Advancing the Gospel by making disciples who make disciples
Our mission statement outlines the reason for our existence and the goal of our ministry. Riverstone Church exists to advance the gospel by making disciples who make disciples. We believe this is a faithful restatement of the Bible’s mandate for the Church (Matt 28:18-20; Luke 24:46-48; Acts 1:8).
The word gospel means good news. The Bible teaches that the gospel is the good news about what God, in his unmerited and free grace, through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ, has done to deliver His rebellious people from His wrath and bring them into His Kingdom through repentance and faith in Jesus.
The gospel has both a narrow sense and a broad sense. In the narrow sense, the gospel simply refers to the emphatic announcement of the historical life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for our sins in fulfillment of Scripture (1 Cor 15:1-4). It is this gospel that offers Christ to us as our Savior and when believed, received, and rested upon, brings people into a right relationship with God.
In the broad sense, we can also speak of the gospel as a sort of shorthand for all of the benefits and implications that Christ’s life, death, and resurrection have on our lives. We believe the entirety of the Christian life is centered around the gospel in both of these senses—relying on Christ’s finished work and its benefits for our salvation and practically working out the implications of Christ’s finished work in our lives so that we grow to become more like Him.
For more information on the gospel, visit What is the Gospel?
Disciples Who Make Disciples
When a person trusts in Jesus Christ alone for their salvation, they become a disciple. A disciple is a forgiven follower of Jesus who is growing to become like Him. In the Bible, the words disciple and Christian are synonymous. Every Christian is a disciple. Relying on the gospel alone for their standing with God, disciples are increasingly marked by lives of loving God, loving others, living out their faith, and making disciples.
The method that God has given the church for gospel advancement is making disciples. When we say we want to "make disciples," it simply means we want to actively work for more people to become forgiven followers of Jesus who grow to become more like him. We believe that each Christian is a minister of the gospel to others, so we are to be prayerfully and purposefully speaking the truth of the gospel into the lives of others so that they will trust, follow, and grow to become like Christ.