Starting today, we are adding two more words to our mission statement: “fully devoted”. So here is our new mission statement. ”To lead people to become fully devoted followers of Jesus. And here is the reason for the change and I hope this will add more clarity about what this means.
If “vision” gives you a preferred future, mission gives clarity of what we are supposed to be doing to see the vision come to reality. Our vision is to restore the New Testament church. To see that, all our effort is going into helping and leading people to become “fully devoted” followers of Jesus. But how does that look like?
When someone gets saved and baptized, we say that he or she has started to follow Jesus. If you read the gospel of Mark, Jesus goes to John the Baptist and gets baptized, though he didn’t have to. He did it for us to follow. So to follow Jesus, getting saved and baptized is the start.
Being “fully devoted” can be confusing because we Christians often use a different standard to measure our level of devotion to Jesus. But in our church setting, when someone becomes a deputy shepherd and has devoted themselves to learning God’s Word through Life Series, to serving God’s people in House Church, and to submitting to God’s will repeatedly in Sunday Worship, he or she is fully devoted to “becoming” like Jesus in his/her knowledge, emotion and will. Following Jesus is a lifelong journey but we also recognize the significant shift that happens when someone becomes a shepherd.
That is why everyone who is a member of our church is encouraged to “dream” about becoming a shepherd one day. This is not to pressure anyone to become one any time soon. But it has to be at the back of our mind as the goal of our Christian life. If our preferred Christian life looks very much like a life-long consumer, then it is difficult to be happy in Christian life. Here is why.
Happy people are those who are fully devoted to something. For example, those who are passionate about golf often sacrifice their family time or sleep to practice and play the game they are fully devoted to. A happily married couple is fully devoted to each other. There are no happy half-devoted people. If Jesus was dead but came back to live forever, and able to give us eternal reward that does not fade away (unlike satisfaction that comes from our accomplishments or hobbies), we have every reason to believe that he is worth fully devoting ourselves. This is why becoming fully devoted followers of Jesus paves the way to true happiness.