MISSION AND VALUES
"All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matt. 28:18b–20)
Why We're Great >
In France, the church is often considered a relic of the past. Even though church buildings occupy a central place in many cities, they do so mostly as historical or architectural monuments of years gone by; something beautiful to look at, but little more. Yet church planting must not be abandoned for something newer or better. Jesus purchased the church with his own blood (Acts 20:28), and in 1 Timothy, Paul calls it the "pillar and foundation of the truth" (1 Tim. 3:15).
The church is vital to our mission in the world because the church is the instrument God has ordained to display his glory in the world, and to reflect and declare his glorious gospel! Church planting is central to our mission and philosophy because it is central to God's.
The ministry of church planting and the ministry of discipleship are inseparably related. Churches are built up of people who follow Jesus as disciples, and each member is given the commission to "make disciples" (Matt. 28:19). Nearly everything a local church does is related to the ministry of discipleship. To be a Christian is to be a follower of Jesus (Matt. 4:19 et al; 1 Pet. 2:21; Phil. 2:5) and of other faithful believers (1 Cor. 11:1; Phil. 3:17-4:1). When we talk about discipleship or discipling, then, we are talking about the process of helping another person follow Jesus faithfully in the various spheres of life. Discipleship is not merely a predefined program that new believers enroll in to be taught doctrine (though this is helpful!) but a life-long endeavor that is part of the very fabric of a local church. We have been on both ends of discipling relationships, and are deeply committed to the practice of discipleship for the life of the local church.
In every place and culture there will be challenges to practicing hospitality, and France will be no different. Nevertheless, we are compelled to practice it in our ministry. We have seen its effect on our own lives and spiritual growth. We've seen the value of practicing it within our own church community in the States, and we are drawn to the way in which is pictures the truth of the Gospel and the family of God. Most importantly, we are convinced that it is biblical. God's people are to practice hospitality (Heb. 13:12; 1 Pet. 4:9; Rom 12:13), Scripture is unambiguous on this point. We desire to make it one of our key strategies as we serve and minister in France, and seek to build relationships with the French people.
It is essential that churches be firmly rooted in sound theology, and that pastors and church leaders be equipped to understand and to teach what accords with sound doctrine (Titus 2:1). For better or for worse, we live our lives based on what we believe about God and the world he created (theology). Theological education is essential because theology is inevitable. Moreover, theological education is of strategic importance to the work of the great commission because churches cannot be perpetually dependent on the work of foreign missionaries. Pastors and leaders must continue to be raised up from within the country. We are thankful that this is already taking place in France, and we are eager to be involved in the process, both in the church and in more formal academic settings.
The Church is The Mission
Our mission is to plant and equip healthy churches in France by making and training up disciple-making disciples of Jesus, laboring in the work of theological education, and modeling loving community through generous hospitality.