Mission and Goals for the ’90s
1988 Church of the Brethren Statement
WE THE CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN, SEEK TO LEAD A LIFE WORTHY OF THE CALLING TO WHICH WE HAVE BEEN CALLED (Ephesians 4:1)
EVANGELISM AND WITNESS
-going into all the world to make disciples (Matthew 28:19)
We are called to reach out and receive our neighbors beside us and beyond us; to proclaim the Gospel; to bear witness to our faith in word and deed; to strengthen congregational life; to develop new congregations, especially in urban areas; to invite and embrace persons of all ethnic backgrounds; to seek those who do not know Christ; and to be in world mission in Christ’s way.
SCRIPTURE AND HERITAGE
-teaching all that is commanded (Matthew 28:20)
We are called to embody the spirit of the scriptures, diligently and prayerfully searching the scriptures and letting the scriptures search our lives; to celebrate Brethren identity as informed by scriptures, committed to give and receive gifts within the wider body of Christ.
FAMILY AND YOUTH
-maintaining the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:3)
We are called to confess the brokenness in our personal and family lives; to advocate and demonstrate the permanence of the marriage covenant; to address family violence and sexual abuse; to respond to the needs of children; to give guidance to youth and young adults as they make lifestyle and vocational choices; to encourage youth and young adults to be active participants in the life of the church; to minister with families, singles, step families, single parents and older adults, redeeming our relationships as sisters and brothers in God’s household.
SERVICE AND PEACE
-letting the oppressed go free and breaking every yoke (Isaiah 58:6)
We are called to extend compassion and care to those who have special and acute needs; to the homeless, the poor, the lonely in our neighborhoods; to youth and adults whose lives are being destroyed by drugs and alcohol; to those who are victimized by AIDS and other catastrophic diseases; to victims of natural disasters; to those in prison; to the hungry of the world; always balancing our response to immediate needs with prophetic attention to underlying causes and justice issues. We are called to become peacemakers in our families, in our congregations, and in local and global communities, renewing the ministry of reconciliation as Christ has reconciled us.
SPIRTUAL RENEWAL AND MINISTRY
-calling one another according to the measure of Christ’s gift (Ephesians 4:7)
We are called to nurture a deeper prayer life and an openness to the Spirit; to receive the gifts of spiritual life offered by sisters and brothers in churches around the world; to vitalize worship so it sustains our daily life; to call and form candidates for set-apart ministry; to commission older adults, youth, women, and people of all ethnic backgrounds to be leaders in every aspect of church life, so our leadership is inclusive according to the fullness of Christ. We are called to commit ourselves to the spiritual discipline of sharing with all God’s people, and to live more fully according to the pattern of Christ’s life, with reverence for God and for all creation.
FOR THE EQUIPPING OF THE SAINTS FOR THE WORK OF MINISTRY FOR BUILDING UP THE BODY OF CHRIST (Ephesians 4:12)
Action of the General Board Goals and Budget Committee, March 15, 1988: Voted unanimously to approve the proposal to Annual Conference of a Mission and Goals Statement for the 1990s.
Anita Smith Buckwalter, Chair
Donald E. Miller, General Secretary
Action of the 1988 Annual Conference: Margaret Keltner, the Standing Committee member from the district of Southern Missouri/Arkansas, presented the recommendation of Standing Committee on the Mission and Goals statement, Church of the Brethren Goals for the ’90s. The delegate body of the 1988 Annual Conference adopted the statement with two amendments, both of which have been incorporated into the preceding text.