Just this Friday as I was running errands and going to meetings I had several people whom I did not know tell me good things about our church. It was as if I was going from one place to the next in our city and hearing great things from all around. We have not yet nearly arrived where we want to go with this but it is the beginning of the fulfillment of a vision we have in Moose Jaw. We want to be a church of 'irresistable influence'.
1. A church that loves and invests in our city and makes it a better place to live. Whether that is by the events we do as a church that help and bless people or whether it is our involvement in city initiatives, or whether it is just the people of our church being the body of Christ (loving, generous, helpful, etc.) to whomever they meet.
2. A church that is loving and relationally healthy within. To serve one another, lay down our ambitions for each other, encouraging and uplifting each other, speaking good about and to one another, praying for each other, helping each other out when we are in a rough time and just generally wanting the best for each other. This goes in the place of things like gossip, backbiting, competition for resources and volunteers, putting on a front and pretending we are perfect, judging others, etc. If we are inviting new people into community all the time we will always have lots of need to grow in this area. Most growth in this area happens through friction, so we need to be ready to be rubbed the wrong way and learn from it. The more healthy we become in loving one another, the more the world will take note of the One whose disciples we are.
3. A church that is known for what we are for, not for what we are against. We long to be a church that is for people, for families, for marriages, for single moms, for the city, for good works, for sharing God's love. Sometimes people get the impression we are against Muslims, against homosexuals, against prostitution, against gambling, etc, etc. We definitely take a loving stand when the truth needs to be stood for. But we take responsibility for the message that is communicated and we want it to be one of love. It is not okay if someone goes away from hearing us and gets a wrong impression of the message we share. God has called us to be a bright light. We agree with the saying that "It's better to light a candle than curse the darkness."
My prayer is that people in our city, no matter what faith preference or ideology they may have, would not be able to deny that Victory Church has made Moose Jaw a better place.