The Great Commission
We believe that God's vision for us is clear. He has told us to "go and make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:18-20). That does not mean that we are simply to get people saved. It means that we are to make "Jesus followers."
If we accomplish this objective, we are going to see many people giving their lives to Jesus to follow, serve and enjoy Him. We will also see things like flourishing marriages, children carrying on the legacy of faith passed down from their parents, individuals enjoying the benefits of handling their finances God's way, people experiencing the power of God's grace and forgiveness, and so much more.
Essentially, making disciples means that we are helping to get people "fit for here and Heaven." We want to help people live this one life in a purposeful way that glorifies the Lord and brings them great joy. Further, it enables them to stand before Jesus on the Day of Judgment and hear Him say, "Well done, good and faithful servant!" (Matthew 25:21, 23).
We at Westside are not only commanded to do that - we WANT to do that and we want to do it well!
How Do We Accomplish God's Mission for Us?
The question arises: "How? How are we to achieve the goal of seeing people give their lives to Jesus and then follow Him and enjoy Him the rest of their days?"
That's where our Ministry Map comes into play. We believe that it gives us a course of action to achieve God's mission for us.
So, let us share with you our Ministry Map and how it works. But keep in mind that as we do our part, we are fully reliant upon our God to do His part. If He doesn't bless our efforts to do what He has called us to do, our attempts will be hopelessly deficient and of no eternal value.
The Cross Is at the Center
Notice that the Cross is at the center of our Ministry Map. That is on purpose. We believe that the cross is the central event in all of earth's history and so we at Westside make certain that it is central in all that we do.
In our sanctuary, you will notice the name "Jesus" high above the pulpit. That's yet another reminder that Jesus and the cross are our focus at Westside.
Love Jesus: Passionately Worship the God Above You
The cross aims up toward Heaven. That is a reminder that we have first and foremost been called into a relationship with the Lord and we are to love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. When you love someone that much, it's worship!
So, at Westside, we strive to create worship atmospheres (our large group gatherings such as Sunday morning worship) where men and women, boys and girls who come with a desire to worship the Lord are able to do so.
Love Others: Selflessly Love the People Beside You
The cross aims out to others. That is a reminder that we have been called into relationship with other believers. After all, the second greatest commandment is to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.
So, at Westside, we strive to create small group environments where men and women, boys and girls can build relationships with other believers. This happens in our small groups (Sunday School, Westside University, and many other groups that meet throughout the week.)
Follow Jesus: Diligently Imitate the Christ Before You
The cross aims down reminding us that if we are truly a follower of Jesus, then we will get under the cross, take it up and follow Him. This is the daily activity of the believer that happens not simply on the church property but at home, work, and anywhere else we find ourselves.
So, at Westside, we strive to create worship atmospheres and small group settings that enable people to have what they need to follow Jesus when they are away from the church property. If our congregation isn't following Jesus when they are away from "church," then we aren't doing our job when we gather together.
Serve Others: Humbly Serve the People Around You
Finally, the cross aims out reminding us that we are again to reach out to others ... in a different way than previously mentioned. A sold-out follower of Jesus doesn't simply live for themselves. They don't follow Jesus only for their own private purposes. They do so realizing that as Jesus has served us we will also serve others. And what better person to serve others than one who Loves Jesus, Loves Others and Follows Jesus!
So, at Westside, we strive to create meaningful opportunities to serve. Some of the service activities happen on our property. There are many, many men and women who do everything from teach a Bible study class to operate the sound and lighting equipment to greeting folks when they come to worship and so much more. Off the property, there are so many possibilities to serve those in our congregation, city, and beyond!
Finally, the arrows in between each of the four headings are important. They point out that our success in achieving God's vision for us is achieved as we focus and depend upon the cross and as each area pushes the worshipper to the next.
Worship (Love Jesus) should encourage folks to get involved in building Christian relationships (Love Others).
Worship (Love Jesus) and Christian relationships (Love Others) rooted in the cross and God's Word equip one to follow Jesus daily (Follow Jesus).
Worship (Love Jesus), Christian relationships (Love Others), and becoming more like Jesus (Follow Jesus) equip someone to serve (Serve Others) in the power of God's Holy Spirit.
Serving Others has a goal - to help those we serve to know and worship the Lord (Love Jesus). Further, serving enables us to experience Jesus in news ways so that we are led to worship Him (Love Jesus).
If you have further questions, please contact Pastor Matt and he would be glad to assist you.