Westminster’s mission is this: Elevate Jesus. Empower People. Embody Love.
Our first responsibility and greatest joy as a church is to elevate Jesus—for our own sake, and for the sake of others. We cannot overstate the importance and centrality of Jesus. He is the God the Son, showing us exactly who God is. He is the most important and influential person in human history. He is fully and eternally alive, holding all things in heaven and earth together. He is Lord of every person, every situation, and every atom, now and forever. He is supremely worthy of all our praise, thanks, and allegiance…and our love.
When our focus is on Jesus himself, our lives are continually transformed. And we also elevate Jesus so that others can look to Him and find in Him the grace, forgiveness, and wholeness we all so desperately need. Elevating Jesus is certainly something we do in our times of gathered worship, but it also has to do with every other aspect of our individual and community life. After all, Jesus is our very life! (Colossians 3:4)
God is passionately committed to redeeming His fallen creation and restoring wholeness and life to all that is broken by sin and death. But God doesn’t do this in a vacuum. Amazingly, God chooses to work through people, through God’s own power, to accomplish his purposes. So, an important part of the church’s mission is to help empower people to be part of God’s mission.
An important part of empowering people is teaching them how to live as life-long disciples of Jesus. A disciple is a learner, an apprentice. From Jesus we learn humility. We learn to uncover and hone the gifts given by the Holy Spirit for the common good. We learn to cultivate the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. We learn to live in closer and closer union with God through Christian spiritual practices. Even more, we learn to be disciples who create other disciples and expand the Kingdom of God.
It’s easy to tell someone you love them. And it’s easy to talk about love. Churches do it all the time. But talk doesn’t go very far if there’s nothing to back it up. God insists that his people embody love—i.e. actually put love into practice—in everything they do. This applies to our love for God. We are to “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:5) Love for God isn’t a feeling we are supposed to manufacture, but a devotion that shows itself in specific actions—like giving our time and resources, worship, prayer, serving the poor, working for justice, and so on.
All of this is rooted in the way God has loved us—by sending his Son. This is the ultimate act of incarnation, love becoming real in the flesh. “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” (John 1:14) As we look (and keep looking) to Jesus, our love becomes transformed by his love, reaching out to others in practical, self-giving expressions of the love of God.