The Local Church is God’s Evangelistic Strategy for the World:
The local church is a chief instrument in God’s plan of redemption. (Mt.16:18) Therefore, every local congregation, including Community Bible Church, must be gripped with the glory of this reality in order to fulfill its commission. (Eph.3:20-21) Community is a direct result of the faithful and indomitable proclamation of the Gospel - one life to another – which has come down to us through the ages. We are now a part of that same Gospel stewardship. Community is an outpost of Gospel faithfulness in this little corner of the world. Nashville is our “end of the earth.”
Humbled by this glorious reality, our aim at CBC is not isolationism, but evangelism. (Mt.28:19-20; 1Cor.5:9-10; 1Pt 2:9-10) While “set apart” by His grace, our true distinctiveness arises from the peculiar hope that we possess. (1Pt.3:15) God’s transforming grace in Christ is the message of all those who have been redeemed by it. (1Tim.1:15-17) Our goal is not to “hang on” until Jesus returns, but to extend the sovereign saving grace of God into this culture before He does.
We believe God’s glory and power shine brightest at the Cross. (1Cor.1:18) The Cross must take center stage. (1Cor.2:2) The Suffering Savior and His Cross are the supreme display of Our Glorious God and His lavish grace. Therefore, any church that seeks to glorify God will naturally be about the Gospel and its furtherance.
Evangelism is not the exclusive responsibility of the elders and pastors of this congregation. We are all evangelists. Therefore, we determine to make evangelism the norm and not the exception. Every member of CBC is a part of the mission and called to impact their “end of the earth” by their own selfless and faithful proclamation of the Gospel.
As a result, all we do, whether by teaching, programs, ministries or facilities, must somehow be connected to this greater mission. Our ministries are constantly re-evaluated by a single criterion – In what way does this extend the Gospel deeper into our context? On Sundays, and at various other occasions, the members of CBC gather together for the purpose of being equipped for the mission of Gospel proclamation. This is done through the faithful exposition of God’s Word, by dependent prayer and true fellowship. The Holy Spirit - applying and clarifying the Gospel in their hearts and minds – exalts Christ as the supreme affection of believers' lives. Armed with love for Him, the body is energized to lay the Cross and joy of the Gospel before the culture in which they live.
Ministering in a densely religious community (Nashville) means that we can never assume the Gospel. In a town where there are more steeples than treetops, countless churchgoers in the South are trusting in therapy, morality, goodness and religion, but not the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus died to save us from morality, goodness and religion. (Lk.18:18-27) Obviously, the Son of God did not take on human flesh, enter into our existence, live a perfectly righteous life (which we could not) and suffer a substitutionary death (which we deserved) because we were generally good people. (Lk.5:31) Otherwise, Christ died “needlessly.” Nor did Jesus die merely to provide us a better and more fulfilled life, but to rescue helpless rebel sinners from their deserved condemnation before a Holy God. Our message as a church and as individuals must expose those around us to this fundamental reality.
Life is a Short Term Mission Trip:
Each individual redeemed life is also a stewardship of Gospel faithfulness. Having been redeemed by His Grace, our lives are now centered around the person and work of Jesus Christ. We no longer view life through the lens of humanism and its basic aim - personal happiness. Our lives are guided by the supreme reality – Jesus Christ is God and Savior. Our affection for Him refines and reorders our lives.
Essentially, everything that once was is no longer. (Col.3:15-16) Time, which was once squandered on temporal and selfish pursuits, is now our most precious commodity. Time is short and the need to make much of Him is great. Resources, which were once used to stock pile treasures on earth, are now generously sacrificed to the local church for the progress of the Gospel. Gifts, which were once used to bring attention to ourselves, are now used without concern for recognition in order to bring attention to Him. Life is now lived in sight of eternity and its immeasurably great consequences. The life of the redeemed is a short-term mission trip. (Eph.5:15-17) While they have breath each believer must ensure that they use it to make much of Him both in word and deed.