So others will know the life found in Jesus Christ
How should we then live?
1. Personal Devotion: Knowing God and being known by Him
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3.1)
“But then I shall know fully just as I also have been fully known.” (1 Corinthians 13.12b)
We believe that our relationship with God is foundational to all that we are and do. Our love for God is a response to His unfailing love for us, a love that is ultimately and supremely expressed in Jesus Christ and best reflected by our love for others.
2. Worship Together: Celebrating, proclaiming and responding to Jesus Christ
“The Lord inhabits the praise of His people” (Psalm 22.3)
“Worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24)
We believe that corporate worship celebrates who God is and His love for us. As we gather in Jesus’ name, we hear the good news of Jesus Christ proclaimed, we receive His life in sacrament, we respond to Christ’s call, and we are sent to follow Jesus into the world.
3. Equipping: Lifelong education for mission and ministry
“To equip the saints for the work of ministry for building up the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4.12)
“And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men and women who will also be qualified to teach others.” (2 Timothy 2:2)
We believe following Jesus Christ is a life of learning more about Christ and His work and of applying the truth and skills for life and godliness. We impart that knowledge and skills to others so that Christ may be formed in all of us. Together we discern and develop the gifts that God has given to His people.
4. Fellowship: Experiencing life together and caring for one another
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” (Acts 2.42)
We believe the Christian life is experienced together with other Christians. Just as the fullness of God is revealed in the community of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we have been created for community. We embrace our multi-generational character and seek to enrich it.
5. Stewardship: Using for God’s purposes everything He has entrusted to us
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25.21)
We believe that stewardship is using all that God has entrusted to our care – possessions, positions, and power – for God’s honor. The Lord has also given each member spiritual gifts to use so that the church may fully function as the body of Christ.
6. Welcome & Enfold: Making a place for all whom God brings to us
“I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Matthew 25:35)
We believe God loves and values each person He brings to Presby. We are committed to a culture of hospitality that crosses all social boundaries, in which everyone is invited into full fellowship within the Presby family and with Jesus Christ.
7. Evangelize: Witnessing to the grace and truth of God in Christ
“You shall be my witnesses” (Acts 1.8)
“We are Christ’s ambassadors as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on God’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:20)
We believe that salvation in Jesus Christ is granted to us for sharing. Wherever we are, we proclaim in word and deed the good news of Jesus Christ and invite others to respond to that news.
8. Engage in missions: Going together into the world to do the work of Jesus
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners, And recovery of sight for the blind, To release the oppressed, To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4.18-19)
We believe that as the body of Christ, we continue in the work that the Lord began on earth. It is the work of justice, peace, reconciliation and freedom in the power of the Holy Spirit. The work sees no racial, socio-economic, political or other boundaries.
Our Vision for Presby
God calls Presby to live by faith in Jesus Christ, share His love and bring hope to the world so others will know the life found in Jesus Christ. This is the mission of Presby, our reason for existence – that just as we have experienced His grace and love, others will also become reconciled to God, come to know Christ, receive life in the Spirit and become faithful followers of the Lord.
But who are the “others”? As a single congregation, we will never be able to reach everyone with the gospel. Nor will we be able to address every need in the world around us. But there are particular people whom God does want Presby to reach and particular needs God wants us to address.
We believe God has defined “others” by our values and circumstances.
- Relational: We believe our ministry and our outreach must be relationally oriented. Relationships are the context in which people understand God’s faithfulness. They are the window through which people see the hope we have in Christ. God calls us to reach those in our spheres of influence, those in our everyday life with whom we live, work, play and visit. They are our family members, relatives, friends, neighbors, bosses, co-workers, roommates, classmates, and clients. God has placed each of us in various places for His redemptive purpose to be the light and salt in the life of others. The challenge is to live in those relationships in such as way that we are inviting people to receive the good news of Jesus Christ. God also calls us to take steps, even uncomfortable ones, in developing new relationships. Every new relationship, in turn, is an opportunity to introduce and invite people to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Expanding our circles of relationships also means going beyond the borders of our everyday life. Interaction with neighbors around the church, overseas and cross-cultural missions of Presby will be relationally developed and engage a group of people with the intention of nurturing long-term relationships.
- Regional: Our “others” is also defined by region. Presby people come from all over the Greater Seattle-Eastside Area. Some live in Rainier Valley and others in the suburbs, and this will shape our ministry for the foreseeable future. There will be ministry wherever there are Presby people. Small groups, home fellowship groups and other ministries outside the building will play a strategic role for the future of the church. We will be more than a singularly focused church when it comes to ministry and outreach. We see Presby as an accessible ministry center where we are built up and equipped, and from which we are sent out to our world.
- Rainier Valley: The geographical location of the Presby facility reveals part of God’s plan for us. We believe the valley and the city will be places where we find some of our “others”. God has already moved many people in our congregation to express God’s love for people in the valley through various existing urban ministries such as SUA, Operation Nightwatch and feeding the hungry. While we are significantly involved in these three ministries, there are yet further ways God wants us to come alongside of them and the people with whom they relate. A personal sense of call leads people to a variety of ministries elsewhere in the church and the region, but we believe the bridge that Presby can be to the valley and the city as a ministry center will draw yet greater numbers of people. As we take even one step, we need to continue to yield to the Holy Spirit who may call us to take another, and then another. As we take these steps, a message of good news will flow to the hurting, isolated, marginalized and the devalued. The history of the Japanese Presbyterian Church itself is a demonstration of God’s power and of perseverance, determination and courage in Christ. We have a unique ministry to share and a liberating message of faith, hope and love to proclaim.
Whether in the Valley, the city or the suburbs, or in distant places in the world, we have a message to share with people who need Jesus, and the good news, freedom and healing He brings. Some of these people outwardly look like they have everything, but are empty on the inside. They are those who are in bondage with fear, guilt, lies, sin, or destructive patterns in life. Others are physically poor, hungry and homeless, or youth at risk. God has a mission for Presby. It is a mission for which Jesus died and still lives. It is a mission the Lord embraced on earth by identifying Himself with the prophetic words of Isaiah 61:1-2.
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19)