A 100-year-old Chinese Baptist church in San Francisco Bay Area unveils its 10-year goals, mapping out the future of the church in accordance to its founding vision.
Chinese Independent Baptist Church (CIBC) in Oakland is going to celebrate the 100th anniversary on Sunday, Feb. 26 with thanksgiving worship services in both English and Cantonese. The Church’s leadership has prepared a document, which reaffirms the mission statement and core values of the Church. The 10-year goals from year 2004 to 2014 are defined according to these as well.
"Our purpose is to glorify God by loving God passionately, loving one another sacrificially, and making disciples of Jesus Christ to all nations," the mission statement of CIBC stated.
There are altogether six core values of the Church, including worship of God in spirit and in truth; personal and corporative prayers; caring of believers through a variety of fellowship ministries; preaching, teaching and obeying the Word of God; local and global proclamation of the gospel; as well as spiritual growth, maturity and the development of Christ-likeness in every individual and family.
Among the six core values, the local and global proclamation of the gospel is expected to be more of the focus for the Church in the next decade because four out of the ten yearly goals are set to enhance those two aspects:
- To broaden the ministry by planting another Daughter church
- To reach out and care for the children and youth in the community through an After School Tutoring Program.
- To pray and send out 20 individuals to seminaries and 10 as full time missionaries (over 10 year period) and 50 as short-term missionaries each year.
- To train and equip people in a formal evangelistic ministry (e.g. ‘Evangelism Explosion,’ ‘Evantell,’ & Apologetics) at least three times per year.
As the number of immigrants from Mainland China who mainly speak Mandarin is increasing, CIBC looks to reach out to this group of people by starting a Mandarin worship service in the near future.
With the Church’s tradition to appreciate prayers, fellowships and teaching of the Word, CIBC aims to encourage a deeper all church prayer ministry and to achieve 25 percent of the church participating in Home Prayer Meetings. It will also motivate brothers and sisters to fellowship and to love one another by having 80 percent of the church participating in fellowship and cell groups. A target of 80 percent of the church participating in Sunday school is set in order to build up the believers through the teaching of the Word of God.
The remaining two goals of the Church are "to establish a Leadership Training Institute to equip more leaders" and "to establish discipleship ministries by following up new believers and equipping believers to maturity."
According to the document, the ten-year goals are to be reviewed every year by the Pastors-Deacons. Goals achieved within ten years can be replaced with new goals.
Rev. David Tong, director of the 7-member centennial celebration preparation committee and Cantonese assistant pastor/Youth pastor said as reflected upon the 100th Anniversary of the Church: "It is very exciting. It is a time that we count the blessings of God, to give thanks and to think about what we can offer to God and how to serve Him in the future."