The Purpose Statement of Fellowship Bible Church
"FBC exists in order to help the people of East Texas take the next step in their journey to know, love, serve, and share Christ."
The Lord has frequently compared a farmer to the Christian servant who labors to bring other people to faith and fruitfulness. Consider the work of the farmer in the process. The task of the farmer is to help his seeds develop into mature trees that bear fruit and reproduce themselves. The farmer responds to an apple seed for instance, in different and appropriate ways as it develops. The farmer doesn’t prune a brand new seedling just emerging from the soil. Instead he waters, fertilizes, feeds the new plant. On the other hand, the farmer does prune the mature tree tonmake it more productive. The farmer’s purpose is to encourage and facilitate the tree to move to the "next step" in its maturity.
In much the same way, the folks who make up Fellowship Bible Church want to impact the lives of those around us, progressively helping each individual move from dormancy to maturity. We want to serve the one who is hostile to the Gospel hoping that they are warmed to Christ and Christians. We want to share the Gospel with the seeker that they might be saved. We want to teach the redeemed person that they might bear fruit and we want to challenge the disciple to full surrender - the same farmer helping each individual take the next step in their journey of faith. This is the role FBC has played in the East Texas community in the past, and the role we choose to embrace for the future. Our mission is to help others take the next step in their journey of faith as a “Next Step Ministry.”
Of course the question is where do all the steps eventually lead? The answer is to becoming a fully developed disciple of Christ. Our desire is to challenge encourage and equip people to move forward along these 4 converging paths:
To help people take the next step in knowing the Lord.
- By breaking down the hostilities of those who do not believe by serving them, and living an attractive life before them.
- By leading those who do not believe to saving faith in Christ (John 17:3)
- By teaching the truth of the Word through careful exposition of the Scripture (Acts 2:41-42)
To help people take the next step in loving the Lord.
- By teaching folks and enabling them to develop the discipline of study and prayer each day with the Lord
- By leading them and encouraging them in contemporary heartfelt worship (Eph. 5:19-20)
- By providing small group ministries to help them experience intimate fellowship with the Church body (Acts 2:24-47a; Mark 12:30-31).
To help people take the next step in serving the Lord.
- By helping them discover and develop their spiritual giftedness
- By providing an opportunity for them to exercise their gift in this local body and the community (Eph. 4:11-13, Col. 3:23,24, 1 Peter 4:10, Rom. 12:3-8).
To help people take the next step in sharing the Lord.
- By showing them how to demonstrate His character in the community (1 Peter 2:12; 3:15);
- By equipping and encouraging them to personally share the faith with those who do not yet believe. (Acts 5:42)
- By providing training and opportunity for each to serve as a short term and possibly career missionary.
- And by involving them in the work of giving, praying, and broadly participating in our world missions program.
In Response to Growth
The Lord has used this emphasis to grow our ministry. If He continues to bless in the future as He has the past then we will continue to grow numerically and spiritually. Rather than growing immensely large, we would prefer to grow broader by planting churches. When the present church reaches 1,500-2,000 people, we plan to launch daughter churches, in adjacent communities with a nucleus of 200 or so folks from the mother church, a full array of programs, and trained leadership including fully supported pastors. In so doing, we will be creating other local bodies who will also be about the work of helping people in their community to take the next step in their journey to know, love serve, and share Christ.