An association of churches and ministers must know its priorities and be faithful to them. Open Bible’s mission is to globally make disciples, develop leaders, and plant churches. While there are many related ministries that receive our attention, these three mission components are at the heart of who we are and what we are called to do.
Becoming a Christian involves the acceptance of Jesus Christ’s forgiveness of our sins, which is based on His grace rather than our worthiness or deeds. A Christian makes a profession of faith in Jesus as Lord. However, Jesus instructed us to become more than forgiven and professing Christians when He said, "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me" (Mark 8:34, NLT).
We are to become disciples, devoted followers of Jesus. A disciple endeavors to live according to Christ’s teachings and to serve as His ambassador. The first component of our mission is in obedience to Jesus’ command to "go and make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19, NLT).
Every cause or enterprise requires leadership. From the history of Israel in the Old Testament, to nations and corporations, and to churches, leadership is fundamental to mission fulfillment. Exemplary leaders may sometimes seem to just appear without preparation; however, the norm is for some developmental process to occur that equips leaders for service.
Our quest is equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12, NLT). In partnership with the Holy Spirit we identify, train/develop, coach, and channel leaders into service. The discipline of development pays off handsomely, for it's the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God (Hebrews 12:11, MSG).
There are two reasons planting churches is part of our mission. All churches experience life cycles. Some of them, instead of succumbing to decline in age, renew their health and grow in vibrancy as centers through which ministry to hurting people, making disciples, and development of leaders occur. Some churches, however, die and new churches are needed to pick up their mantles of responsibility. We also plant churches because Jesus said, "The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields" (Luke 10:2, NLT).
The most effective means today of discipling and developing workers that the Holy Spirit calls into service is churches. Planting churches is a centerpiece of our mission.