In Coordination With the 10 Dimensions of Church Life
- Various
Date Given: 
February 23, 2011

Table of Contents

Section 1: Our Mission & Spiritual Dynamic

Section 2: The 10 Dimensions of Church Life & the Values That Manifest Our Mission

  1. Worship
  2. Prayer
  3. Education
  4. Mutual Care
  5. Witness
  6. Racial Harmony
  7. Compassion
  8. Global Outreach
  9. Leadership
  10. Legacy

Section 3: Our Multiplication Strategy, Treasuring Christ Together

Notes on Our Mission


Section 1: Our Mission & Spiritual Dynamic

Our Mission1

To spread a passion2 for the supremacy3 of God in all things for the joy of all peoples4 through Jesus Christ.5

The Spiritual Dynamic That Drives Our Mission

We join God the Father6 in magnifying the supremacy of his glory through our Lord Jesus Christ,7 in the power of the Holy Spirit,8 by treasuring9 all that God is, loving10 all whom he loves, praying11 for all his purposes, meditating12 on all his Word,13 sustained by all his grace.14

Section 2: The 10 Dimensions of Church Life & the Values That Manifest Our Mission

In light of our mission and its motivating spiritual dynamic—and given the neighborhood contexts of each of our campuses at this moment in history—the following values grip us as we reflect on, pray over, and act with respect to our particular circumstances, constituency as a church in the Twin Cities, and convictions relating to the nature of the local church.

1. Worship

Enjoying and displaying the worth of Christ in God-centered, Christ-exalting, Spirit-led, Bible-saturated corporate worship, including congregational singing, prayer, and expository exultation (i.e., preaching). In light of this value, we aim to ...

  • Relentlessly pursue joy in God as an all-satisfying end in himself.
  • Be earnest, intense, and passionate about the things of God and his Son.
  • Center on and savor together the truth and sweetness of the gospel in our weekend worship services, which are our primary corporate expression of passion for the supremacy of God.
  • Practice a public worship form that communicates the supremacy of God in all of life.
  • Pursue fervent, biblical, Spirit-anointed, God-exalting, personally helpful preaching.
  • Emphasize the importance of both head and heart in our worship services.
  • Be a singing people with growing appreciation for diverse expressions of love for God.
  • Recognize and experience the importance of old and new, historic and current expressions of worship.
  • Engage in worship together as the body of Christ within the wide range of gifts that God graciously bestows on us with undistracting excellence, not compromising spiritual qualifications for aesthetic considerations, by following godly leadership.
  • Recognize that our gatherings will reflect musically the ethnic and cultural diversity of our campus congregations and of the wider metropolitan culture.
  • Increase in a humble willingness to support others whose tastes are different than ours.
  • Have a passion for “all the fullness of God” through the fruits and gifts of the Holy Spirit.
  • Welcome one another graciously as Christ has welcomed us.

2. Prayer

Commitment to depend on God’s grace and mercy in personal, family, and corporate prayer, so that in all our blessings the Giver will get the glory. In light of this value, we aim to …

  • Make prayer the visible engine of all our efforts in life, family, ministry, and worship.
  • Pray persistently, earnestly, and spontaneously for the good of others and the glory of Christ.
  • Plan prayerfully and proactively toward ministry effectiveness, growth, and change.
  • Make prayer an essential part of our weekend worship gatherings—before, during, and after these gatherings.
  • Call each household head to lead in regular family prayer.
  • Encourage faithfulness in private prayer.
  • Earnestly seek deep communion with God through planned prayer which gives rise to spontaneity in prayer.

3. Education

Personal efforts to grow and help each other grow in biblical truth and wisdom and faith and love, which show Christ as our supreme treasure. In light of this value, we aim to …

  • Depend on the indispensable role of the Holy Spirit to enlighten our minds and awaken a love for truth.
  • Be people who are humble and teachable before the Word of God, always growing in our grasp of God’s truth and grace.
  • Commit to personal and corporate Bible reading and memorization as a means of growth in grace, knowledge of God, and love for God.
  • Esteem the indispensable role of teachers to impart biblical truth to the mind and heart.
  • Pursue the study of biblical and systematic theology so that we will not be immature in our thinking and so that all our gatherings will be richly permeated with the Word of God.
  • Embrace the sovereignty of God over all suffering and the spiritual value of suffering in this fallen age, including the way it makes us more perceptive readers of the Bible.
  • Impart the vision of God as supreme and all-satisfying to the next generation.

4. Mutual Care

Corporate commitment to pursue a life together in sacrificial, faith-sustaining care for each other in loving relationships at every level of youth and age, joy and sorrow, comfort and crisis, health and brokenness. In light of this value, we aim toward …

  • Authentic affection and love for one another.
  • Thankfulness to God for believers with whom we fellowship, for God’s grace at work within them, and for the unique contribution of each to the body.
  • The triumph of the Spirit over the desires of the flesh, made evident in relationships characterized by concern for others, not selfishness, truth not deception, kindness not harshness, tenderheartedness not callousness, humility not self-exaltation, mutual dependence not independence, honor in place of lust, forgiveness not revenge, and forbearance in place of bitterness.
  • Covenant membership and a glad submission to mutual accountability.
  • Being wise, gentle, and hopeful in the process of pursuing and restoring believers who have grievously sinned.
  • Active participation in small groups led by qualified leaders and overseen by elders in order to build caring, faith-sustaining, lasting relationships that are marked by transparency of life’s challenges and struggles.
  • Encouragement of one another daily in our fight of faith, our hunger for righteousness, and our passion for God by the power of the Spirit.
  • Grace-empowered conversations in which the truth is spoken in love.
  • The exercise of spiritual gifts given to each believer and a freedom to use those gifts for God’s glory.
  • The welcoming of new people, whether ethnically different or similar, with openness and warmth and the avoidance of cliquishness in every way.
  • A sincere commitment to seek to preserve friendships, strengthen marriages, and build the unity of the church by being kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving even as God in Christ has reconciled and forgiven us.
  • Be a place where single people can flourish with each other and in families in single-hearted devotion to the Lord.
  • An unwavering commitment to pursue the glory of God in every conflict, large or small, and at every level of church discipline.
  • A readiness to take personal responsibility to biblically resolve conflict and to strive for reconciliation in order to live at peace with everyone, if at all possible.
  • The humble correction of others when necessary, and humbly receiving correction when it is needed, without defensiveness.
  • Training biblical counselors and care ministers who provide ready assistance for those in distress.

5. Witness

Personal and corporate strategies of wartime living, courageous witness, and social action to show the supreme value of Christ to fallen people and fallen culture. In light of this value, we aim toward …

  • Radical obedience to Jesus through personal holiness, both in public and in secret.
  • The promotion of continuous evangelism through our natural webs of relationships.
  • Bold, balanced, and winsome confrontation of our culture’s unbiblical elements.
  • Rigorous honesty, financial accountability, and being above reproach in all our business dealings while being generous, regular, and cheerful in giving to the mission and ministries of the church.
  • Freedom from burdensome debt in our finances for the sake of advancing the gospel, while using debt wisely in our personal lives and in the strategic expansion of our corporate mission.

6. Racial Harmony

Making intentional efforts to display love across racial and cultural lines, and being a church that models the fruit of that love. In light of this value, we aim to …

  • Be diligent to preserve the profound unity we have in the gospel of Christ, as fellow children of God and partakers of the Holy Spirit.
  • Increase our enjoyment of God through Godward friendships that celebrate and respect our ethnic and cultural distinctives.
  • Count our identity in Christ as more significant than every other self-defining characteristic.
  • Be relentless in calling for personal and corporate actions which express racial and ethnic harmony visibly in our church.
  • Intentionally enfold, disciple, and appoint qualified leaders from diverse cultures and ethnic backgrounds into the full community life of the church, including all levels of leadership and visibility.
  • Make personal and corporate evangelism efforts to call people of all ethnicities and cultures to see and savor Jesus Christ together with us.
  • Grow in reflecting the racial and ethnic diversity of the global church and the neighborhoods surrounding each of our church campuses.

7. Compassion

Personal and corporate expressions of compassion to relieve human suffering, near and far, by means of short-term intervention and long-term personal and structural change, in order to show the justice, mercy, and soul-satisfying beauty of Christ—forever. In light of this value, we aim to …

  • Be inclined to do good to all people, especially one another, regardless of age, race, culture, or interest.
  • Engage in mercy ministries of word and deed to the destitute, helpless, and poorest of the poor (locally and globally).
  • Foster a ministry mindset of creativity, flexibility, and appropriate responsiveness to both old and new needs.
  • Engage in strong, multi-faceted, and biblically grounded action for racial justice in our communities and our world, expressed through teaching, persistent prayer, political influence, and practical participation.
  • Engage in strong, multi-faceted, and biblically grounded action for the pro-life cause, expressed through teaching, persistent prayer, political influence, practical participation, and care for those who have been involved in and harmed by abortions.
  • Practice biblically informed environmental stewardship of creation for the glory of God and the good of our neighbors in every generation and every location.
  • Lovingly come alongside those struggling with same-sex attraction and sexual sins, so that we might together experience exceedingly satisfying joy in Christ over the destructive desires of the flesh.

8. Global Outreach

Corporate efforts in cross-cultural global outreach for the sake of the name of Christ among all peoples. In light of this value, we aim to …

  • Prepare, send, and support our global partners who are called to go out for the sake of Christ’s name in a manner worthy of God, and in a way that honors God in how we send them.
  • Aggressively participate in reaching the unreached peoples of the world through church planting movements and creative access strategies.
  • Equip our people with biblically informed contextualized approaches for making disciples of people from all socio-economic, religious, and ethnic groups (locally and globally).
  • Encourage and empower those called to be senders to become advocates for our global partners and the people groups they seek to reach.
  • Live a simple wartime lifestyle (individually and corporately)—not simple for simplicity’s sake but a lifestyle of intentional austerity for the cause of spreading the gospel to the ends of the earth—in order to free our finances for the global cause of Christ.
  • Encourage various ethno-linguistic peoples worshiping God through Christ in their own language, and biblically permissible cultural expressions within our church and in other like-minded churches in our communities and around the world.
  • Be enriched by the wider movements of God’s Spirit across church and denominational lines.

9. Leadership

Humble submission to spiritual, biblically qualified elders who lead by example, not dominion, and with joy, not under compulsion, to equip the saints for the work of the ministry, including aggressive efforts to multiply congregational leaders. In light of this value, we aim to …

  • Submit, for the sake of our joy, to the spiritual leadership of our pastors/elders as biblically qualified men appointed to lead, teach, care, and equip the church and families for the work of the ministry.
  • Uphold biblical complementarity in the church by encouraging and valuing the various roles, gifts, and ministries of men and women while appointing humble, spiritually qualified, gifted men to be elders who oversee the affairs of the church.
  • Make leadership development intentional within the church at every level, by means of mentoring, teaching, and delegating responsibility.
  • Sustain our effective pastoral staff in long, fruitful, happy ministry in the church.
  • Encourage, equip, and mobilize our members to take leadership initiative in creatively developing a wide variety of ministries within and outside the church that express our mission and values, and yet do not unduly burden the financial commitments of the church.
  • Share our church leaders with the wider church movement through writing, speaking, and leadership.
  • Continue the participation, fellowship, and influence of our leadership within our denomination, Converge Worldwide (formerly, the Baptist General Conference), at appropriate levels.

10. Legacy

The commitment of the church and parents to train up succeeding generations of children and youth who live for the glory of God and treasure Christ forever. In light of this value, we aim to …

  • See church and home come together as partners for the joy of our children in the hope that they and those coming after them will belong wholly to Jesus Christ and treasure him forever.
  • Coordinate, facilitate, and encourage the discipleship of children and youth without assuming parental responsibilities.
  • Faithfully teach, equip, and inspire both young and old to love the Word of God, affirm its infallible worth, and grow in the ability to understand it, express it, spread it, defend it, and apply it to every area of life, including parental responsibilities.
  • Instruct children and youth through the godly examples of well-trained workers and God-centered, Christ-exalting, biblically responsible curriculum.
  • Affirm public, private, and home education as valid means of educating children, provided that parents fulfill their responsibility to nurture and protect the souls of their children and faithfully prepare them to live their lives in this world for the glory of God and the eternal joy of his people.
  • Affirm, support, and equip fathers in their unique responsibility and accountability before God to nurture the faith of their children and provide spiritual leadership in the home.
  • Honor teens as young adults who can be meaningfully engaged in the life and the various ministries of the church.
  • Provide people young and old with the opportunity to experience the joy of Christian fellowship across generational lines.
  • Build strong marriages that portray the covenant-keeping love between Christ and his Church and provide the foundation for training and discipling children and youth.
  • Recognize the potential in Christian households for strategic hospitality aimed at reaching and welcoming unchurched children and their families into the church.
  • Intentionally raise our young people in the hope that they will embrace the biblical pattern for manhood and womanhood.
  • Encourage cross-generational opportunities for the young to walk with the wise and learn from older men and women.

Section 3: Our Multiplication Strategy: Treasuring Christ Together

“Treasuring Christ Together” (TCT) is the name of our ongoing strategic commitment to fulfill our mission through the multiplication of campuses, new churches, and a Global Diaconate, defined and united by their common mission and biblical life and doctrine. The mission is to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ. The biblical life is expressed in our “10 Dimensions of Church Life” and the doctrine is Bethlehem’s Elder Affirmation of Faith.

For more information about our mission and distinctives, see the “Who We Are” page at

Notes on Our Mission

Our Mission1

To spread a passion2 for the supremacy3 of God in all things for the joy of all peoples4 through Jesus Christ.5


This mission statement is essentially a definition of biblical love toward all peoples. Love is a passion to bring other people into the eternally all‑satisfying experience of enjoying all that God is for them in the person and work of Jesus.


Passion is a risky word. By it we mean zeal, jealousy, enthusiasm, fervency, ardor, earnestness. The point is to find a way of getting across the intensity of Jesus’ command to love God with all our hearts and all our souls and all our minds (Matthew 22:37). Passion is an attempt to capture in a word what David felt when he said in Psalm 63:1, “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” Seeking earnestly, thirsting, yearning—these are words of passionate desire. Our mission is not to merely think rightly or act rightly, but to feel that God is our supreme treasure. God is glorified when we see his supremacy and understand it truly, but God is more glorified when we not only see it and understand it but also rejoice in it and have emotions that correspond to his worth. God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.


God is absolutely supreme. He is the greatest of all beings. He never came into being. He will exist forever. All other beings depend on him for existence. There is none like him. He is infinite, eternal, and unchanging in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth. We are stunned by the extent to which God is neglected in our world. If he is supreme—if he is the most important reality in the universe, creating all, upholding all, governing all, calling all to account—then his virtual insignificance in our culture is the most appalling, terrifying, heart-breaking thing in the world (Jeremiah 2:13).


Why peoples in the plural? The point is to call attention to the great unfinished task of world evangelization—and that means reaching all the peoples of the world and planting the church among them so that they can be about evangelizing their own people and join in the task of reaching the remaining unreached peoples. Psalm 67:3–4 says, “Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! Let the nations be glad and sing for joy.” God is interested in all the peoples. He wants to draw every people into the joy of his supremacy. This is our understanding of finishing the Great Commission—not that every individual will be saved, but that every people group will be penetrated with the gospel. Revelation 5:9 says that Christ “[was] slain, and by [his] blood [he] ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.” And Jesus said in Matthew 24:14, “This gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations [or peoples], and then the end will come.” Our mission will not be finished until all the peoples hear and the church is planted among every people group. This is a huge priority among us. World history hangs on it.

5Through Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ is the center of history. His perfect life, death for sinners, and triumphant resurrection are the culmination of God’s purposes in the universe—a universe that exists to display his greatness. God both created all things and accomplished all salvation in Christ, through Christ, and for Christ (Colossians 1:15–20). Christ is the radiance of God’s glory (Hebrews 1:3) and the one who has revealed to us the Father (John 1:18), such that to see him is to see the Father (John 14:10). We have become convinced how essential it is to exult explicitly in the excellence of Jesus Christ crucified and risen from the dead for sinners. Christ must be explicit in all our “God-talk.” It will not do, in this day of pluralism, to talk about the glory of God in vague ways. God without Christ is no God. And a no-God cannot save or satisfy the soul. Following a no-God—whatever his name or whatever his religion—will be a wasted life. God-in-Christ is the only true God and the only path to joy. “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:12). “Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him” (John 5:23).

The Spiritual Dynamic That Drives Our Mission

We join God the Father6 in magnifying the supremacy of his glory through our Lord Jesus Christ,7 in the power of the Holy Spirit,8 by treasuring9 all that God is, loving10 all whom he loves, praying11 for all his purposes, meditating12 on all his Word,13 sustained by all his grace.14

6God the Father

God is infinitely glorious (Exodus 15:11; Psalm 145:5). All that the Son and the Holy Spirit do, and all that happens in history, is designed by God the Father to magnify his greatness and his beauty among all peoples. The Spirit magnifies the Son (John 16:13–14) and the Son magnifies the Father (Philippians 2:11; John 17:1). We join this divine purpose by aiming, in all we do, to magnify God: “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). To glorify God means to do for him what a telescope does for galaxies—not to make the small look large, but to make the magnificent look like what it is—for us and for all peoples. Every moment of life, now and forever, is given by God for magnifying God—in our neighborhood and among the nations.

7God the Son

We can only magnify God the Father because of the redeeming life and death and resurrection of God the Son, Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:5–6). Without him, we are alienated from God and under his wrath (Ephesians 2:3, 12–13). Therefore, our entire relationship with the Father rests on Jesus. All of life, now and in eternity, depends on the saving and sustaining work of Jesus (Hebrews 1:3). God’s purpose is that all the nations glory in this mercy (Romans 15:9) and bow at the name of Jesus (Philippians 2:10). Thus the name of Jesus shall fly like a banner over every moment and every ministry and every mission of our church and of our lives: “Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Colossians 3:17).

8God the Spirit

Only if we are born again by the Spirit (John 3:3) will we be inclined to magnify God in the name of Jesus. Therefore, all that matters in life depends on the Holy Spirit at work in our hearts. His leading is the very essence of being a child of God: “All who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God” (Romans 8:14). All of life is to be lived in glad reliance on the enabling and empowering of the Holy Spirit by faith in the promises of God (Acts 20:32; Romans 1:16–17; 1 Corinthians 15:1–2; Colossians 1:23; 1 Peter 1:3–5). We will not be content until we, and all the elect from all the peoples (John 11:52), are filled with the Holy Spirit—with all the fullness of God (Galatians 5:22–23; Romans 15:13; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Ephesians 3:14–19; 5:18).


We are using the word treasuring as a synonym for faith. This draws out one essential meaning of faith, namely, the savoring or cherishing or treasuring or being satisfied by God’s promises. God’s glory is magnified when we have such faith in what he promises to be for us in Jesus’ person and work (2 Corinthians 1:20). “No distrust made [Abraham] waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God” (Romans 4:20). Such faith is both the past-oriented trust that Jesus died for our sins and the future-oriented “assurance of things hoped for” (Hebrews 11:1). It is not a one-time act, but a race to be run and a fight to be fought. “The one who endures to the end will be saved” (Mark 13:13). “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). In its essence, it means being satisfied with all that God promises to be for us in who Jesus is and what he has accomplished for us. “I am the bread of life;” Jesus said, “whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst” (John 6:35). All of life is lived by this faith (Romans 1:16–17; 1 Corinthians 15:1–2; Galatians 3:2). God is magnified by being trusted. We are satisfied in trusting. Thus, God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him. He is praised in all things when he is prized in all things.


Faith in the all-satisfying grace of God frees us from fear and greed and impels us to love like God. “In Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love” (Galatians 5:6). “The aim of our charge is love that issues from … a sincere faith” (1 Timothy 1:5). Thus the all-satisfying greatness of God in which we trust is seen and magnified in our love. “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35; cf. John 17:21). There is a special affection for “the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10; cf. 1 Thessalonians 3:12; Romans 12:10). But our love is most compelling when it embraces enemies (Matthew 5:44–47). “Let all that you do be done in love” (1 Corinthians 16:14). “For the one who loves another has fulfilled the law” (Romans 13:8).


The riches of God’s grace are magnified when we depend on him by prayer rather than looking to our own resources. “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me” (Psalm 50:15). “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (John 14:13). The Word of God that sustains the faith that “works through love” is illuminated and made powerful through prayer. “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law” (Psalm 119:18). Faith is sustained by prayer (Luke 22:32; Ephesians 3:17). Love is increased by prayer (Philippians 1:9). Thus we are to pray constantly (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and with all kinds of prayer (Ephesians 6:18). All activity should be guided and carried by prayer.


The Hebrew word for meditate is also often translated as to speak or to mutter. When this is done in the heart, rather than the mouth, it is called musing or meditation. So when Psalm 1:2, for example, says that the blessed man delights in the law of the LORD and meditates on it day and night, it means that he is speaking the Word of God to himself and speaking to himself about it. So when we meditate on God’s Word, we remember the Word, and think about the Word, and ponder how it applies to our lives. We mull it over, and muse and ask questions, and direct our attention to the Word from different angles. Meditating is the opposite of reading passively. We ask questions about the text in our minds and seek prayerfully (Psalm 119:18, 36) to think through answers in reliance on the Holy Spirit. Meditation involves the paradox of mental initiative and divine gift: “Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything” (2 Timothy 2:7).

13His Word

The faith that “works through love” is begotten and sustained by the Word of God. “You have been born again … through the living and abiding word of God” (1 Peter 1:23; cf. James 1:18). “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). This word is the Bible, which is the inspired and infallible guide for all of faith and life. “All Scripture is breathed out by God” (2 Timothy 3:16), and, therefore, “Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35). The gospel, as the central and culminating message of the inerrant Scriptures, is fuel for the fire of faith which “works through love” and magnifies the worth of God. Therefore, we aim to be saturated with the Word through continual meditation (Psalm 1:1–3) and proclamation. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Colossians 3:16).

14His Grace

Beneath treasuring all that God is, and loving all that he loves, and praying for all his purposes, and meditating on his Word is the all-powerful, all-supplying grace of God. We do not initiate our own conversion, nor sustain our own perseverance. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). “By the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me” (1 Corinthians 15:10). All of Christian living reflects God’s glory, because it is all the work of his grace (Hebrews 13:21; 1 Peter 4:11). Everything we have is a gift from God (2 Corinthians 4:7). “From him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen” (Romans 11:36). Therefore we will not boast, except in the person and work of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 1:31; Galatians 6:14). We will do all we do by faith in the strength that God supplies that in everything God may get the glory through Jesus Christ (1 Peter 4:11).


© January/February 2011 Bethlehem Baptist Church

© 2017 Bethlehem Baptist Church