Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Why We Exist

Editorial by Mike Hewitt

“We exist to grow healthy churches that reflect Christ’s love and compassion in our communities.”

This is the new mission statement voted this year by our Mountain View Conference Executive Committee. And going forward, it will guide our work together.

Creating a mission statement is important for any organization that is serious about moving forward. To begin the process, I prayed fervently for God’s guidance. I read Jesus’ mission statement in Luke 4:18–19, and studied other Bible passages that deal with mission. I also looked at the mission statements of many of the conferences and unions around the North American Division (NAD), as well as some secular corporations and retailers.

At our March Executive Committee meeting, I presented an orientation to mission statement creation for the committee to process together. For our May Executive Committee meeting, I invited one of the most gifted communicators I know, Celeste Ryan Blyden, vice president of communication for the Columbia Union Conference, to lead the process. After an in-depth Bible study, season of prayer and discussion about the demographics and unique needs of the people in our territory, we developed and voted our new mission statement.

We are very pleased with this statement for several reasons:

First it reminds us why we exist—to grow healthy churches. A healthy church is a Christ-centered, disciple- making congregation that loves Jesus, His truth and people.

Secondly, it points to Jesus. We chose the word “reflect” because we believe it’s an ideal way to express our role as co-laborers with Christ. As we re ect Christ’s character, through our deeds and actions, more people will come to know who He is and want to be a part of the family of God.

Third, it suggests how we can make a difference in the communities we serve by showing people the love and compassion of Christ. When we think about all that Jesus has done for us, we can’t help but want to share Him with others. Jesus lavished His love on us by purchasing our forgiveness and salvation through His sacrifice on the cross. And He compassionately sets us free to live new lives, bears our burdens and walks with us through the storms of life.

We are committed to focus our time and energy, as well as God’s resources, on fulfilling this mission in the Mountain View Conference. This is who we are, what we are all about and the rubric we will use to make decisions going forward. Our passionate desire is to grow the kingdom of God by reaching the people of West Virginia and Western Maryland. We believe our new mission statement is an important first step in accomplishing this goal.

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