Why do we exist as a church? What is it that we are trying to accomplish? What does involvement in Red Sea look like and why? These are the types of questions that organizations need to ask to clarify their purpose and “success” for both the organization itself, as well as the people involved in it.
The leadership of Red Sea asked and answered these questions (as well as many others) with much prayer, Biblical study, and discussion. In so doing, we clarified the Mission of Red Sea to be summarized in the following phrases:
Draw to Christ
Develop in Community
Deploy into Culture
At Red Sea, Theology Drives Our Methodology. We did not begin with pragmatic success formulas, or the felt needs of our target market, or the acceptable cultural trends. We began with Scripture and our best theological understanding of what the Scripture teaches us.
Although our Mission is composed of three short phrases, behind each of them is a tremendous Biblical depth. Draw to Christ is derived from and is an expression of “Christology” (the Biblical study of the person and work of Jesus Christ). Develop in Community is derived from and is an expression of “Ecclesiology” (the Biblical study of God’s people gathered and living in Christ’s name). Deploy into Culture is derived from and is an expression of “Missiology” (the Biblical study of being sent by God into the world with the message of God’s redeeming love in Christ).
Our Mission is a Package Deal
Each of the three components of our Mission is distinct but they all are interconnected with each other to form a balanced whole. People cannot be truly involved in Red Sea and yet limit themselves to only one component of our Mission. Such as only attending our Sunday Gathering and not be involved in our efforts to Develop in Community or Deploy into culture.
As we Draw to Christ, we do so coming from our interactions in a cultural environment and moving towards closer relationships with others in Christ.
As we Develop in Community, we do so responding to life-changing power of the gospel in our lives together and recognizing our roles as ambassadors of Christ to those who live and work around us.
As we Deploy into Culture, we do so flowing from the encouraging relationships of Christian community and pointing others to the redemptive love of Christ.
The Mission is OUR Process At Red Sea. Our mission provides the overall framework for everything we do as a church. It is intended to be our “process” of reaching out to those who don’t know Christ and building up those who do. This process establishes our priorities, guides our decision making, and directs our activities.
If we can’t clearly describe how something directly contributes to our mission, we are going to resist doing it. It is our intention to avoid ministry “silos” that have a form of self-existence and purpose apart from the rest of the church. Therefore, we do not plan on offering a large menu of programs designed and operated to meet a myriad of “felt needs”. An unofficial motto of ours is “less is more”. We want to do a few things and do them well.
The Mission is YOUR Process
Our mission is as applicable to you as an individual as it is to us as a church. We call this the Me/We of the mission. Often, people ask us questions such as; “How can I better understand what this whole being a Christian thing is about?”, “How do I grow as a Christian?”, or “How do I get involved in Red Sea?” Our answer to everyone is basically the same: “What you personally need to do is to Draw to Christ, Develop in Community, and Deploy into Culture.” Don’t let the simplicity of that answer fool you. We honestly believe it can be revolutionary to your life.
Primary Mission Venues
At Red Sea we have identified primary venues for each of the components of our Mission and how we “do church”. Having these identified venues helps us to direct people to tangible arenas of involvement. They also assist us in tracking and evaluating our mission.
We have designated our Sunday Gatherings as the primary venue to Draw to Christ.
We have designated our Home Communities as our primary means to Develop in Community.
We have designated our circle of influence (friends, neighbors, co-workers) as our primary venue to Deploy to Culture.