[Note: This vision statement was first presented to the congregation at Pastor Ted’s commissioning service on September 7, 2003. Since then it has been a guide – our 30-year plan – for each decision and step Pastor Ted, the pastoral team, and our church have taken. Though our dreams are big, we serve a big God who dreams even bigger! Click here for the original wording of the vision statement.]
We proclaim to everyone listening, and to those who will come after us:
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon us, because the Lord has anointed us to preach good news to the poor. He has sent us to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
We proclaim that God has birthed in us a vision for the Church, our community, our nation, and the world. Burning within our hearts is the strong belief that we are part of God’s final harvest. The fields are ripe for harvest, and we have only our generation to reach the lost. Therefore, we proclaim this vision of . . .
- A community where Christ Jesus is glorified in all that we do, where the body of Christ is united in purpose, where Biblical truths are upheld and the Pentecostal distinctive is not simply a position we hold but is our very being, where God’s Word is preached without apology or compromise, where miracles take place, and where the Holy Spirit baptism empowers us to witness.
- A community that prays 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Every minute of every day prayer warriors will intercede for souls and needs. Prayer centers will be staffed from every age group, and we will witness God perform mighty miracles.
- A community that sees only two types of people in this world: believers and pre-believers. Though pre-believers are lost, not one will be counted as unreachable.
- A community where every member is active in ministry and witnessing, where the God who weeps over lost souls gives a special anointing to our members to excel in the gift of evangelism. Our friends, family, and co-workers will know that we are serious about their souls. Barbers and stylists, clerks and gas attendants, postal workers and mechanics, waiters and waitresses in every restaurant – everyone we encounter – will know when one of our members is present, because they will sense the love and unity of Christ.
- A community where every church service is attended by both the congregation of believers and by large numbers of unbelievers who are drawn by the love of God, where every service sees someone saved from sin and born again to new life, and where water baptisms occur every weekend at one of our Life360 campuses.
- A community that finds needs and fills them, finds hurts and heals them, giving people Jesus Christ through one need and hurt at a time.
- A community that will not stop seeking the lost, knowing that the heart of God will never be content as long as one lost soul remains in Springfield and the communities with Life360 campuses. For Springfield, we acknowledge that even if all 400 churches were filled to capacity, 80,000-plus people would still be left without a church home and lost and dying. Therefore, we will never be content to grow to a certain size and stop as long as one lost soul remains.
- A community that will gather in the ripe harvest with God’s blessing. God will give us a “tithe” of our cities, so that unbelievers in our city and community will come and find Christ, one soul at a time.
- A community meeting on church campuses that will accommodate not only the original hundreds and then thousands but is sufficient to accommodate the harvest God will give us – 22,000 core members plus additional attenders and seekers, who will be drawn each week from our community, 22,000-plus believers and pre-believers who will pass through our doors and experience the services and ministries.
- A community of 22,000-plus that will meet not only on our present campuses, but also on the campuses that we plant – three hundred and sixty Life360 campuses in the Springfield metro, in Missouri, and in an ever expanding circle through surrounding states and around the nation.
- A community where many of the three hundred and sixty campuses will impact their rural towns through our “community center model”, influencing their communities through close collaboration with schools and community leaders, and with ministries such as after-school mentoring.
- A community which will meet on campuses where pre-believers feel drawn and comfortable – drawn to walk our campus and drink of the Spirit of the One who causes us never to thirst again.
- A community where ministries and events are happening every day of the week, at all hours, on every one of our campuses, including over 250 separate ministries that will touch every aspect of our community – families, seniors, foster children, special needs individuals, the outcast, the poor, the oppressed, those in prison, those alone and feeble, those in need of a friend and a Savior.
- A community where seniors not only feel welcome but are a crucial element in God’s plan for reaching our community, including housing communities with 300 homes for our precious seniors, especially those with fixed low income, fulfilling the admonition of James 1:27: “to look after orphans and widows in their distress.”
- A community where present-day orphans, children in foster care, will be ministered to by our Christian foster care agency. Ten percent of the foster children in Greene County, where Life360 first started, will be placed with Christian foster parents from within our own congregation and the congregations that will join with us.
- A community that lives and breathes missions, supporting missionaries and ministries on every continent with giving equal to twenty-five percent of our church budget. As an example, through our Southern Missouri campuses, every one of our district missionaries will be supported, and fifty percent of our district’s home and world missions dollars will flow from the generous and passionate hearts of our people. We will never say “no” to a missionary, but will find an avenue for them to come and be a blessing and be blessed at our church. We will have ten missionary homes for itinerating missionaries, allowing their families to be a part of our church family.
- A community where our young people and children will lead in a great Holy Spirit outpouring. This revival will sweep the nation and the world as part of God’s end-time strategy prior to Christ’s return. Every school will know our students, for a fire will burn in them that will mark them as sold out, Holy Spirit baptized followers of Jesus Christ.
- A community whose children’s ministry is marked by zeal, passion, and quality of care unsurpassed, with facilities that will draw the pre-believing families of our community into a relationship with Christ.
- A community with a middle school ministry marked by holiness and fire; a high school ministry of students fearlessly speaking of Christ on each campus; and a college ministry that will touch the universities and colleges of our cities.
- A community of anointed worship with the finest singers and musicians. Our music, drama, and fine arts ministries will serve as a vanguard, drawing people to Christ on our campuses in our weekly services and special programs and events.
- A community of not just families but singles, reaching this often overlooked and untapped segment of our population, welcoming these individuals fully into our church family.
- A community where every member will lead someone to Christ every year. We will not receive new members until they first identify and commit to praying for five unsaved friends.
- A community that is a training center in partnership with our local institutions of higher learning, that equips and then sends out hundreds of licensed ministers to be workers in the end-time harvest.
- A community where 75% of our congregation will be in relationship via small group settings on a weekly basis.
- A community where families from each of Springfield’s small but growing ethnic groups will be represented in our congregation, as well as in each city and town we plant.
- A community where each pastor on the team will lead by example and will personally lead pre-believers to Christ.
- A community that will take Christ’s love to our city by reaching outside the walls of the church and to the surrounding community.
- A community that lifts up in prayer and affirms the other pastors and churches in our cities, our co-workers in this harvest, and rejoices when God blesses their ministry.
We stand here today with confidence the Lord will accomplish this because it comes from the very heart of our Sovereign God. The Lord has promised to give us every place we set our foot. We will take God at His word and will step forward in victory. We proclaim with a loud voice full of faith: “Shout! For the Lord has given us the city!”