The purpose of all creation is to give glory to God. One way to bring glory to Him is to recognize God’s mission of redeeming fallen man and accept His invitation to be a part of His plan for redemption. In light of that, we have put together a mission statement that is simple, yet powerful.
Our mission is to gently and lovingly lead people to Jesus, so He can change them.
Let’s break this down bit by bit.
Our mission is to gently and lovingly lead people to Jesus…
Let there be no doubt about why we exist as a church. We don’t exist to make believers comfortable. We don’t exist to provide social activities. We don’t exist to provide a place for people to go through the motions of religious activities. We exist to lead people to Jesus. We are inspired by the example of Andrew (Jesus’ disciple). In scripture, he is constantly bringing people to Jesus. For example, when a group of Greeks wanted to see Jesus, Philip wasn’t sure what to do so he asked Andrew for advice. Andrew said, “Let’s take them to Jesus and see what He does.” That’s our philosophy. We know that we can’t change people’s lives, so we make it our goal to lead them to Jesus to see what He will do. We embrace our God-given mission to lead as many people to Jesus as we can all over the world.
That being said, the people around us are tired of judgmental, self-righteous religionists pointing a finger at them and telling them that they are going to hell. We must speak the truth of the gospel to the people around us (including the fact that judgment looms for those who refuse Christ), but we must do so with an attitude of love, gentleness, and humility. Our words will never be enough to convince people that Jesus truly does have the power to change lives. A lifestyle of grace, mercy, love, forgiveness, servanthood, and gentleness while we speak the truth of the gospel is crucial for us in fulfilling our mission. Jesus consistently spoke the truth to those entangled in sin with kindness and grace. He charged them to “repent and sin no more,” but He did so with love and gentleness. Our goal is to do exactly that…to lead people to Jesus in love and gentleness.
…so He can change them.
Leading people to Jesus doesn’t end when they make a decision to follow Him. We are not called to get conversions; we are commissioned to make disciples. Leading people in the process of growing in Christ and growing closer to Christ is as much a part of our mission as seeing them make a choice to be a follower of Jesus. That choice is only the beginning point of a lifelong journey of growing in intimacy with Jesus and becoming like Him through the power of the Holy Spirit and the disciplines of the Christian life. Step by step we grow and step by step we lead others to grow. Jesus is the only one with the power to truly change a life because He can change the heart, not just the outward actions. Our mission is to be used of God to help people become the men and women of God they were created to be.
The church in America has dreamed small dreams for too long. I heard a pastor say, “If you’re going to tackle a bear, it may as well be a grizzly.” If we’re going to dream dreams, they may as well be big. We want to be a church that approaches everything with a big idea because God is a big God who has big ideas. We envision being a church that God raises up to be a major force in this community.
We want to be a church that is being used by God to impact this community in such a way that if the church closed its doors the community would grieve. We envision a church where faith is unleashed and people move under the guidance and empowerment of the Holy Spirit to do greater things than we have ever seen. What is impossible with God? That answer is simple. Nothing! May our dreams always match the greatness of our God.
John 3:16 tells us exactly how God feels about this world. We’re told that God loved the world so much that he gave His one and only Son to pay the price for humanity’s sin and rebellion against God. His passion for this planet has not changed. He is not a vengeful God who can’t wait to destroy those who displease him. He longs for all to come home to him and find forgiveness through Jesus. We envision a church that moves with the very heartbeat of God. The heartbeat of God is missions – spreading the good news of Jesus around the world to every nation and every tribe.
Our mission begins in Georgetown, but we have been called to extend that mission around the world by giving to help send missionaries, by praying for the lost people of the world, by going on short-term trips to actively participate in the mission, and by sending forth our own men and women into whatever mission field God may call them. We want to impact our city, but we are dreaming bigger than that. We want to change the world and with the empowerment of the Holy Spirit anything is possible!
Paul wrote, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:9–11 ESV). This is who we were. We were sinners.We were without hope. We had no chance of inheriting the kingdom of God, but Christ made us clean. We want to be a church that recognizes that we are just as broken and sinful as anyone else, but we have found freedom through the grace of Jesus. If we keep that in mind will be able to present the truth of the gospel in a spirit of humility and brokenness. We pray that God will give us the people that no other church wants. We envision the day when our church will be filled with people who have been cleansed from every imaginable sin. We dream of a day when we will have the sexually immoral who have repented and found renewed purity in Christ. We dream of the day when GFA will have people who have been set free from homosexuality. We dream of the day when GFA will be filled with people who have forsaken all of their idols, whether they be money, sports, reputation, houses, material goods, or power. We dream of the day when GFA will have people who have found freedom from drug and alcohol addiction through the power of the gospel under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. We dream of the day when GFA will be filled with people who were once self-centered, abusive people who now live in the kindness and compassion of Christ. We dream of the day when GFA will be filled with people who worship God in big ways because God has set them free from some big sins.
We envision a church that goes beyond southern hospitality and embraces biblical hospitality. The root word for hospitality is the same as for hospital. We want to be a place where we open our arms to love people and a place where they can find healing and be made whole. He has placed this church in this community so that we can be the hands and feet of Jesus in this community. We want to be a church that recognizes that life is about more than serving ourselves; we are called to serve others. We want to be a church that connects others with Christ through our relationships and gives them the opportunity to belong to something bigger than themselves. We want to be a church where everyone is loved and accepted regardless of whether or not they fit the mold of what a “church person” is. We want to be a church that loves people the way that Jesus did. We pray that God will give us the people that no other church wants. We envision the day when our church will be filled with people who have been cleansed from every imaginable sin. We dream of a day when we will have the sexually immoral who have repented and found renewed purity in Christ. We dream of the day when GFA will have people who have been set free from homosexuality. We dream of the day when GFA will be filled with people who have forsaken all of their idols, whether they be money, sports, reputation, houses, material goods, or power. We dream of the day when GFA will have people who have found freedom from drug and alcohol addiction through the power of the gospel under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. We dream of the day when GFA will be filled with people who were once self-centered, abusive people who now live in the kindness and compassion of Christ. We dream of the day when GFA will be filled with people who worship God in big ways because God has set them free from some big sins.
We envision GFA being filled with people of all colors and backgrounds. We want to be a church that is made up of former sinners of every kind (i.e. – former drug addicts, former alcoholics, former adulterers, former homosexuals, etc.), while at the same time being a place that people who grew up in church, came from stable families, and have been “good” people can call home. We want to be a church where the Spirit of God takes people that seem to be incompatible and binds them together with the love of God found in Christ Jesus. We dream of being a place where He takes people who have nothing in common outside of their love for Jesus and forges a family with ties that go deeper than any human could imagine. We envision a day when the diversity of this local body of believers will be part of its strength.
God is an equal opportunity employer who sends men, women, teenagers, and children into His mission. A hundred years from now the car you drive, the house you live in, or how much money you make won’t matter. What will matter a hundred years from now will be if we served Jesus with our whole heart. God will not ask us if we have been successful; He will ask us if we have been faithful. God has a plan for each person who calls GFA their church home. In order for GFA to have impact beyond the walls of our sanctuary, we have to have people that will step up in courage and step out in faith.
We dream of a church filled with members that will do everything possible to meet the needs of people in the community. Compassion is almost always inconvenient. It’s rarely convenient to receive a phone call and then go out to meet someone else’s need, but that’s what Jesus did. We want to be a church whose members are more interested in serving than in being fed. We envision a church that will empower its members to make a difference for the kingdom of God. We’re believing God for a revival that does more than move the people of God emotionally; we’re believing God for a revival that moves Christians out of their pews, outside the walls of the church, and into the streets. We’re believing God that this body will be so filled with the compassion of Christ that we will be compelled to serve the poor, the brokenhearted, the wayward soul, the angry de-churched person, the drug addict, the alcoholic, the person trapped in sexual sin, the confused, the incarcerated, and the sick.
A church that moves in its own power is a church that moves with no power. We want to be a church where we are learning to listen to the voice of the Spirit and walk in obedience to Him. The Holy Spirit is constantly at work in the lives of people around us and we must be sensitive to His still, small voice. We can see a day when we will be used of God to change this city by doing things that are inspired, anointed, and directed by the Holy Spirit. We envision a church where the Holy Spirit has full sway every time we gather together to worship, but also when we go out into the city during our everyday lives. We see a church filled with people who are filled with the Holy Spirit and are walking with Him every moment of every day. It is in this kind of lifestyle from which the power to change our city comes.
All Christians give mental assent to the concept of prayer, but we envision becoming a place that embraces the power of prayer as a reality. A prayerless church is a powerless church and we don’t want to be a powerless church. Prayer will be the engine that causes our church to move forward in power. We want to be a church where a culture of prayer takes deep root. We want to be a place where our first response to any crisis or need is to take it to God in prayer. We envision being, as Jesus said, a house of prayer. We want GFA to be a place where people in the community know they can come when they need prayer. We see a day when the membership of GFA will see the prayer meeting as the most important meeting we have.
We are believing God for big things because God is a big God!
The core values of Georgetown First Assembly are truth, living God’s mission, family, discipleship, prayer, and worship. These values serve as the foundation of our ministry and serve to guide us as we pursue the mission of God and the God of the mission.
Although we cannot capture truth in a sentence, we find its essence in the Triune God. In His grace, the Father has revealed Himself through the Son by His Spirit, so truth is found in the person of Jesus. He is the truth, and the truth sets us free (John 14:6, 8:32). God’s self-disclosure to humanity is found in a sacred compilation of various works known as the Bible. God has given us 66 books (39 Old Testament, 27 New Testament) written in three languages (Hebrew, Greek, and a bit of Aramaic), over a period of more than a thousand years by over 40 authors on three continents (Asia, Africa, and Europe). Authors include kings, peasants, philosophers, fisherman, poets, statesmen, and scholars. It covers hundreds of controversial subjects with amazing unity. It is the best selling book of all time and is now available in over 3,000 languages. It is our guide to truth…our compass to the Triune God. The Bible is an essential and infallible record of God’s self-disclosure to humanity. These Scriptures are fully inspired by God. We search the Scriptures to be introduced to the Triune God and the Holy Spirit leads us to discover the truth that sets us free.
Our prayer is that we would develop a taste for truth – even difficult ones. We desire to couple truth with grace in hopes that we might also introduce non-believers or re-introduce de-churched believers to this same God. We want to lovingly and gracefully extend truth in the person of Jesus to a culture desperately seeking answers, hope, and meaning.
Our Lord Jesus declared, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20 NLT). The Great Commission is the basis of our mission and is not an option for the believer in Christ.
Our response to the Great Commission is to live the mission of God every day, everywhere we go. We want to live our lives with purpose. Acts 17:26 says, “From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live” (NIV). This means that God is intentional about placing us in our neighborhoods, our work places, and our classrooms. Life is not a random accident; rather, God designed it with intention and purpose. Missional living means that we live the way of Jesus in front of the audience that God has given us.
We are called to serve our neighbors in order to demonstrate the rich compassion of our Lord. In sharing the story of the Good Samaritan, Jesus radically taught that our neighbor is anyone in need, regardless of social status, race, or even religious preference. In serving those in need, we reflect for them the love, compassion, grace, and mercy of our God. We desire to mobilize our membership for life-affirming outreach and ministries of mercy within our community and beyond.
We desire that our members show compassion daily for the widow, the orphan, the poor, and the outcast. We are to ask ourselves, “Who can I be a neighbor to?” Those who follow the way of Jesus will be known for their love towards others. We love, serve, and care for those that God has planted in our lives in the hope they will see Jesus in us, hear us speak of Him often, and be drawn to Him. We extend our lives missionally when we introduce or re-introduce our neighbors, co-workers, family and friends to the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ.
The mission of God begins in our city, but it doesn’t end there. The great commission calls us to live the mission of God in our locality, but we are also called to extend the mission of God all the way around the world. Acts 1:8 says that we are to be Christ’s witnesses “in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” We are supposed to start in our Jerusalem, our home town, and then spread the good news about Jesus in ever widening circles to everyone in the world. This sounds impossible, but Acts 1:8 also tells us that the Holy Spirit is the one who will empower us to carry out this bold plan of evangelism. We are not left to merely “try hard” in fulfilling the mission. We are empowered supernaturally by the Holy Spirit through baptism in the Holy Spirit to become effective as we live the mission of God every day. We will spread the gospel of Jesus to everyone in the world by going and by giving under the anointing and leadership of the Holy Spirit. With the Holy Spirit as our guide and His power as our strength, nothing can stand in the way of the gospel. As David said in Psalm 60:12, “Through God, we will do valiantly!”
The second meaning for the word “family” for us at GFA is that we are a family. In a healthy family, no one is excluded even if they are making decisions that are painful, hurtful, or simply out of alignment with the family’s values. At GFA, we are a family. We love everyone who walks through the doors of the church because they are loved by God. Everyone is cared for regardless of who they are or what they’ve done. In today’s culture, people seek to belong before they choose to believe. In other words, when we embrace the person in need of Christ with love, that love becomes a tool to convince him or her that Jesus is real and does, in fact, change lives. A person living in sin is welcome at GFA because this is a place of healing and forgiveness. This doesn’t mean that we endorse a person’s sinful lifestyle, but it does mean that we choose to love the person who has been created in the image of God in spite of their sin in hopes of seeing that person find freedom in Christ. We will always speak the truth about sin, but we will never do it in a self-righteous, judgmental way. It’s like one brother approaching another brother about something that he knows will lead to death. He tells the truth, but it’s motivated by love and compassion. At GFA, everyone is welcomed and loved like family.
As God blesses GFA and growth comes, it will be increasingly difficult to maintain a sense of family. This is why LifeGroups are so critical to the life and health of our church. It’s impossible to build and maintain a sense of family through large gatherings. They are far too impersonal and the personal interaction will almost always by shallow and superficial. In a small group setting, however, one can find a place to belong. One can find a place to know others and be known by others beyond superficial niceties and social etiquette. LifeGroups are places where we can feel safe, loved, and cared for. LifeGroups are places where we can be real with each other the way families are real with each other. Our desire is to become a place where everyone finds a place to belong in the GFA family through involvement in LifeGroups.
The road to becoming a “family” is the pathway of servanthood. A sense of family is built as everyone does his or her part and puts the interests of others ahead of their own interests. Jesus said it this way, “Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:26-28 NASB). Jesus revealed to us the necessity of serving one another when He washed the disciples’ feet. We express our love for Jesus in an authentic way by washing His bride’s feet. “Foot washing” expresses itself in a myriad of ways from changing diapers in the nursery, greeting people at the church door, teaching children the way of Jesus, mowing lawns for widows, providing childcare for single moms, serving meals for the hungry, or attending to the needs of the less fortunate. The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve. This is what it means to be family. This is what it means to be part of GFA.
There is an ancient blessing that is still used among rabbis and their disciples today. It says, “May you be covered in the dust of your rabbi.” In other words, the goal of the disciple is to walk so closely behind his or her rabbi that the dust stirred up as he walks gets all over you. When Jesus said, “Come and follow me” He was inviting those who would learn from Him to walk closely behind Him and live the way that He lived. To be a disciple is to live the way of Jesus. True disciples of Christ are not formed by merely gaining cognitive knowledge about Jesus; they are formed through learning to live the way of Jesus over the course of a lifetime.
There are over 50 biblical “one another’s” that admonish us to be closely involved with a few others in order that we might learn and imitate attitudes and behaviors that characterize God’s household – the community of believers. GFA’s LifeGroups ministry is an intentional effort to create an atmosphere conducive for believers and non-believers to grow in their understanding and application of God’s direction in their lives. Our prayer is that we would develop a holy discontentment with where our lives are and embrace the hope of what our lives can be with the help of the Holy Spirit and the encouragement of our spiritual family.
We desire to be a prayerful people who place our trust in the wisdom and power of God. Prayer, throughout the Bible, is defined as constant, personal communication with God. Prayer is not a means to manipulate God by using just the right words and phrases in order to get what we want. E. Stanley Jones once wrote: “Prayer is surrender – surrender to the will of God and cooperation with that will. If I throw out a boat hook from the boat and catch hold of the shore and pull, do I put the shore to me, or do I pull myself to the shore? Prayer is not pulling God to my will, but the aligning of my will to the will of God.”
God wants us to pray because prayer expresses our trust in God and is a means whereby our trust in Him can increase. Through prayer, God allows us as finite beings to be involved in activities that are eternally important. Through prayer, God is glorified when He answers. Jesus said, “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5 NLT). Prayer is the means whereby we abide in Christ. It is in prayer that we learn to recognize His voice when He speaks to us. Richard Foster wrote: “Real prayer comes not from gritting our teeth, but from falling in love.” It is in prayer that we find intimacy with Jesus and the strength and power we need to live the way of Jesus.
The ultimate end for which God created man is to see God’s glory and worship Him fully. True worship is far more than simply singing a few songs. Louie Giglio wrote: “Worship is our response both personal and corporate to God for who He is and what He has done expressed in and by things we say and the way we live.” True worship will cost me everything. It is the daily act of laying down my life. It’s giving God all that is “me.” It is a constant call to crucify my will and pursue His. True worship means I allow myself to be broken and spilled out like the perfume in the alabaster jar. True worship is arranging my entire life around Jesus, His mission, and His community. True worship will cost me my self-centeredness.
GFA is part of the Assemblies of God and holds to the fellowship’s doctrine. Four of these beliefs are considered the cardinal doctrines of the fellowship.