Jesus believes a church will love, serve, and transform a community for the better, and we hope to be a fresh expression of that message. He also said that if we are being that message, then people will know Christians by their love. And being more like Jesus from the inside-out starts to get at what it means to follow and be like Jesus.
When asked what the greatest commandment, Jesus answer was simple. Love God. He then followed with the statement to “love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:36-40) We love our neighbors, both those who follow Jesus and those who don’t. There are different expectations in purposes for why we love both groups, but in both cases, we are called to love each other (believers) and love our world (those who don’t follow Jesus).
The three directions at Resonate, which follow Jesus’ Great Commission for his disciples:
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. – Matthew 28:19-20
Upward involves “teaching them to observe all that I commanded you.” Upward is directly focused on teaching and growing more mature in our relationship and walk with Christ.
Inward involves “baptizing them…”. Baptism ultimately is for the community, since its a practice that we cannot do in isolation. Inward is all about the community, and growing through connections.
Outward involves “make disciples.” Jesus statement certainly implies that its about people who aren’t disciples already. Outward is totally focused on sharing the love