Explore OUR MISSION with All Ages Together
What is our mission for God?

KEY CONCEPTS

  1. We proclaim Jesus Christ and promote communities of joy, hope, love, and peace.
  2. Invite People to Christ. We share the peace of Jesus Christ with those who are waiting to hear the redeeming words of the gospel, through local and worldwide evangelism, including ministries of invitation, witness, and inclusive fellowship.
  3. Abolish Poverty, End Suffering. We are Christ’s hands and feet, reaching out through compassionate ministries that serve the poor and hungry and put a stop to conditions that diminish the worth of persons.
  4. Pursue Peace on Earth. The vision of Zion will become reality when we live Christ’s peace and generously share his peace with others.
  5. Develop Disciples to Serve. We engage in lifelong disciple formation that equips men, women, and children to be true and living expressions of the life, ministry, and continuing presence of Christ in the world.
  6. Experience Congregations in Mission. We build signal communities—
    congregations that are true and living expressions of Jesus Christ, woven together by the Spirit, and sent into the world as evangelistic witnesses and compassionate ministers, who promote justice and become peacemakers.

SCRIPTURES

Our understanding of our mission will grow through the study of these scriptures.

Luke 4:16–21
Christ sets the pattern to bring good news to the poor, release the captives, give sight to the blind, let the oppressed go free, and proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.

John 21:15–17
Jesus challenges Peter three times to care for Jesus’ sheep.

Community of Christ Mission Statement

We proclaim Jesus Christ and promote communities of joy, hope, love, and peace.

Matthew 28:19–20
Jesus promises to be with us always as we go to make disciples of all nations.

Luke 9:2
Jesus sent his disciples out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal.

Doctrine and Covenants 162:3b, 7a
Be persistent in your witness, as many are waiting to hear the gospel, or to be lifted from hopelessness, and will respond.

Doctrine and Covenants 164:2a, b
The redemptive action of God in Christ is not confined solely to the church. It moves throughout creation to achieve divine purposes in people’s lives.

Doctrine & Covenants 164:9a
Beloved children of the Restoration, your continuing faith adventure with God has been divinely led, eventful, challenging, and sometimes surprising to you. By the grace of God, you are poised to fulfill God’s ultimate vision for the church.

Unless otherwise noted, Bible passages are quoted or adapted from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV).
Practices of Discipleship Missional Encounter personal relationships Shared Experiences in Community community spiritual practices personal spiritual practices witnessing and storytelling lifelong learning scripture and theological study practices of discipleship

scripture and theological study
missional encounters
personal spiritual practices
community spiritual practices

personal relationships3 name=
Shared experiences in community
witnessing and storytelling

lifelong learning


scripture and theological study

Scripture and Theological Study
Responsibly interpret and faithfully apply scripture for insight into discipleship. Study Community of Christ theology.
  • newWitness and Invitation
    The scriptures provide many examples of witness and invitation. Divide your group into four smaller groups, and assign one scripture each to the four groups. After reading together, ask each group to prepare a skit showing the invitation to the larger group:

    • In Matthew 28:16–20, Jesus Christ commissioned his followers to witness of the gospel throughout the world and invite all into his community of disciples.
    • In John 1:43–46, Philip shares the story of Jesus with Nathanael (witness). When Nathanael questions that story, Philip tells him to “come and see” (invitation).
    • In John 4:1–20 the woman at the well, after her transforming encounter with Jesus, returns to town to tell others what had happened (witness) and, like Philip says, “Come and see!” (invitation).
    • In III Nephi 9:1–3, 6 shows people having received Jesus’ ministry “noised [it] abroad among the people” (witness) and told them that he would return the next day (invitation).

    After the skits are presented, discuss how all can express witness and invitation to others. Who will they witness to? Who will they invite?

  • Lectionary Story Bible Year CJesus’ Mission Statement
    Read Luke 4:16–21. For children use the Lectionary Story Bible, Year C, p. 54. As you read, consider the following questions: What does it mean today to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, or let the oppressed go free? What does it mean for that scripture to be “fulfilled” today? This is considered by Community of Christ to be the “mission statement” for Jesus’ ministry. What would be a mission statement for your ministry? How is Christ’s mission our mission? Talk about the mission statement of Community of Christ: “We proclaim Jesus Christ and promote communities of joy, hope, love, and peace.” Help young members of your family or congregation understand and write mission statements.
  • Breads of the World
    breadRead Matthew 25:34–40 (or “Being Kind to God,” Lectionary Story Bible, Year A, p. 242). Hold a “Breads of the World” bake sale to raise money for one of the five Community of Christ Mission Initiatives, such as “Abolish Poverty, End Suffering.” If your congregation does not have a kitchen where everyone can bake together, divide into small groups of all ages to make bread using recipes from many countries. Make sure every person gets to help. As you work, talk about what Jesus meant when he said “for I was hungry and you gave me food.” How can baking bread help people who are hungry and provide a way for your congregation to work together to help fulfill Christ’s mission.

    Label each loaf of bread with the name of the bread and country of origin of the recipe (you might include the recipe, too). Publicize the event in your local media and through your mission center. Thank the people who helped with the sale and those who bought the bread.
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missional encounters

Missional Encounters
Apply a Christ-like response to the needs of humans and creation.
  • new
    Jack and Jenn Teach the Mission Initiatives

    jack and jenn video seriesAs a congregation, explore the Mission Initiatives with Jack and Jenn, six videos and lessons created to help explain the Mission Initiatives. All ages can watch the videos together, then participate in the crafts, games, and experiences suggested in the lessons. Adults may also wish to study the Mission Initiatives Lessons for Adults.
  • Sustainable Good
    Those who live in poverty around the world need our help to find sustainable, long-term solutions that will carry them through good times and bad. Learn what Outreach International does to help people help themselves—in families, in schools, in communities, and in the environment. Two excellent ways for congregations to get involved: (1) OutreachKids, a learning and action program which involves the whole congregation; (2) Outreach Partners at www.outreach-international.org/get-involved/volunteer/. Raise money to buy a goat or piglet or school supplies through their gift catalog at www.outreachshop.org. Invite others to join you! In Europe, check with Outreach Europe; in Canada, World Accord; in Australia, SaintsCare.
  • Be an Award Winner
    Choose a peace award recipient (someone who was awarded the Community of Christ International Peace Award) whose contribution most fits your congregation’s calling or neighborhood of need. Craig Kielburger began “Feed the Children,” to help children out of child labor circumstances. Greg Mortenson builds schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Halima Bashir promotes the health and safety of women and children in Darfur. Jean Vanier creates communities for adults with developmental disabilities. Identify some of the needs in your community and the world. Make a plan as a group, involving all ages, to respond to a need and make a difference.
  • Mission Initiatives
    President Veazey gave a statement of our Mission Initiatives on April 10, 2011. List these for all to read. Our mission as disciples is to fulfill that same calling of Jesus, to serve those in need. Ask: How can we (as a congregation or group, in this place) serve others? What gifts do we have to share? What are the needs around us? What can we do now?

    Write each person’s responses on a flip chart or poster board, and then determine an action or first step to respond to the needs. Create a scroll and write an announcement of the group’s mission on it. Display the scroll in the congregation or share it in a service of commitment.

    Alternative: each age group may create their own scroll and write their personal statement of commitment and response on it, then share it with the entire group. Their announcements may be presented in a service of praise and commitment.
  • Speak Their Language
    sign languageAs a congregation, learn the language of those in your community. A congregation learned sign language from a deaf member so that they could “sing” hymns together in voice and signing. Another congregation was taught how to speak Spanish by the church neighborhood, and soon those teaching became members of the congregation. All ages can learn languages, and you can help one another learn. Include your new language in current ministry (signed songs for worship, for instance), and to invite those beyond the church walls.
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personal spiritual practices

Personal Spiritual Practices
Closely connect with the Divine through spiritual disciplines.

(Personal Spiritual Practices are those that we do alone, but they can be learned and practiced in an all-ages group setting. Use an all-ages activity to learn these practices together, always encouraging participants to continue practicing individually.)

  • Shalom for the Homeless
    Do you know of someone who is homeless or who is worried about losing his or her home; refugees from their homelands, those whose homes were destroyed by war or natural disaster, and those who live in shelters? Did you know that in most cities, homelessness affects more children than adults? In a quiet place, offer a prayer for those who are homeless. Following the spiritual practice of candlesHolding in the Light is an especially powerful way for a group to pray for persons of mutual concern. Use candles to imagine the homeless being surrounded by and held in God’s light. Imagine a homeless person or child finding a place where they can live in warmth, in safety, in comfort. Now imagine your response—what you can do to help. Make a plan for the homeless in your community such as an oblation gift, Habitat for Humanity, or a homeless shelter.
  • Fast for the Hungry
    empty plateFasting is a spiritual practice to be closer to God. People who don’t choose to “go hungry” quickly become too weak to help themselves. Enter a time of quiet prayer and ask God to open your heart to those who are hungry. Prepare to fast from a meal and use that time to reflect on the spiritual and physical hungers among the poor and hungry. What response do you feel compelled to make? Many organizations work to eliminate hunger and poverty. Outreach International’s Hunger Challenge states, “Go hungry today so they won’t tomorrow.” In this program, groups fast for 24 hours and get sponsorships to help those who are hungry around the world. Check out the Hunger Challenge. Or make a phone call, a pantry donation, a visit, or a donation to the World Hunger Fund, Outreach Europe, World Accord, SaintsCare or other local or global organization. Make a plan to complete this action as you leave your prayer space.
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community spiritual practices

Community Spiritual Practices
Closely connect with the Divine and one another through spiritual disciplines.
  • Joy, Hope, Love, Peace
    Divide into four groups. Assign “JOY,” “HOPE,” “LOVE” or “PEACE” to a group. Provide poster board, markers, hymnals and scriptures for each group. Have each group create a poster that depicts their assigned word using scriptures, words, images and designs. (For example, what does a community of JOY look like, what do they sing?) This could also be created on butcher paper or newsprint hung on the walls. When the posters are complete, ask each group to show their poster and explain it to the larger group. After each group has shared their poster, start a chant of the church’s mission statement and have the group stand, holding their poster high, each time their word is chanted. The chant leader can “direct” a range of volume for the chant from thunderously loud to whispering. To end the chant, sing “Community of Joy, Proclaim the Living Christ!” By Request 16. Have each group sing the stanza for their assigned word, with the whole group singing stanza five.
  • A Pile of Rocks
    rocksAt certain times, people made piles of rocks to help them remember what God had done for them at that location. In a small group ask each person to write their name on a rock. They can also write something about the call they feel to live out their mission. Then place each rock in a special area as a lasting visible reminder of this time and this event. Others could add to the pile of rocks later. For example, if the rock pile was made on a campground, campfire site, or church ground, others could continually add rocks as a visual reminder of that group’s call to mission.
  • Provide Worship
    Coordinate a worship service for residents in a long-term care facility. Involve people of all ages, such as young children singing, youth saying prayers, an older person doing a scripture reflection.
  • Do You Love Me?
    To help understand what our mission is, use the scripture from John 21:15–17. In this story Jesus calls Peter to show his love for Jesus by loving his sheep as Jesus loved him. Divide the scripture story into sections. Write each section on large poster boards. Mix up the poster boards so they are out of order. As part of a chat group, Sunday school class, or worship service, ask the people to work together to decide the correct order. Once they have found the correct order, ask someone to read the story aloud.
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personal relationships

Personal Relationships
Develop one-on-one relationships for sharing and accountability as disciples.
  • Respond Together and Grow
    By collaborating with a community organization or another congregation or faith community, you gain the benefit of sharing beliefs and commitment with those who already have an established missional effort—a pantry, Habitat for Humanity partnership, after-school program, or other humanitarian groups. Your congregation’s members can share their gifts and commitment. If you already support one of these programs, invite another local church community to join in, doubling your strength to respond to those in need and growing in personal relationship with others.
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shared experiences in community

Shared Experiences in Community
Spend time together in community.
  • Community Pantry
    Set up a pantry for your congregation. Include supplies for infant care. Give to those who ask for help because of family circumstances or emergencies. To keep the pantry stocked with non-perishable items, ask your congregation to bring specific foods each month (for example, one month, vegetables; the next month, canned fruit).
  • Mission Trip
    Organize a mission trip to help with a special project in an area devastated by poverty or natural disaster. Younger children can help with preparation and create drawings to deliver to the people they are helping.
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witnessing and storytelling

Witnessing and Storytelling
Hear, tell, and live the sacred story. Share personal and communal stories of God’s grace. Invite others to share the peace of Jesus Christ.
  • “Talking About Jesus” Classes
    Hold “Talking About Jesus” classes for all ages. How do you talk about Jesus with others? Do you talk about Jesus with your family, friends, people you do not know well? How does the topic come up? What do you say? What do they say? Should we talk about Jesus more often? Discuss why talking about Jesus is not enough—we can proclaim Jesus Christ through both words and actions. What we do and how we live makes a stronger statement than words alone.
  • Follow Me Factory
    Perform “The Follow Me Factory,” a short sketch for all ages, and discuss the themes related to the Community of Christ mission initiative Develop Disciples to Serve. This drama could be used in a worship, camp, retreat, or other setting.
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lifelong learning

Lifelong Learning
Deepen discipleship through specific instruction and training.
  • Understanding Special Needs
    father in wheelchiarLearn about services available in your area for special needs children and adults. Talk with service coordinators to find ways your congregation can better understand and help those with special needs. What help can your congregation or family provide? Invite people with special needs to talk about their lives. Bring in wheelchairs, walkers, magnifying glasses, and other assistive devices. Give everyone a chance to spend time using them to experience what it might be like to need them permanently or for an extended time. This will also familiarize young children with the equipment in case they or a loved one needs such devices in the future.
  • Congregation Mission Partners
    Work with your mission center or field apostle to invite a congregation from another part of the world to be your congregation’s mission partner. Send e-mails and letters; exchange photographs and drawings. Get to know the culture, worship practices, and people in the other congregation. Pray for one another, share ideas for activities and worship, rejoice and encourage one another in discipleship.
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