Sojourners Church exists to make eternally joyful disciples of Jesus Christ through his word in the power of the Spirit to the global glory of God.
By God’s grace, we intend to carry out our mission through emphasizing the following nine gospel-centered priorities in all that we do.
Gospel-Centered Worship in corporate gatherings
All of life for the Christian is an act of worship, given as a pleasing offering to God (Romans 12:1-2). We are given specific instruction to practice this worship together as a body, speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (Ephesians 5:19).
Our worship follows the biblical model of revelation and response. We see God’s glorious character and mighty deeds revealed to us in scripture, and we therefore respond with appropriate response from the heart. In this way, our worship is gospel shaped. We see God’s holy character displayed (Isaiah 6:1-4), admit our own sin in falling short of his glory (Isaiah 6:5; Romans 3:23), turn from our sin in repentance and receive forgiveness (Isaiah 6:6-7; 1 John 1:9), and then rejoice with thanksgiving in our salvation (Philippians 3:1-11).
Gospel-Centered Expository Exultation in Preaching
The word for preaching in the New Testament comes from the idea of a herald of the King. The herald did not bring his own message but was solely responsible for being faithful to the message of the King. In the same way, preaching is not to be based on the opinion of the preacher but on the content of the Scripture. The first priority in preaching is getting authorial intent right. This means prioritizing expository series through books of the Bible as the main (not exclusive) diet for the people of Sojourners. The Bible will do its work among the people of Christ through the gospel of Christ (2 Timothy 3:16) (cf. especially 1 Corinthians 1-2 and 2 Timothy 4:1-5).
As a preacher labors to know the scriptures deeply we also expect him to be deeply moved by the realities he sees. This should result in a passionate exultation of the truth of God’s word consistent with the personality of the preacher. Preaching is worship (cf. Acts 2, 4, 7).
Every week there is a time in our service when we take the Lord’s Supper. It reminds us to examine our lives for sin (1 Corinthians 11:28), points us to the hope we have in Jesus for the power to overcome sin in this life (1 Corinthians 3:16-17), and leaves us rejoicing in the fact that we have a God that came down from heaven and died on the cross to purchase us as his own (1 Corinthians 11:26). We also rejoice in the privilege of baptizing those who have put their faith in Christ for the forgiveness of their sins and are now hoping to live in community with other believers in a way that glorifies God.
Gospel-Centered Corporate and Individual Prayer
Christians are people united by faith to the death and resurrection of Christ and given the Spirit of Christ to live within us. The most basic expression of that faith is prayer. We pray confidently because of the work of Christ and therefore we go often to the throne of grace (Hebrews 4).
Sojourners aims to make continual prayer in the Spirit the engine of all we do (Ephesians 6:18). This means we must prioritize prayer corporately and in our individual and family lives to ask God for the help, direction, and provision we so desperately rely on him for.
Gospel- Centered Care and Life Together as the Family of God
The gospel does not only purchase individual believers, but also creates a family of believers expressed in local churches. We define this local expression by those who have signed our membership covenant. This covenant expresses the promises made between elders and members. We hope that each member will be actively, eagerly, and prayerfully considering how God would like them to support the church with their spiritual gifts and their grace-driven generosity (Ephesians 4, 2 Corinthians 8-9).
Because we are a blood-bought family we seek to live authentic and transparent life together (Acts 20:28; Ephesians 4).
We seek to prioritize fellowship as a regular part of our lives and know each other well enough because of that fellowship to care for one another’s needs well (Acts 4:32-35). Prayer meetings, potlucks, and small groups are all tangible ways we live this priority out.
Gospel-Centered Individual and Family Discipleship
Jesus commanded us that we make disciples. This includes being active (going) to teach all he commanded and baptize them knowing he will be with us and he has all authority. Therefore, discipleship simply means that we seek to help every individual attain to “the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13). In other words, we seek to help people grow more into the likeness of Christ.
We seek to do this by providing teaching and counseling for all ages, individuals and families that will help them take the next step in their maturity in Christ. We also seek to equip the saints for the work of ministry in such a way that they will become disciple-makers themselves.
We take our identity as “ambassadors of Christ” (2 Corinthians 5) seriously. Jesus commissioned the apostles to be “witnesses” (Acts 1) to his death and resurrection and we carry on that witnessing legacy now.
We care about witnessing to the lost because we care about God’s glory. We want people to find their deepest joy in Jesus Christ and not the fleeting, foolish pleasures of the world. So, we implore them on Christ’s behalf to be reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5).
Gospel-Centered Support of Global Missions
The gospel is not local or tribal. The gospel is not ultimately about Sojourners Church. Instead it is an “all nations” gospel. And the ultimate picture of worship in heaven is with every tribe, tongue, nation, and people around the throne worshipping the Lamb who was slain and the one on the throne (Revelation 5).
Indeed, we want to keep this global vision of the gospel in front of our people at all times through preaching on, sending people out to, and supporting people in global missions. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory God. We seek to further God’s global glory enjoyed through Jesus Christ by all peoples as much as we can. (2 Corinthians 4) Indeed the only bloodline that matters in the gospel is the blood of Christ.
Gospel-Centered Justice and Mercy Ministry
God is a God of mercy who will by no means (Exodus 34:6-7). The gospel is a picture of God’s mercy to needy people in Christ and justice for sin (Romans 3:23-26). In the same way, as the church of Christ we seek to meet the needs of those who are in difficult situations (James 1:27) and pursue justice for those image-bearers who are marginalized or oppressed (Psalm 82). We have a fund dedicated to this ministry of mercy called the “Helping Hand Fund” and we will seek to speak to the gospel implications for justice when appropriate. We seek for the gospel to bring justice to bear in Christ so that many will receive mercy and we seek for many examples of mercy and justice to overflow in everyday situations.
We seek the good of people inside and outside the church in this way, but especially those in the household of faith (Galatians 6:10). As we have freely received mercy we seek to freely give mercy.