What are the biblical, guiding principles upon which we build the work of God's Church? What must we believe and do to be most effective in energizing the entire Church in fulfilling its mission to preach the gospel and prepare a people?
A sermon by Victor Kubik, president of the United Church of God (http://www.ucg.org)
View the document referred to in this sermon: United Church of God: 2013-2014 Strategic, Operation, Budget Plan -- http://www.ucg.org/sermon/what-work-church/
Vision - United Church of God
A Church led by God's Holy Spirit, joined and knit together by what every member supplies, with all doing their share and growing in love to fulfill God's great purpose for humanity to bring many children to glory (Ephesians 4:16; Hebrews 2:10).
Mission - United Church of God
The mission of the Church of God is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God in all the world, make disciples in all nations and care for those disciples.
We believe that our Father has given us the opportunity to build a relationship with Him, with Jesus Christ, with one another and with all mankind. We believe the immutable Word of God shows us how to build those loving relationships (John 17:20-23) and to become more like Jesus Christ.
Therefore we will strive to live by every Word of God, led by His Holy Spirit in humility, enabling these relationships to grow and flourish.
We believe God has a plan of salvation for every individual who will yield to Him and His Son Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:4). That plan includes the calling and perfecting of those who are being converted now as well as those to be converted in the ages to come.
Therefore it is the duty of the Church to proclaim a message of hope and a call to repentance, to teach all things Christ has commanded and to prepare members of the Body of Christ to teach, lead and serve under Him now and in the future.
We believe that every individual (of every race, nationality and gender) will, in God's time, have the opportunity to hear the testimony of Jesus Christ's life, death and resurrection and the good news of the Kingdom of God. We believe that the gospel explicitly provides every individual an opportunity, when called, for membership in the family of God, according to His will (Acts 10:34-35).
Therefore, in order to maximize the effectiveness of the gospel message, we endeavor to reach all people in a way they can understand with a balanced mix of doctrine, prophecy and Christian living—recognizing that any lasting fruit is produced by the power of God's Holy Spirit.
We believe that as we near the end of the age, humanity is in urgent need of the gospel message in advance of the events surrounding Christ's return. We believe Jesus commissioned His Church to declare what is to come, to warn of the consequences of sin, to preach repentance and proclaim the hope of eternal salvation (Matthew 24:13-14, Matthew 24:21; Matthew 28:18-20).
Therefore, we take very seriously the Church's responsibility to boldly preach the gospel as a witness to this world with zeal and a sense of urgency (John 9:4).
We believe Christ commissions us to preach the gospel to all the world. Therefore we must:
- Energize the entire Church in fulfilling its mission to preach the gospel and prepare a people.
- Motivate members to transform their lives into brighter lights to the world.
- Use the most appropriate methods to reach various audiences.
- Use the most effective media technology to deliver a relevant, inspiring, transforming message to all nations.
- Use media to develop an interactive relationship with our audience.
- Apply the principles of the Media Philosophy Statement.
We believe that it is essential that we develop leadership for the Church to prepare a people for works of service and to attain the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Therefore we must:
- Provide in-depth biblical teaching.
- Answer the great questions of life—does God exist, who is God, what is God, what is His purpose, who is man, what is man, what is his purpose?
- Develop training and educational programs for youth, members and ministry.
- Provide the necessary facilities for our local congregations, and for training and education purposes.
- Utilize the best methods and technology in our training and education programs.
We believe that building meaningful, godly relationships is explicitly taught by Jesus Christ in the Scriptures. Therefore we must:
- Love God and keep His commandments.
- Love one another as Christ loves us.
- Teach and live Christ-like service.
- Become one in God and Christ through the Holy Spirit.
- Speak the truth openly in godly love.
- Foster godly relationships among all.
- Be a ministry of reconciliation.