Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the author of The Little Prince, once said, “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”
To adapt this metaphor, the church exists not so much for building ships but making disciples. Our mission at Westgate is to glorify God as a family of believers who make disciples for Christ. And to accomplish this noble cause we could try to drum up people to collect resources and assign them tasks to do and programs to run. We can set goals, develop new strategies, offer training, and plan events. Some of those steps may in fact be a necessary part of the disciple-making process.
But knowing what to do and how to do it isn’t enough—not if we truly want to be faithful and effective in our call. We have to want to do it. To be convinced and compelled that there’s no better thing to give ourselves to, no greater work under heaven, than to glorify God as a family of believers who make disciples for Christ.
So if we’re going to be faithful to our mission, we need a compelling vision. We need to learn to long for the endless immensity of the sea—or in our case, for the unsearchable glories of Christ. And to teach others to long for it as well.
And so this fall we want to commend to you a picture, a vision worth pursuing: Christ treasured above all things.
The Scriptures often use the imagery of a treasure to communicate God’s infinite value and the desire and satisfaction of his people. For instance, Jesus describes God’s kingdom “like a treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field” (Matt. 13:44), or like “a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it” (Matt. 13:45-46). In other words, Christ and his kingdom are so incomparably valuable that when someone sees them for what they truly are, they will joyfully pay any price to have them, even if it means losing everything else. Incomparable value, passionate desire, and unparalleled satisfaction.
This is what we want to long for, and to teach others to long for, in our mission to glorify God and make disciples for Christ. We want to see Christ treasured above all things, throughout Metrowest Boston and in every corner of the world. We want to taste and see that the Lord is good, and to savor his unsearchable glories. We want to delight in his infinite worthiness, to desire him above all things, and find in him an unparalleled satisfaction. And we want to love others enough to invite them into the joy, passion, and satisfaction of treasuring Christ.
This is what we will explore together on Sunday, September 17—our Vision Sunday: Christ treasured above all things. But we want to build our ministry strategies around this vision, and so for the rest of the fall we will take a look at each of our eight core commitments, and how they provide a strategy for seeing Christ treasured above all things:
- Sept. 24: Christ Treasured through God-Centered Worship (Psalm 96)
- Oct. 1: Christ Treasured through Biblical Exposition (2 Timothy 3:10-4:5)
- Oct. 8: Christ Treasured through Prayer (Matthew 6:9-15)
- Nov. 5: Christ Treasured through Life-on-Life Discipleship (Mark 3:13-19; 8:31-38)
- Nov. 12: Christ Treasured through Christ-Centered Community (Philippians 1:27-2:11)
- Nov. 19: Christ Treasured through Local Outreach (Matthew 5:13-16)
- Nov. 26: Christ Treasured through Church Planting (Acts 14:19-23)
- Dec. 3: Christ Treasured through Global Missions (Revelation 5:1-14)
We hope you will join us, not just for this series, but in this journey—this passionate pursuit to see Christ treasured above all things throughout Metrowest Boston and in every corner of the world.
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” (Revelation 5:12)
 Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Wisdom of the Sands (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1950); as cited in James K. A. Smith, You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit (Grand Rapids: Brazos, 2016), 11.