A New Mission

Every new year, every birthday, every anniversary we tend to sit back and think about our lives. What’s going on? Where are we headed? Where can we improve? How? Let’s also think, evaluate and look forward, about our church.

The theme of our church for the year 2010 was “A New Creation,” based on 2 Corinthians 5:17 – If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. In other words, we were concentrating on our personal salvation and assurance of being a new person in Christ. The theme of our church for the year 2011 was “A New Community,” based on Acts 2, where individual Christian believers coming together form a new community with God – God’s community.

If God initiated, planned and implemented the salvation plan for us to be a new creation in Christ, if God initiated, planned and implemented the fellowship of believers, the church through His Holy Spirit, then He must have a plan for this “new community.” Now, what do we do? Does God have a purpose (mission) for our church? Actually, I strongly believe that He doesn’t make up a mission FOR our church. He prepared the church FOR His mission.

God created the world and everything in it (Genesis 1-2). We messed up because of our disobedience and a chaotic situation was the result of our sin (Genesis 3-11). Then, God announced His redemptive plan (mission) for us (Genesis 12:1-3). God renewed His promise and blessing to the creation He initially performed so beautiful, in His image. God’s mission for the creation is having a relationship with Him and with each other, which is a blessing. This is what God wants for His creation, for our church, for our families, for the whole humanity and nations. The apostle Paul also refers to this in Galatians 3:8, when He says the scriptures announced the gospel in advance… So, in order to have the whole picture (as much as it is revealed to us in the scriptures), we need to understand that our mission is God’s mission for us. He saved us, trained us, molded us, shaped us, qualified us, gave us different experiences, gifts and some maturity in order to be able to take part in doing His mission in this world, His mission in our local area wherever God planted us.

These thoughts lead me to an extreme sense of responsibility. If God has planned my life, all I have, all I am and He has a plan for me, I feel a deep sense of responsibility. I can not, and better not, be an unfaithful steward of my self. Pleasing God is my first priority and responsibility. These thoughts also lead me to an extreme sense of awe! The God of the universe, the Creator of the heaven and earth not only is interested in me, but loves me and entrusts me with His plan, to be part of His mission. I am so honored and blessed beyond my imagination.

Now, church members and friends, I pray you have a blessed New Year with a New Mission!

In Christ’s love,
Rev. Mgrdich Melkonian,
Senior Pastor, First Armenian Presbyterian Church
Fresno, CA, USA