At Smith Grove, we’re about life. We’re about finding life, learning to live, and living to serve. We find that these three components encompass the spiritual journey we are all on as we seek to follow Christ.
The first step of the Christian walk is finding life – true spiritual life – in Christ. So many things promise to offer us peace, satisfaction, love, hope, and life, but all of them fall short compared to the true life offered by Christ. In John 10:10, Jesus tells us that He has come to bring us life: true, sustaining, abundant life that we find only in Him. At Smith Grove, our greatest hope is that people come to find that life in Christ and begin to walk with Him.
Learning to Live…
The Christian life doesn’t end with accepting Christ – it is only the beginning! Discipleship and teaching are critical components of learning how to walk with Christ. Much of what we do at Smith Grove is geared towards equipping believers to live in ways that follow God and reflect Christ.
The other major aspect of learning to live is learning to walk in Christ alongside one another. Jesus said His disciples would be known by their love for one another (John 13:35), so that means we need to get to know each other! Click here to explore numerous opportunities to connect at Smith Grove.
Living to Serve!
The ultimate purpose of our lives in Christ is bringing glory to God, which we do through service to Him and those around us. Once we find life in Christ and learn more about following Him, the ultimate trajectory of the vibrant Christian life is going out and serving – often outside the walls of our church building. We want to represent Christ to the world around us, that they might see His love in us and come to find life in Him.
Our vision at Smith Grove encompasses two “great’ statements from Jesus: the Great Commission and the Greatest Commandments.
We are glorifying God
Not to us, Lord, not to usPsalm 115:1 (NIV)
but to your name be the glory,
because of your love and faithfulness.
As we said earlier, bringing glory to God is the ultimate purpose of our lives. We seek to do that…
through growing disciples
Before His ascension, Jesus’ parting words of instruction were a command to pass on His teaching. We believe we must make disciples who make disciples, continually passing on our faith to the next generation of believers.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV)
Why do we make disciples? Well, the root reason is because it’s a demonstration that we love God! Jesus told us in John, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” This Great Commission is no exception!
and serving those around us.
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”Matthew 22:37-40 (NIV)
Why do we love those around us by serving them? Well, partly because Jesus commanded us to, but it’s so much more! “We love because God first loved us” (1 John 4:19). We serve others because Jesus came not to be served, but to serve (Mark 10:45). As we walk with God, our lives ought to continually be transformed to look more and more like Jesus…
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest placePhilippians 2:6-11 (NIV)
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Having seen Jesus’ example, we are committed to being a community of believers who demonstrate our love in response to God’s love for us (which brings Him glory!) as we make disciples and serve those around us. Does that sound compelling? Come be part of our story!