Shawnee Baptist Church exist to exalt God's greatness, evangelize God's world, equip God's people and express God's love - through Jesus Christ our Lord. This statement identifies what Shawnee Baptist Church is all about. It is for this purpose it exists, and every available resource, be it skillful hands, compassionate words, a creative mind or useful provisions should be dedicated to the cause of Christ as carried out by this church. Each Shawnee ministry falls under one of the four pillars of our mission statement based on it greatest ability: exalting, evangelizing, equipping, or expressing.
Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name. 1 Chronicles 29:11-13
Nothing SBC does should bring glory to itself, but instead should point to God. Paul writes, ".... Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord." (1 Corinthians 1:31)
Everything that is done should glorify God - this is, to make God apparent. This makes it imperative that SBC attempts and accomplishes more than is humanly possible. "To God be the glory, great things He has done!"
Exalting God's greatness must go on. Revelations 4 pictures the never-ending activity around the throne of God, "...and day and night they do not cease to say, 'Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.'"
And upon Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, "the whole multitude of the disciples began to priase God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen, saying 'Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord; pease in heaven and glory in the highest!" And some of the Pharisees in the multitude said to Him, "Teacher, rebuke Your disciples." And He answered and said, "I tell you, if these becomes silent, the stones will cry out!" (Luke 19:38-40)
May stones never have to do what the believers of Shawnee Baptist Church has privilege to do in exalting God's greatness.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And sure I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Matthew 28:19-20
The whole world, although engulfed in a myriad of problems and concerns, has one ultimate crisis that must be settled in the heart of each living soul. Mankind is tragically mired in sin, is at odds with God and doomed to eternal death. Every life issue drastically pales in comparison to the eternal consequences of sin. The only solution to mankind's crisis is found in the forgiveness and salvation made possible by the sacrificial death of Jesus. It is for this reason God offered His only beloved Son for our sake. And it is also for this reason that Jesus' parting works to his disciples commissioned them to tell everyone everywhere about the good news of salvation through Christ.
The urgency with which the disciples responded to the Lord's words illustrates the importance of the task. In obedience to God, SBC has emphasized evangelism as port of its mission. In fact, two of the four mission statement phrases deal directly with evangelism - the phrase, "equip God's people." is part of the Great Commission imperative that involves teaching others to proclaim the Good News.
Evangelizing God's world may seem an intimidating mission. To many it may call to mind frightful confrontation. Evangelism takes many forms, but all of them should occur naturally as led by the Spirit.
The Great Commission literally says, "going" or "as you go." Witnessing should spring from the overflow of what God is doing in our lives just as the man born blind )John 9) declares the difference Jesus made in this life, "I was blind but now I see." Peter, standing with John before the Sanhedrin said, "We cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard."
Evangelizing God's world is a natural response for people changed by a supernatural message.
It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to to be prophets, some to be evangelist, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-13
Hosea wrote, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." (Hosea 4:6) This lack of knowledge appears to be an epidemic today as Gallup polls show a great percentage of Christians with little knowledge of the Bible. Many Christians do no know what they believe or why. It is urgent that the Body of Christ grow to maturity in truth. That is why the Bible repeatedly stresses maturing in faith and in knowledge of the Son.
Deuteronomy says to impress the Lord's words on you heart and on you soul, and to teach them to your children lest your hearts be deceived. Satan, in tempting the Lord Jesus, twisted scripture, but the Lord used sound scripture to answer him. Jesus commands His disciples to make more disciples (learners) teaching them to obey.
Paul encourages the believer to put on the full armor of God, so that he may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. (Ephesians 6:10), because "the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons." (1 Timothy 4:1)
Equipping God's people is at the forefront of SBC's efforts, because the Lord has commissioned the Church to do so. It is vital to every Christian. SBC is committed to teaching, equipping and building up God's people through Sunday Bible Study, discipleship courses, various training and conference opportunities, solid Bible preaching, and other means. May every believer in Shawnee here be armed with the "shield of faith that extinguishes the flaming missiles of the evil one." and with "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:34-35
John wrote, "God is love." (1 John 4:8) The only reason there is love of any kind on this earth is because of God.
God's love is agape, an unselfish, endless and boundless love that was demonstrated for us when Christ died for us while we were still full of sin (Romans 5:8)
When we receive Christ into our hearts, the love of God is made manifest in us (1 John 4:9). For this reason, the love of God glows from the heart of a true disciple of Christ. Expressing love for one another is the evidence that marks us as Christians.
Love is also commanded by the Lord. If we love God, then we are to love one another also. We are to love for whom Christ died. We should love both our brothers and sisters and enemies. Jesus says if we love only those who love us, what more are we doing than sinners who know nothing of God's love (Matthew 5:46)
How wonderful it is to be loved. And we are so undeserving of this love. Yes, we have done nothing to merit the warm embrace of God's forgiving love. But as we invite Him into our hearts, he welcomes us as beloved children.
We have been given the world's greatest love letter to deliver. Expressing God's love, we will tell everyone, "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16