The mission of this church—and, we believe, of the universal Church—is formed for us by Jesus Himself in His Great Commission found in Matthew 28:18–20.
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
This Great Commission is built on the Great Commandment of Jesus found in Luke 10:27.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”
For simplicity’s sake, we say our mission is to be:
“Disciples of Jesus, Discipling in love.”
We understand that our personal and communal walk of faith is formed and grows as we invest ourselves in ministering to and discipling others. This mission statement forms our concept of how we work for the Kingdom of God:
“Church of the Apostles exists to glorify God and make disciples by nurturing a community in which every person has the opportunity to grow in intimacy with Jesus Christ and with others.”
We seek wholeness in Christ to facilitate communities of wholeness in the world.
Church of the Apostles glorifies God by celebrating the healing power of the Holy Spirit through prayer, praise and worship that overflows into community, living the joy of knowing Jesus as Lord and Savior.
How We Get There
The following milestones are our points of integration into the vision—how we get there. They help us build momentum in climbing to the mountaintop, the vision God has given us, by showing us how we will specifically live into God’s vision for us. They are comprehensive and specific, and point to our short-term means for living into this vision:
- Worship: Jesus calls us to “worship the Father in Spirit and truth” (John 4:23). While our everyday lives are a constant act of worship (Romans 12:1), we have an innate need to come together in corporate worship (Hebrews 10:25). The history of Apostles points to Three Streams (sacramental, charismatic and evangelical) in one river of Christianity. In corporate worship we experience the presence of God that joins us to the worship before the throne of grace in the heavenly realm (Revelation 4). We are revived and transformed by the Holy Spirit. We experience His gifts to do the same things Jesus did, thereby making the Kingdom of God visible.
Discipleship: The apostle Paul tells us in Romans 12:1–2 (Message):
"So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you."
Amen! Inspired by this, we pray that we become Biblical Christians who fully reflect the light of Christ in the world in our “everyday, ordinary” lives. We are part of God's transformative love working for His Kingdom and overwhelming the darkness in the world, one life at a time and whole communities at a time, connected with His universal Church across time. We do this through various discipleship programs that incorporate Bible teaching, prayerful formation, orthodox theology, transformational healing and practical missional service in an intergenerational setting.
- Community-centered ministry: We are part of the community and for the community God has placed us in. Our call is to partner with the community to expand the life of Jesus Christ into the community. We do this by serving in both tangible and spiritual ways, and we strive to make those spiritual and tangible ways one. This means providing for those in need in the community—through financial assistance and resources in terms of people, time and materials. Among the ways we do this are by partnering with our local county outreach, FACETS. We continue to provide assistance to the Katherine Hanley Family Shelter and Kate’s House with personnel, resources for families, resettlement means and educational assistance. We actively volunteer in the shelter on a regular monthly basis. We have formed relationships with the families served and with the staff. Over the past three years we have resourced the resettlement of five families into permanent housing, assisted with job placement, resourced furniture, rental assistance and other means necessary for the families to transition into healthy, self-sustaining living and working arrangements. These families are experiencing the love of Jesus Christ in action through His Body, the Church.
In addition, we partner with the school where we worship on Sundays, Willow Springs Elementary School. We provide student mentoring, faculty support and encouragement, resources and personnel for their music and arts program, financial/resource support when needed for individual students; and we are transitioning to being an official business partner to the school to take on a more formal role.
We are in the process of connecting with other like-minded churches in our county to extend the resources of the Body of Christ into other areas of need in and around our community.
We plan, by the grace of God, in the coming year, to be led to a place from which we can minister, a center of community from which we can reach out to the surrounding community, using it as a place for regular Sunday worship, formation, healing and office space combined under one roof. And since God has blessed us with the gifting of worship arts (music, dance, art), we plan to use this space for arts programs for people of all ages.
Our Children’s & Family Ministry reaches out in love to families and children with teaching, worship and quality time. Since 2014 we have seen significant growth of the children and young families we serve (in excess of 125%). This includes Sunday school, enrichment classes and fellowship for married couples, preparation classes and fellowship for couples planning to be married, and intergenerational involvement in all aspects of our church life together.
The purpose of our Youth Ministry is to build young people up relationally with one another and with Jesus, and to build strong Christian leaders for the next generation.
Our Healing Ministry, comprising The Healing Center at Apostles and our Prayer Rail Ministry, serves many people within and outside of our worship settings. In the past year we have seen a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit to enliven this ministry, not only by bringing people to healing of body, mind and spirit in the name of Jesus, but also by bringing the transformative power of His love into the midst of our worshiping community. In this ministry we expect to witness healings every week as the congregation grows spiritually. We conduct regular classes in the healing ministry, provide pastoral counseling, and refer to professionals when needed.
Small groups are places where intimacy with one another and Jesus has the opportunity to deepen. They are also a front door into the faith community because of their very relational aspect. We are working to provide all members of Apostles with the opportunity to be part of a small group, and to have multiple small groups open to people who do not yet know us in our neighborhoods, work places and affinity relationships. Small groups are a targeted situation in which some of the best discipleship happens, and we are intentional about seeing that happen, utilizing the framework of Discipleship Essentials program by Greg Ogden.
We look to partner with domestic and overseas missions where their mission aligns directly with our own mission and vision, and where we have strong relational ties, congregational involvement, strong regular communication, demonstrated need, demonstrated spiritual fruit, financial accountability, and the call of God on our hearts and minds to partner with them. All current and future mission support will be evaluated with these criteria.
Every month, dozens of people at Apostles participate in feeding ministries in both Fairfax County and Washington, D.C. We pray that as we come together in service to the homeless, we are transformed and fortified by God’s grace, knowing Him more deeply as we work together for the Kingdom and sharing His love with the homeless we serve. The two entities we are actively involved with are FACETS and Grate Patrol.
In 2015 we launched a new initiative, Apostles Campus Church at George Mason University, an on-campus, multigenerational congregation that seeks to transform those in the George Mason community by God’s love through Jesus Christ so that we can help transform the world in the power of God’s Spirit. We have seen this ministry grow and bear fruit over the past three years, bringing dozens to Christ, many of whom have been foreign nationals who are and will be returning to their nations of origin as grounded disciples in Christ, equipped as Christian leaders. We feel it is part of our call to raise up Christian leaders for the next generation, and our Apostles Campus Church is realizing this mission.