Ministry Vision Statement, January 2020

Grace Presbyterian Church Vision Statement

Produced by the Ministry Vision Committee, a subcommittee of Session:  Nick Alexander, Michael Anderson, Hayden Carter, Jackie Coburn, Mark Coddington, Emily Danner, Lucas Morel, Laura Pearson 

January 2020

This statement is a vision of how the church might look in January 2025, based on what God has done in the life of our body so far and the ways the Spirit is at work in us right now. Though it is written in present tense, it should not be taken as a picture of the church at the time of its writing (2020) or as a binding commitment to a particular model. Instead, it is a picture of our hope for what God will do through Grace in the coming years, meant to inspire, encourage, and guide us as we press onward in His will.

Grace Presbyterian is a body of Christ’s followers who are committed to biblical teaching that spurs our faith in action, to growth together in loving community, and to ministry dedicated to joining the work of reconciling the world to God.

I. Biblical teaching       

At Grace’s core is an abiding love for the Word of God and His good news - hearing it, studying it, teaching it, and putting it into practice in all we do. The Gospel and the truth of Scripture shine through in deep, rich, engaging teaching across the church’s many ministries and gatherings. Our Sunday morning teaching fellowships feature scriptural study that is accessible yet robust, and challenging yet hopeful, as we tackle theological questions and delve into personal and social issues. Regardless of our backgrounds or our familiarity, each person finds encouragement to encounter God more fully through His word and see Gospel truths brought to bear on our culture, our relationships, and our daily lives.

Our Sunday morning worship services are both substantive and accessible to the believer and non-believer alike. The elements of worship are thoughtfully explained as a reminder to regular attenders and an orientation to visitors about what they mean and why we practice them. Our worship together in music is vibrant and impassioned, as we rejoice together in the character of God and his work among us. In their preaching, our pastors speak to our hearts and minds by expounding God’s Word and applying the good news of Jesus Christ to our hopes, fears, struggles, and questions. Each week we leave church with food for continuing conversation, meditation, prayer, and help for the coming week. Our love for growing in the knowledge of God is fed by leaders who love teaching God’s Word, presenting the realities of the Gospel in penetrating ways and helping people learn to study Scripture more deeply for themselves.

II. Growth in community

As a church, we help one another to fix our eyes on Jesus and run with endurance the race that is set before us. Our community grows together because of our love for Him, which inspires our love for each other. That love continues to grow through shared worship, fellowship, service, and meaningful conversations about our faith. Both our building and our congregation convey a warm welcome to those we know and those we are first meeting. When you walk through our doors on a Sunday morning, you are welcomed into an environment that conveys the love of Christ. Our congregation extends that hospitality in tangible ways. Grace Greeters are ready to point out where young families can find the nursery, or where you can grab a cup of coffee before the service. Grace Ambassadors float around, meeting new faces and inviting folks to join any number of our thriving Bible studies and small groups. 

Christ’s love for us impels us to show hospitality and service to each other. Our small groups are a vital place where that happens; they are an intimate setting where we can flesh out in the rest of our lives the truths we hear and express on Sunday mornings. Through these groups, people are engaged in real Gospel community and relationship-based discipleship, encouraging one another and bearing one another’s burdens in normal, everyday ways. Members of the congregation consistently describe their small group as a place where they experience what it means to be a church.

III. Strategic ministry

Our ministries spring up from a Spirit-led congregation, and are shepherded by the prudent guidance of our pastors and elders. Worship, prayer, teaching, fellowship, mercy, justice, and evangelism are all expressions of the Spirit’s guiding. Individual ministries flourish within these broad areas; some are long-term ministries, while others exist for shorter periods of time based upon need and leadership opportunities. At the core of each ministry we always find two things: prayer and fellowship. Prayer opens us to God’s guidance, and fellowship binds us together in Christian love.

There’s a lot of excitement around these ministries! The Children’s Ministry brims with energy and purpose. In brightly decorated rooms our Sunday School teachers teach the gospel faithfully each week to our energetic children. Our Youth Ministry picks up where the Children’s Ministry leaves off. Walk the halls on a Sunday and you’ll witness the Bible studies, you’ll hear the gospel songs, and you’ll see the students and leaders excitedly planning the mission trips, youth retreats, and other activities. 

Our small groups and our men’s and women’s ministries flourish through a shared vision of becoming more conformed to the image of Christ as we pursue deeper fellowship with each other and put God’s Word into practice together.

We are placed in a small town with two colleges, and we embrace those academic communities. Students (and faculty and staff) from W&L and VMI worship and serve with us, and members of Grace reach out to them with meals and more. These academic-community members join with long-time locals and recent arrivals to form a united church. Many tribes and tongues are represented in our church, and we rejoice to see the diversity and unity of God’s family on display every Sunday.

In matters of mercy, justice, and in missions, the Gospel goes forth into our community and into the world. We have ministries that are unique to Grace, and there are several partnerships with other churches through which we support our community. In these ministries we live out the call to bring relief and hope to our world. Taken together we are grateful to God for allowing our faith in Him to find a variety of ministry expressions. In all of them our goal is that His name be praised.