At Mt Zion Baptist Church we strive to be “A Real church, with a Real heart, for a Real God, and Real people.” Although it may seem like a wordy motto, all of the “Reals” are very important to explain the mission of our church and what we believe a church ought to be.
Allow me to explain:
A Real Church
Our desire is to be a real church. We do not want to be a place that puts on a good face on Sundays and lives entirely different the rest of the week. We want to be humble and not self-righteous or elitist. A church, like any other organization can become of place where a group of people get together in a clique to look down on others who are not perceived to be like them. The truth is every person on this earth struggles with different problems and sins. We desire to be a place that helps people see these issues as God sees them. We also desire to help people gain victory over this bondage in their lives by knowing and growing in the Lord. We do not pretend to be perfect, to look perfect or act perfect, but we do desire to know our Lord Jesus Christ more intimately every day, let Him sanctify our hearts and lives, and help us grow in grace.
A Real Heart
The two most important commandments in the entire Bible rest on love: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself” (Luke 10:27).
A real love for God comes from knowing Him personally and having a desire to grow closer to Him every day. Spending time with someone and getting to know them is critical to the success of any good relationship. We believe it is important for all Christians to spend time alone with God, in His Word and in prayer and meditation. We also believe in meeting corporately in church, small study groups and general fellowship with His children. The more we know God and the closer we get to Him, the more we will love Him and desire to serve Him with our lives.
Many people in our world today are hurting. You don’t have to look far to find someone in the throes of an illness, or in financial, marital, relational or emotional pain. We all struggle through real issues in life from physical to emotional to spiritual. As a church, we long to meet each one of these needs in every possible situation we can. It is God that does the healing and transformation in an individual’s heart and life, and we are His hands and feet used to carry His Word and His love to those around us. Galatians 6:2 says “Bear ye one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.” James 1:27 tells us that part of “pure religion and undefiled before God” is to “visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction.” A church without a caring heart is like a body without a soul - cold, dead and useless. (see I Corinthians 13 on the importance of love).
A Real God
God is real! This very basic point needs to be emphasized in our day and age. God is not an object that we worship, an idea, an ideal or a feeling. He is a Person - Real, Alive and Active (Heb. 12:3). He is not afar off looking down on us like a bird watching grasshoppers in a field. He knows each of us personally and is intricately involved in each of our lives whether we realize it or not. He can and will do great things that bring honor and glory to His name. He seeks willing vessels to use.
Real people? As opposed to what? Many people put on a spiritual mask every Sunday. They head off to church wearing a nice shirt with their Bible under their arm. They shake hands with everyone and say how great God is. All the while, they are hurting or lonely or struggling with overwhelming temptation. We desire to be a real church with real people. And real people have problems, faults and temptations. To be a help and encouragement, we must ourselves be real. As pastor, I share from the pulpit some of the personal struggles I have and how God is working in my life. No one has "arrived" and we never will while in these Adamic bodies (Philippians 3:13). If you want a church with a perfect pastor or a man you can worship; this is not the place for you. This does not mean that we “air dirty laundry” but we do believe in being honest and real with one another about the spiritual journey we are on. This honesty helps us to be able to guide, counsel, encourage and pray for one another more effectively.
In summary, we desire to know and serve God. The Real God. The Lord Jesus Christ. While Jesus was on this earth, He dealt with real issues and spent his time with real people attempting to touch their lives spiritually and physically with the power of God. The answer to all of our problems starts with a relationship with the Lord Jesus (see “The Greatest Question” on our home page). If we can help you start this relationship or be a help to you in any other way, please contact us. And please go back and read that “wordy” motto with these things in mind. If God confirms in your heart that this is the essence of what a church ought to be, please visit us.