The mission of Jesus is the mission of the church or it isn't His church. While He promised to build His church (Matthew 16:18), He chooses to work through His people to do it as we grow to know, love, and follow Him together by His grace. This is what it means to be disciples and make disciples, and it is the mission of every faithful church of Jesus Christ (see Matthew 28:18-20).

However, what gives a unique shape to each individual local church is how they answer two questions:
1. What are we inviting people into?
2. What are we inspiring people toward?
What did Jesus invite people to? Healing? Miracles? Hope? Forgiveness? Acceptance? Joy? Authority? Each one of these was part of it, but none of them captures the essence. When you look deeper, what you begin to realize is that each of these is serving a greater purpose: the kingdom of God. Over 100 times in the gospels, Jesus returns to this central idea because it's the reason He came! As He said in Luke 4:43, "I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God...for I was sent for this purpose."
So what was the culture of the kingdom that Jesus came to build? What exactly was He inviting people into?
Even a brief overview of the gospel of Matthew yields rich results. Jesus invited people into:
1. A kingdom that was near (Matthew 3:2);
2. A kingdom full of hope (Matthew 4:23);
3. A kingdom for the poor in spirit (Matthew 5:3);
4. A kingdom that was better than any they had known (Matthew 6:33);
5. A kingdom that is always growing (Matthew 13:31);
6. A kingdom full of joy (Matthew 13:34);
7. A kingdom for the humble (Matthew 18:4);
8. A kingdom of mercy and justice (Matthew 18:23-35);
9. A kingdom of generosity (Matthew 20:1-16);
10. A kingdom of grace (Matthew 21:31);
11. A kingdom for the whole world (Matthew 24:14);
12. A kingdom prepared for us from the foundation of the world (Matthew 25:34); &
13. A kingdom where we'll live with Jesus forever (Matthew 26:29).

When Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount, He was preaching as the Reigning King telling us how to live faithfully as His subjects. When Jesus called all who were weak and tired to come to Him for rest (Matthew 11:28), He was inviting us as a Gracious King to the joy that can only come from full surrender to Him. And when Jesus went to the cross, He died as a Sacrificing King, laying down His life to set His people free. This is the culture of the kingdom of Jesus, and this is what He invites all people into.

As a church in submission to this King, Grace Point seeks to build a culture of intentionally gospel-centered relationships because we believe this is the only way for us to cultivate both Joy in Christ and Freedom in Christ (our core values), as well as the most effective way to spark a movement. We build this culture by committing to: (1) Pray for others to grow to know, love, and follow Jesus with us; (2) Pursue real relationships marked by freedom and joy; (3) Preach the gospel and invite others into the rest only Jesus can give; & (4) Practice what we preach so that the strength and beauty of God will show through us.

The mission of any church is what God asks us to do. At Grace Point, we say that's growing to know, love, and follow Jesus together. The vision, however, is what we're asking God to do through us as we're faithful to the mission of Jesus.

The vision (or movement) that we're praying for is that as we pursue His mission, we'll see lives changed by Jesus. This begins as we're confronted by Christ Himself and experience the power and depth of His mercy. It continues as we encourage & challenge one another as the Church to grow in Christ. Then finally, all of this overflows in mission to our City, where Jesus sends us as His ambassadors with the Gospel of Grace and an invitation into the rest only He can give to all who are weary and burdened. 
We can't work hard enough to fix these broken relationships and we can't escape fully enough to avoid the pain they cause. But to all who are weary and burdened, Jesus holds out the invitation for a third option: to come to Him alone to find rest for our souls! The rest Jesus offers all who come to Him is the invitation to believe and live like it really is finished (see John 19:30). As we come in faith, we see that the foundation of this rest is the strength of God made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9) and the beauty of God's glory shining in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6).
To learn more about what this looks like at Grace Point and how we are seeking to build a culture and spark a movement, we invite you to download Pastor Vince's book, "Culture & Movement | Growing to know, love, and follow Jesus together by His grace" as a free PDF below. If you would like a hard copy, it is available HERE.