Introducing our Core Commitments
We recently shared a revised draft of our updated vision, along with the mission that drives it, the core values that guide it, and the core commitments through which we will seek to advance it. Here we want to explain a little more about our new core commitments.
How are we planning to move from mission to vision? The answer is our core commitments. These eight commitments supply the strategy for how we hope to see Christ treasured above all things in Metrowest Boston and in every corner of the world. As such, they provide an overarching framework for each of our specific ministries, bringing clarity and focus, and keeping those ministries aligned with our mission and vision. Every ministry should serve at least one core commitment.
Those core commitments include:
God-Centered Worship. Treasuring Christ is ultimately about worship. Everyone worships something, but God alone actually deserves our worship. Gathering for worship on Sundays is our regular reminder and recognition that God is the center of the universe, not us. So we gather weekly as a family united by the gospel to make much of God through God-centered song, prayer, Scripture, sermons, financial giving, and sacrament.
Biblical Exposition. God’s Word is the lifeblood and foundation of the church. Our greatest need is to hear from him. You cannot treasure someone that you do not know, and you’re not treasuring them if you don’t listen carefully when they speak. Therefore, we place significant weight on gathering around and under the preaching of God’s Word. We make it our aim to preach from the whole counsel of God, both Old and New Testaments, in such a way that the message and aim of the sermon are driven by the message and aim of the biblical passage being preached. This is what’s called biblical exposition. Whenever God’s Word is declared from the pulpit, that message should be faithful to Scripture, obvious from it, centered on Christ, and brought to bear on daily life in a clear and compelling way.
Prayer. Prayer is the church’s most important work, the foremost expression of our dependence upon God. It is vital to our relationships with God and each other, and essential for fruitful service. Prayer brings both the individual and the church into union with God, centers our lives in him, and leads us to ask for God's kingdom to come and his will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. Christ will not be treasured above all things if God does not show up, and since the way we express our dependence on God is through prayer, nothing we do in his name or service will amount to anything if we are not first and faithfully devoted to prayer.
Life-on-Life Discipleship. Disciples are followers of Christ, so we want to grow in spiritual maturity and Christ-like character. But the church is a family, so we want to grow in Christ together, sharing life in and around the good news of Jesus. At Westgate, this happens both Sunday mornings and midweek, in both small-group settings (like Home Groups, Bible studies, or Youth Group) and more personal settings (like spiritual mentoring relationships). It also means developing leaders for kingdom work here at Westgate and beyond, as well as passing the faith on to the next generation. That Christ may be treasured above all things, we want to see all of Westgate equipped for gospel service and growing toward steadfast maturity in Christ.
Christ-Centered Community. What unites the church is not our common interests, age, ethnicity, financial status, or stage of life. What unites us is our common faith in Jesus Christ, who has made us one through the cross and resurrection. Therefore we’re committed to sharing life as a family, growing in Christ together, and enjoying fellowship in the gospel and for the gospel. We want to nurture community that is marked by warmth, hospitality, honesty, laughter, and grace as we look into God’s Word, talk about life, and pray together in our pursuit to treasure Christ above all things.
Local Outreach. Jesus sends his church into the world to bear witness to him and his kingdom through gospel proclamation matched with merciful and loving service. As a congregation who gathers in Weston but resides in over two dozen towns across Metrowest Boston, our strategy for outreach is both to invite people in and go out to where they are. We want to make use of the resources and facility God has given us by creating evangelistic and service opportunities in Weston. We also want to work together in the towns and regions we live in (West, Central, East) to love our neighbors and show them that the gospel of Jesus is a better story, and that there is nothing in this world better than treasuring him.
Church Planting. Fulfilling the Great Commission is more than making individual disciples or growing existing churches; it also means establishing new churches wherever disciples are being made. This is particularly true in New England, where less than 4% of people attend a gospel-preaching church, and in Metrowest Boston, where there is approximately one gospel-preaching church for every 10,000 people. There simply are not enough gospel-preaching churches for Christ to be increasingly treasured throughout the Metrowest. Church planting is an effective way for established churches to reach new areas and new generations with the gospel, and often brings renewal and revitalization to the parent church, as we trust God sacrificially and learn from the focus, urgency, and insights new churches can provide. For this reason, we are trusting God to plant two new churches within the next ten years.
Global Missions. Christ’s commission to his church applies not only to reaching people with the gospel locally, but making disciples of all people groups around the globe (Matt. 28:18-20). To that end, we view global missions as an essential ministry of our church and our individual members. We are committed to mobilizing our own resources (prayer, people, and finances) for the objective of reaching men and women from every nation and people group, that Christ might be treasured above all things.
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