DNA: Mission

(Various Passages)

January 14, 2024

In recent years, discovering family trees has grown in popularity.

People want to know where they come from to help them understand who they are.

There’s a pretty funny commercial that drives this point home.

Check this out:

So, our vision is to


That’s what we talked about last week, this is what we want to stay focused on, we want to stay focused on TRANSFORMING PEOPLE TO CHRIST-LIKENESS.

So, the question becomes how?

The how question leads us to our mission.

Our mission here at MACC is pretty simple.

Around here we have four words that guide and shape all that we do. 

The words are simple yet meaningful. 

Quick question, who knows our Mission and can say it…


You will see these four words all around here. 

We filter our decisions through them.

But they are not just words or a campaign slogan.

Jesus is the center of our DNA strand.

Everything comes from him.

One of the final things Jesus said to the disciples is called the Great Commission.

We are talking about our mission (what we do) while we are talking about being the church.

But mission (doing) is a part of our identity, our DNA is intertwined with our mission.

Allow me to share a little history with you.

During the month of January, 2010 here at MACC we went through a series entitled “Simple Church” in an effort to share what God had been laying on the hearts of the elders here at 1300 Maple Avenue. 

This was based off a book that the eldership read entitled Simple Church written by Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger.

We had a very in depth conversation about that book and we asked some really challenging questions and accepted some really difficult answers.

We were not satisfied just going through the motions of having church, we wanted to be the church Jesus died for and be the church He wanted us to be.

So, we very strategically implemented several changes.

For most people those changes were welcomed, for others there was resistance, but we were leading in the direction we truly believed God was calling us.

I admit, we could have done some things a little differently.

As an eldership and our staff we believe that because Jesus left his work in the hands of the church we must be intentional about carrying out his charge or his commission. 

This becomes our mission.

The passage we looked at last week we are going to look at again real quick this morning.

Matthew 28:18-20, “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go 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 obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’” 

The idea of making a disciple is basically directing a person’s mind to something (or someone), to understand, and to learn under instruction. 

All this implies that there must be an intentional effort by the church to help people along in their relationship journey with Jesus. 

This is huge and impacts every nook and cranny of the church, it is your DNA. 

What we are talking about is a process of helping people understand, and learn under instruction. 

The desire of the leadership is to be intentional in providing the right ministries and the right programs in those ministries in order to make disciples. 

Our simple vision is: Transforming people into Christ-likeness and we do this through a simple process known as our Mission: CONNECT, GROW, SERVE, AND SHARE.

Let’s start with



When we say Connect here at MACC we are saying that we want to connect with God and others and to honor Jesus by creating a lifestyle of worshipping God both individually and corporately. 

This is important to our leadership because it is our responsibility to ensure that we are on the same page and that is God’s page. 

Hebrews 13:15, Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.

Connect is lived out in no better place than in our Worship Services on Sunday morning.

Again this is a process of Transforming People to Christ-likeness.

This is an intentional effort to connect people to the heart of Jesus through inspirational worship in which everyone is invited to fall affectionately in love with God and his Son Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. 

The way in which this will happen is to call our focus and attention on the object and subject of our worship… GOD. 

We will do all we can to create a distraction-free environment so that you may, in the words of A.W. Tozer, “Center Down” and concentrate on the Awesome God and Creator of all things as we are called to give our best in worship to Him. 

Now, that being said, we also connect with God and others in all our ministries.

This spills over into everything we do.

As a matter of fact it is the foundation of the other three words.

Let me show you what I mean:

  • If you are spending time studying God’s Word that is great, but if you are not connecting to God and Others in your study then all you are doing is gaining knowledge.
  • If you have a list of projects to do for the church or for your neighbor that’s great but if you aren’t connecting with God and Others in that, then you are just doing works and not serving
  • If you are telling people about Jesus but you are not connecting to God and Others then you are not sharing, you are just a resounding gong. 

We know that most people who come here for the first time, are going to be more comfortable in a large worship setting, than in an intimate small group, where people are opening up and sharing some of their deepest secrets.

I am going to put our logo up here and I want to explain it to you.

But keep this in mind, we are talking about relationships, which are not compartmentalized and are not linear, but they are like spaghetti, not waffles.

So people may jump in at any point and go to another in their own way.

However, ideally, this is a process that we believe to be beneficial for all, the important thing is that you are involved in all four.

The shape of our logo has a purpose and it communicates our Mission…connect, grow, serve, share.

A person new to MACC would more than likely start by coming to a worship service, that’s connect.

Which is why I stress so strongly that we all need to take responsibility and ensure that every person who comes through our doors is greeted and accepted in love, just like Jesus would accept them.

But hey, if you are new here, we will do all we can, but some of this is on you, you have to be willing to connect with others.

This is many people’s  first chance here to connect with God and others, and you are one of the others.

This is not the sole responsibility of the elders and staff, this is all of us working together to create a place where people can connect with God and others this is our DNA and we believe this helps to Transform People to Christ-likeness.

The next word in our mission is:


Colossians 2:6-7, 6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

Grow is our intentional effort to develop disciples in their knowledge of God’s Word with application for daily living in our culture. 

We do this by providing an education hour every Sunday morning.

All of our classes start at 9am and are over at 10am.

All of our classes run for 12 weeks and they all start and stop at the same time.

We don’t have standing Sunday School classes.

On the 13th week of each quarter we have a church wide brunch, everyone is invited, it is a potluck style.

So, we eat and then we have the new slate of teachers come and share briefly about the classes they will be teaching for the next quarter.

Then you, get to choose which class you want to attend.

We do ask that you sign up.

Our classes are not just offered to fill up time on Sunday mornings, they are our intentional effort to help you grow in your relationship with God and others.

You know we just talked about our connect, and this is a place where people also connect with God and others.

The first step we want to see people go through is our “BASICS” course. 

Now, this is called basics, and some of you may think, I was raised in the church I don’t need to go through this basics course, but I know that we have had elders go through these and they actually have learned some things.

We have had people who have gone to Bible colleges go through these and they have found them informative as well.

So, just because you’ve been in the church a long time, don’t think these classes aren’t for you.

I would love to see everyone go through the Basics.

THE BASICS COURSE is a very intentional effort to equip people in their everyday journey with Jesus. 

This course is a year-long and consists of four different classes.

How to study your Bible: Let me ask you a question, How many of you have every been taught how to study your Bible?

Most people have never been taught how to study the Bible.

They have never been taught how to ascertain the Author’s Intent, The Major Words to study, The Cultural Background, The Immediate and Remote Context, the Parallel Passages and more.

In this class, John Deckard, will spend 12 weeks helping you hone the necessary skills to study your Bible on your own, we will introduce you to resources that will aid in your Bible study efforts and teach you how to use them. 

Jesus 101: We believe this is a necessary class since we are Jesus followers. 

And because we are Jesus followers we are providing this 12 week class, lead by Roger Smith, that will introduce you to the birth, life, ministry, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus the Messiah.

And in the end you are left with the question, “Who do you say that I am?” 

This is the question he asked his disciples as he stood in one of the most evil locations, Caesarea Philippi.

Cover to Cover: Many people that have been in the church for years still don’t have a grasp of the chronology of the Bible. 

Many can’t tell you what the book of Exodus is about or the book of Job or the book of James.

In this class, Kenlyn Deckard, will walk you through the Bible in 12 weeks beginning in Genesis and going through Revelation.

This is not an in depth study of each book, but an overview so that you have a working knowledge of each book, helping you make since of the big picture of the Bible, so that you can understand what God has done through human history to restore sinful man back unto himself. 

Blue Print for Life: You were born to live for something. 

But is your current life all that God had in mind when He created you? 

A blueprint is a rough draft…a picture of the end product as seen by the Architect. 

With a blueprint for life, suddenly there is a place to turn for reference when making key decisions. 

Blue Print for Life is a landmark experience revealing that Christians don’t have to max out in life to reach their full potential. 

From this foundation, you will create a life blueprint containing goals and action steps for five key areas of life: Spiritual, Relational, Physical, Financial, and Career. 

Bruce Western leads this 12 week class using Romans 12:3-8 as the primary Scriptural reference.

In this passage Paul lays out the motivational gifts that every Christian has and we want to encourage you to discover your Spiritual Gifts and help you use those here at MACC and in our community.

At the conclusion of the “BASICS” course we would love to see you attend an educational class on your own. 


  • Bible: OT/NT. 
  • Family Life: Relationships/Parenting. 
  • Topical:  Precepts, Financial Peace University

LiFE GROUP: We call our small groups LiFE Groups, because in these LiFE Groups we learn to do life together.

Our LiFE Groups are autonomous, some study scripture, some serve together in different capacities, some fellowship, while some combine all of these.

Our goal for our LiFE groups is for people to grow in God together and give them the freedom to do that the best they know how for their life situation. 

Since Covid, our LiFE Groups have taken a hit, but I know Christina Farwell is working diligently on getting our LiFE Groups up and going again. As a matter of fact we have a catalogue available at the adult ministries table this morning for those who are serious about hosting or facilitating a LiFE Group. And as a special bonus Christina will be there to greet you and answer any questions you may have.

Part of Transforming People to Christ-likeness is helping them GROW in their knowledge of God’s Word and this is part of our DNA here at MACC and this is how we do it.

Our next word is


Mark 10:43-45, Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

This passage is lived out in no better place than in the various ministries of Maple Avenue Christian Church. 

Serving is a part of our DNA here at MACC

Ministry teams provide the opportunity for us to serve those in our church family or those in our community and even globally at either regular events or special events.

We currently have over 20 Adult Ministries and we have job openings in everyone of them and the best person to talk about MACC Help Wanted signs is Christina Farwell.

I know she will work with you to help you find an area to serve in.

Serving in a regular ministry may look like serving 1 or 2 times each month in some cases people serve every week.

These may include but not limited to: Children’s Ministry, Youth Ministry, Teachers, Van Ministry, Video Ministry, Worship Tech, Nursery, Greeters, LiFE Group facilitators etc.

Serving in our community is unlimited.

We encourage our members to get plugged into some kind of area of volunteering in our community whether it’s coaching a sports team, serving at a local food pantry, nursing homes, or taking care of a neighbor’s need.

Special Events are events that happen 1 time a year (except VBS which happens 1 time a year but 4 days in a row).

Some examples include opportunities like: Christmas Eve Dinner, Thanksgiving Bag Giveaway, GLOW (we do this on Halloween as an alternative), Back to School Bash, Haiti Meal Pack, Seder Dinner, Funeral Meals, Meals for those coming out of the hospital.

Just to be clear, serving God through serving others is in no way to be interpreted as working for your salvation.

Even though most of us in this room would never voice that out loud, in our hearts we may think we need to earn our salvation. 

And I bring this up because when we talk about serve, I am not equating it to your salvation. 

Paul makes this very clear in a letter he wrote to the church in Ephesus,  For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).

That’s pretty straightforward.

Our salvation doesn’t have anything to do with our achievements or our works.

When we say serve around here what we are saying is we want to honor Jesus by exercising spiritual gifts for the Kingdom of God:

  • By building relationships focused on sharing the love of Christ
  • By responding to community needs with compassion
  • By involving all in God’s Kingdom work around the world 

In short our service is only true service when it is carried out in a manner to bless God and others, not to try and earn something for ourselves. 

Our service is an act of worship. 

And in my opinion there is no better way to connect with God and others than to get your hands dirty with someone else serving others.

Part of Transforming People to Christ-likeness is providing opportunities for them to SERVE God by serving others and this is part of our DNA here at MACC and these are some of the ways we do it.

The final word we will look at today in our mission is:


Matthew 28:18-20, “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go 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 obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’” 

Jesus expects each and every believer to share his message with others and our elders expect the same thing.

As believer’s there is no better evangelism method than sharing what Christ has done in our lives to restore us back unto a right relationship with God. 

Many of you have done a great job sharing with others.

Some of you here today are here because someone from this congregation sat down and shared with you.

You maybe joined them in worship, or a small group, or may you came and served before ever going to a worship service and that’s great.

When we say share around here we are talking about, Honoring Jesus by living our faith story, verbally, non-verbally, and by building relationships focused on sharing the love of Christ.

No one did this better than Jesus and there are several things we can learn from the life and ministry of Jesus and use in our lives as we too share the Gospel with others. 

When it comes to sharing our faith, we can easily become a bit tight-lipped.

It is scary for a lot of people!

We worry about what the person will think of us?

Will they think I’m judging them for their life choices?

Will they make fun of me?

All these questions can go buzzing around our head just as we approach the subject.

So, we need help to know how to go about this and no one did this better than Jesus, and in a couple of weeks as we are going through our core values, we will help you with this. And again if you need help in this stop by our adult ministries table, Christina has some information that you may find helpful as you share God with others.

Let me leave you with some encouraging words from the Apostle Paul.

He tells us in 1 Corinthians 3:6-8, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.  So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.  The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor.” 

May God find us faithful in advancing His Kingdom through sharing the work of Christ and what he has done for us as believer’s.  

Transforming People to Christ-likeness is accomplished here at MACC by:

  • Connecting with God and Others
  • Growing in our knowledge of God with Others
  • Serving God by Serving Others
  • And By Sharing God and what God has done in our lives with Others.


Leave a comment