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Download: Printable EFM Mission Statement in the analogy of a soccer field
- Live communion with the triune God
From the beginning, the Friends movement has emphasized the personal as well as corporate connection to God. Apart from him we can truly do nothing (John 15:5), at least not anything that will last. We are to be immersed in God (Matthew 28:19), so immersed in him that his love, mercy, and holiness rub off on us. He makes his home in us when we show him our love through our obedience (John 14:23). We then are able to minister out of the overflow of what Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are doing in our lives.
- Christ's presence here and now
Friends believe that when Jesus says, “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20), he means what he says. As head of the Church, Jesus is present to teach us and guide us himself. So it is essential that we look to him in everything that we do. The body must move in harmony with the head.
- Every believer a minister
Friends are persuaded that all who believe in Christ and follow him receive gifts through the Holy Spirit for ministry inside and outside of the church. The same Spirit who was upon Jesus during his earthly life and ministry is upon us as well. The Spirit distributes gifts regardless of age, gender, race, or nationality. Therefore we must not exclude any of Christ’s followers from ministry, but instead, encourage them and help them to grow into their gifts. Galatians 3:26-29 and Acts 2:17-18.
- Authority of Scripture
Friends have also believed that the same Spirit who spoke forth the Scriptures helps us understand and apply them to our lives and ministries (1 Corinthians 2:10-14). The Bible comes to life because its author lives and breathes within us. We take its teaching seriously because it is the teaching of the One who rules our lives. We also recognize the Spirit’s ability to use Scripture to change lives when we share it with others.
- Servant leadership
When Jesus was on earth, he made it very clear to his disciples what kind of leader he was and what kind of leaders he expected them to be (Mark 10:42-45 and John 13:2-17). The Apostle Peter gave similar instructions in 1 Peter 5:1-4. Friends try to take these words seriously by staying away from “top-down” or “positional” leadership as much as possible, and instead, cultivate leadership that is gentle and humble of heart, just like the Master (Matthew 11:29). These are the kinds of leaders who are devoted to developing the believers who are entrusted to them. They know how to put others ahead of themselves (Philippians 2:3-11).
- Salvation witness
We let people around us know what has happened in our lives because of our encounter with Jesus Christ. See, for example, the story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1-10.
- Good News
We share with them the gospel message which includes repentance and the forgiveness of sins as well as new life in Jesus Christ. Luke 24:45-49 and Romans 10:8-15.
- Good deeds
We demonstrate the good news of the kingdom of God by continuing the works of Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit. This includes ministering to people in their needs as well as being vessels of God’s power, however and whenever he chooses to show that power. John 14:12-14.
- Faithful stewardship
We take good care of all the resources God has given us: our bodies, our time, our relationships, our possessions, our finances, and so on. We must dedicate these resources to God’s purposes in our homes, churches, and the world at large. Matthew 6:33 and Luke 16:10.
- Holy living
We seek to be filled daily by the Spirit of God and manifest the fruit that he produces in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). This is what flows out of us when we are under pressure, and this is what speaks loudly to people around us who do not know Jesus.
We form teams to do ministry with the people groups to whom God has called us. This follows the pattern of Jesus sending his disciples out two by two and the Apostle Paul doing missionary work in partnership with others.
- Language and culture learning
We learn the languages and cultures of the people groups among whom God places us. This means that we are with them as students and that we honor these peoples by speaking their languages and observing their customs whenever these customs are not in opposition to the ways of God.
- Presence and proclamation evangelism
We move into their neighborhoods just like Jesus did (John 1:14). We show the people we live with what it means to be followers of Jesus Christ. We do this by the way we live and also by talking about the good news of Jesus with them.
- Leadership development
We are committed to carrying out Ephesians 4:11-12. We equip disciples for ministry according to the gifts that God has given them. This is a key part of building up the church and making it sustainable and reproducible. Many of these disciples are gifted for leadership of various kinds, so we find ways to train them just like Jesus trained his disciples.
- Whole-life discipleship
We disciple those who respond to the good news of Jesus Christ and show them how to follow Jesus in every area of their lives. Discipleship is more than attending church services. It is submitting to the lordship of Jesus in our marriages, our parenting, our finances, the way we care for our bodies, the way we care for the earth, the way we treat our enemies, and much, much more.
- Missionary sending
We prepare the disciples we are making to be witnesses in their own Jerusalems, Judeas, Samarias, and ends of the earth. No people group is excluded from sending out missionaries. The Great Commission is for all of us.
We are committed to planting churches that are able to function with the resources God has given them, and continues to give them, as they rely on him and practice good stewardship. That does not mean that there is never a need for help from other churches and regions. Sometimes God provides resources in that way for a time. See, for example, Romans 15:25-27. But normally churches do ministry with the people and economic means that are right in their midst. There is even enough to support the spread of the gospel to other areas, as well as enough for ministry to the poor and oppressed. There is abundant evidence in the New Testament of churches that were sustainable in these ways even though most of their membership was probably not among the wealthy. See, for example, 2 Corinthians 8:1-5.
- Mission Statement
The statements in the goal areas of the football field (above and below the diagram) help answer these questions: Why does EFM exist? • What are we trying to accomplish? • How do we know when we are scoring goals?
- Friends Culture
The words along the left sideline help answer these questions: What kind of working environment helps us achieve our mission? What elements of our faith and practice as Evangelical Friends help us accomplish the work God has given us to do?
- Guiding Principles
The words along the right sideline help answer these questions: What are the non-negotiables that apply to all of EFM? What are the core commitments that we all live by?
- Central Ministry Focus
The words in the middle of the football field diagram help answer these questions: What are the most important things we must do, day in and day out, in order to accomplish our mission? In order to see maximum ministry impact in line with our mission, what are the things we must do on a regular basis?