The Mission of the Church

No congregation gets to create their own mission.  The mission of the Church was given to us in the Great Commission– to make followers (disciples) of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18-20).  Our Sonrise Community will seek to live out that mission through the following deeply held commitments.

We believe…

…in one God, who eternally exists in three persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We believe Jesus is the unique Son of God and our only hope for salvation.

…God desires a relationship with human beings. We were created “to know God and enjoy His presence forever.” That means having a relationship with God. All we do here at Sonrise is geared to helping you develop and deepen that relationship.

…human beings are made in the image of God and are the object of His affection. Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection make it possible for us to know God and receive forgiveness of sins. Salvation means being restored to a right relationship with God and it is His gift to us…there is nothing we can do to earn it. We receive that gift through faith in Jesus Christ and His death on the cross for us.

…in the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit gives us gifts for the purpose of serving others and building God’s Kingdom here on earth. The power of the Holy Spirit is available to believers to live the life God calls each of us to. Living for God and bearing the fruits for His Kingdom is impossible without the strengthening and filling of the Holy Spirit.

…the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments were written by human authors, inspired by the Holy Spirit.  God’s Word is alive and powerful.  God’s Word is also useful in our lives even today. God’s Word is without error in its original form.

…the gospel of Jesus Christ, proclaimed through the local church, is the hope of the world. The church is Jesus’ idea and God’s new community. It is a human institution marked by all the frailties of humanity, and yet it is the visible presence of the Kingdom of God on earth and the Body of Christ.

Sonrise Anchor Points:

There is only One Church in Fort Wayne. We believe in One Church, consisting of all the genuine followers of Christ who have trusted in His life, death and resurrection for salvation.  The Church can be found in multiple congregations and denominations.  God desires that His Church be unified and working together to fulfill the Great Commission.  We are committed as a congregation to work to strengthen the larger Church in Fort Wayne and around the world. (John 17:20-21)

What happens at home is more influential than what happens at church. The most natural time to make a disciple of Jesus is early in life.  We are committed to shaping the lives of children and youth.  Most of what a person believes about themselves, God, others and their world is learned very early in life.  One of the most influential mission fields in our world consists of the little children around us. We must prioritize our ministry to reach this mission field (Deuteronomy 6:6-9).

We were made to worship God. The question is not, “will we worship?”  All people worship something–even if it is themselves (Exodus 20:3-5; Revelation 4:11).  We choose to worship the Lord, Almighty, maker of heaven and earth…. Worship is not just music.  Worship is surrendering all our life to God.  It involves our mind, our will, our emotions, our time, our stuff, etc.  On Sundays we gather to worship God together, then we scatter to fill the earth with the worship of God.

The Bible is our practical guide for life. We believe the sixty-six books of the Bible to be God’s Word.  The Bible is completely true and is our ultimate authority on matters of faith and living.  We don’t make the Bible relevant because it already is relevant. All scripture is God breathed and USEFUL (2 Timothy 3:16)!  It is living, active and able to perform the most delicate surgery in the human heart (Hebrews 4:12). The Bible is taught at Sonrise in our worship services, classes and youth/children’s ministries.

God owns it all. We are responsible to use what God gives us for His glory.  God owns it all and allows us to use what He owns during our time on earth.  Our stewardship on earth actually impacts our experience in heaven.  God calls us to lives of intentional generosity. As a congregation this means we share what God gives us with others who are seeking to build his kingdom. (Psalm 24:1, Matthew 25:14-30)

Trust and obey for there is no other way!  Sonrise was birthed out of the Wesleyan movement which emphasizes God’s infinite grace calling us to respond in trust, love and obedience.  God’s grace meets us right where we are at, but His grace never leaves us where we are at.  Our response to God’s grace is seen as we love, trust and obey Him TODAY!  (Hebrews 4:7, Matthew 7:24-27)

We don’t go to church, we are the Church!  For many, church is a spectator sport. Yet the transforming truth is, we don’t go to church, we are the church.  A disciple radically obeys Christ, no matter what the cost (Matthew 16:24). All disciples must lay down their own desires in order to be His true disciples.  A disciple isn’t someone who is passively fed but someone who takes initiative for their own growth and to grow others. A disciple will often be counter cultural and never self-serving. Every believer has a calling. At the moment of salvation, when a person trusts in the saving work of Jesus Christ, believers are filled with the Holy Spirit and sent out on mission.

We rely on God—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  God, the Father pursues us with His great sacrificial love (Luke 15).  Jesus’ death on the cross is our only way of salvation (John 14:6).  In addition, we fully rely on the Holy Spirit’s presence and power for walking daily with God (John 14).  Without God we can do nothing (John 15)!  Yet, with God we can do anything He calls us to do.

We will pray. In prayer we learn to lay everything we have at God’s feet, trusting in His plan for our lives (Matthew 6). Prayer is strengthened as our relationship with God deepens. It involves listening to God, sitting with God and talking to God (Genesis 3:8).  It is tempting as a congregation to get busy and neglect prayer out of a desire to do things for God.  However, God desires a growing relationship with us more than just service from us.  When we work, we work, but when we pray, God works.

Rejuvenation is a life-long process. Imagine living so that your last days are your best days.  Burnout is not God’s plan for discipleship. Rather we want to live on fire for Christ with our final days on earth being our most fruitful (Matthew 24:12).  We are committed to a process of coaching that helps disciples live rejuvenated lives for generations.