WHO WE ARE AND WHERE WE ARE GOING:
OUR VISION AND VALUES…
A. Our Vision – It’s All About Jesus.
- Helen Keller, who was blind and deaf from an early age, once asked this question – What can be worse than being blind? Her answer? To have sight without vision Proverbs 29:18 reminds us that without a vision people perish.
Vision is vital. Vision provides people with principles and standards of behavior to guide them in accomplishing a mission or task. Our Lord Jesus Christ gave us a world changing mission – “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.” (Matt. 28:19X20, ESV)
Our vision at SIBC is clear, and simple: It’s all about Jesus
The New Testament book of Hebrews describes Jesus as follows – “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature”. (Heb. 1:3, ESV) When Thomas asked Jesus to show the disciples the Father, Jesus replied, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father”. (Jn. 14:9, ESV) The gospel of John begins with these words about Jesus– “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (Jn. 1:1)
At SIBC, everything we do is centered on the reality that Jesus Christ is Lord, and everything in this universe revolves around, points to, and glorifies Him He is the “Alpha and Omega . . . who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Rev. 1:8, ESV)
Jesus is the lens through which we interpret Scripture. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day were well versed in Scripture. However, in spite of their knowledge, they crucified the Son of God, declaring him to be a blasphemer and heretic. Jesus explained their problem – “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.” (Jn. 5:39X40, ESV)
One of the greatest dangers among Evangelical Christians is bibliolatry. Bibliolatry occurs when we worship the Bible rather than the God of the Bible. By seeking to know Jesus Christ in an ongoing, growing relationship, we avoid the dangerous sin of bibliolatry. As we allow the Spirit of Christ who dwells in every believer to lead us, we are able to experience the life and vitality that Scripture is meant to bring into our lives and churches. From Genesis to Revelation, we must view the Scriptures through the “lens” of the person of Jesus.
It is only through the priority of loving God (Jesus) with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind that we are able to truly understand the Bible and fulfill the mission of Jesus to “make disciples.”
At SIBC we constantly encourage members to learn to love God with all their being, to grow in a real relationship with Jesus Christ, and to allow the Spirit of Jesus to speak to them through the words of sacred Scripture.
B. Our Values
- We value diversity.
Ephesians 3:10 tells us that the church is the revelation of God’s “manifold” or “multiXcolored” wisdom. The context of this verse is the inclusion of the gentiles or “all nations”, together with Jews as God’s people. In Revelation 5:9 the twentyXfour elders sing praise to the Lamb saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation”.There are often twentyXfive or more different nationalities represented at SIBC. We are diverse generationally as well, with a wide range of ages represented in our fellowship. Our members are business people, teachers, lawyers, military, students, ambassadors, musicians, artists, etc.This diversity is something we celebrate and recognize as one of the strengths of our fellowship. It contributes to the growing and stretching of our faith as we learn to see Jesus Christ through the different perspectives and backgrounds of our congregation. We are very intentional in maintaining and promoting this multiX colored wisdom of God in our church
- We value relationships.
When Jesus was asked about the greatest commandment in Scripture he answered by quoting the words of Deuteronomy 6:5, “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all you strength”. (Mark 12:30, ESV) He continued by saying, “The second is this; ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Mark 12:31, ESV) Most important, Jesus said that “On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matt. 22:40, ESV)The story of the Bible is the story of relationships. God through Christ restores our broken relationships with him and with others. Without the priority of relationships church becomes dead religion.At SIBC we emphasize relationships. Our small groups, ministry teams, Sunday school classes, multiple church gatherings and missions all focus on relationship building with Christ and others.
- We value restoration.
The best thing about church is relationships. Unfortunately, the hardest thing about church is relationships. Many have been wounded and hurt by churches and church members.At SIBC we focus on the restoration of those who have been hurt by experiences in church fellowships. The disciple Matthew quoted the words of Isaiah in describing the ministry of Jesus, “a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench.” (Matt. 12:20)Following our vision, It’s All About Jesus, we emphasize a ministry of encouragement and healing to those who have been disenfranchised, or hurt by churches and church members. Our involvement in the surrounding community is one way in which we do this. Some examples of this are providing bathrooms and food and drinks during certain community festivals. We also have an annual Christmas concert for the English speaking community in Seoul.As members we involve ourselves in the arts and music, working side by side with those who have stopped attending, or never attended church. Through this we witness the restoration of many people who have been rejected by churches.
- We value Scripture.
The Bible is God’s standard for our lives. 2 Timothy 3:16X17 tells us that “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”At SIBC we seek to coordinate all of our preaching, teaching, missions, ministries, and plans around the authority of the Bible as the Word of God. The Bible is our rule and guide. The Bible teaches us how to live. The principles and precepts of Scripture are vital to the disciple of Jesus, and we emphasize Scripture in every aspect of our fellowship.
Note: All Bible translations, unless noted otherwise are from the English Standard Version, ESV (Wheaton: Crossway Bibles), 2001.