mandate when He commanded us, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations” (Matthew 28:19 NASB).
Campus does not exist for the comfort of its members, but for the transformation of its world. Each of us is God’s agent in the “world” where He has placed us.
As we look around our community we see many young families, singles and senior citizens who need the support that our church family can give. Our proximity to Fresno State University offers us a unique opportunity to disciple collegians. And our vision does not stop at the boundaries of Fresno, for God’s vision is global.