Mission & Vision

The vision

We desire everyone at Grace Baptist Church to “Embrace God’s Grace” by glorifying and enjoying Him forever both individually and collectively; to “Equip Believers” by cultivating mature disciples through excellent biblical/theological training, small groups, and redemptive groups; and to “Engage the World” by being Christ’s witnesses in our Jerusalem, our Judea, our Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

The mission

Embrace God’s Grace
What does it mean to embrace God’s Grace? Jesus told us a parable in Luke 15. In this parable, there are two sons. One son takes his inheritance and lives his life the way he wants, but the other stays with his Father. One day after he spent his money and his life was in shambles from chasing fleeting pleasure, he returns to his Father. The son returns broken and empty and offers the Father nothing to accept him back. And Luke 15:20 records the response of the Father: So he got up and came to his Father. But while he was still a long way off, his Father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.

It is a picture of what it means to embrace God’s grace. The fact that this Father would RAN to his broken son and embraced him after all that had happened between them is an amazing snapshot of how God pursues us in our lives. You see this son could not repay his inheritance; he could not get the time back; he could only move forward with his Father. He knew the greater pleasure was to be in fellowship with his Father. Just like the wayward son, many of us have pursued fleeting pleasures only to find it leaves us empty, broken, and out of fellowship with God. 

But the prodigal son is not the only son in this story. The older brother becomes upset at his Father’s reaction, and he became angry. He refused to celebrate with his Father and his lost brother. He was more interested in what the Father could give him than a relationship with the Father himself as is evident in Luke 15:31, “Son you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours.” The Father saw his relationship with the son as more important. The son saw his work of staying with his Father’s home as enough to earn him his inheritance. How about you? Do you see your relationship with God the Father as more important than what He can do for you? Do you rejoice in the way he made as He ran to you though Jesus on the Cross? Have you embraced Jesus as your Lord and stopped relying on your own efforts and works? Embracing God’s grace is about celebrating what the Father has done for us!

Equip Believers
How does God build his Church? What is a church suppose to be doing? God reveled that in Ephesians 4:12-14:
12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood,5 to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.
Jesus, Paul, and the apostle John warned us that false teaching and preaching will surround and seek to infiltrate the church as it did in the first century. At Grace we seek to provide the best access to equipping all believers for the work of ministry as possible. We seek to do this though various types of small groups including: Sunday School, Grace University, and Redemptive Groups. Sunday School is built around quarterly looks at Bible books and verses. Grace University provides teaching on topics ranging from introductions of Old and New Testaments to application of the christian life in topics like evangelism and stewardship. And finally redemptive groups seek to equip believers where they are currently hurting. Examples of this include Griefshare and Divorce Care.

Engage The World
The last words someone speaks before they leave this world linger and perhaps grip us more than other words our loved one may have spoken. Acts 1 records the last words Jesus spoke to his disciples on earth, before he ascended to heaven. He gave them one last order and that order was the Acts 1:8 challenge. He said:

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

In this passage we are called to go out and be a witness for Christ, making disciples for him (Matthew 28:19-20). The final call was to be faithful to all Christ has taught and share what he had done for us to know him. It is our joy at Grace Baptist to engage the world. In the passage above he tells them to go to Jerusalem which is where they live. 

For us our Jerusalem is Carter County and Elizabethton as our first line of missions. We have participated in many local outreaches and ministries here including but not limited to: Easter Egg Hunts, Vacation Bible School, Trunk or Treat, Christmas Baskets of families in need, and the John 3:16 shoe ministry placing shoes on children’s feet who are in need in all schools in Carter County and the city.

He also sends them to Judea, these would have been fellow countrymen. In our context Judea would be other Americans and places in North America. Any work done with disaster relief or in state missions trips would fall into this category. He instructed them to go to Samaria, the place that was filled with the undesirable half Jewish people. They were undesirable because their families were mixes of pagans and Jews, it was not based on race, but on a mixed up faith. In a similar fashion there are places in our own back yard that people consider to be “undesirable” and we are called to go there.  

And finally the ends of the earth, nations outside of our own. We are called to engage in these areas. We have sent teams to Haiti in the past and are currently partnering with a church plant in Aviemore, Scotland.  

NOTE: No mission field should be viewed as more important or better than any other, because Christ commanded us to engage them all!

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