DEPENDING ON GOD TO GROW DISCIPLES DEEP & WIDE FOR GOD’S GLORY
These twelve words are what Garden City Church is all about. To join Garden City you’re not joining a static entity, you’re joining a dynamic mission. Becoming a member of our church means committing to dependently, proactively advance our mission of growing disciples. These twelve words (which are our way of stating Jesus’ mission for his church: the Great Commission of Matthew 28:16-20) guide and shape everything we are and everything we do as Garden City Church.
Jesus has given his church only one mission: make disciples. There are many things we could do and many things that could distract us as a church. Because of what Jesus has told us, we have decided to focus on just one thing at Garden City: growing disciples.
BUT, even more important than our mission is our identity. What starts and fuels our mission statement is three words: “Depending on God." This statement starts by first reminding us who we are: people, disciples, who are 100% dependent on God. A “disciple” is a person who is now defined by the love of God instead of being defined by their performance, their past, or their pain. A disciple is someone whose life is powered by God, not self. A disciple is someone who is growing in their relationship with Jesus and helping others meet Jesus and mature in him. Our mission to grow disciples flows from our identity as disciples, as beloved sons and daughters of God. It’s critical that we remember our identity first and then, encouraged and empowered by the good news of the gospel, we carry out of mission. Jesus’ words in John 15 drive our mission: we are mere branches called to abide in the love of Jesus our vine, and as we live this dependent life our God will use us diverse branches to bear fruit for his Kingdom.
We want Garden City members to wake up in the morning and concentrate on the reality that their identity and standing with God doesn’t depend on what they DO, but on what Jesus has DONE for them. We are an unfinished people resting in the finished work of Jesus. As we rest in the reality that God perfectly knows and loves us and is passionately committed to spreading his glory throughout the earth, we naturally move forward in mission—growing disciples deep & wide for God’s glory. We grow disciples deep (rootedness in God, core relationships, and our home in Silicon Valley), wide (breadth of influence, stretching out our branches to bless others), and for God’s glory.
Garden City is not a church where we will allow you to be passive or to be a consumer. Garden City grows disciples instead of pleasing consumers. Members of Garden City Church are called to take initiative to live out our mission. This mission is for all of us.
Though Garden City is governed and led by a team of pastors/elders and additionally led by an ever-growing team of deacons who assist the elders in shepherding the flock and growing disciples, we want a church full of leaders. Our members are leaders. Whether or not you ever hold a leadership title at Garden City, we want a church full of members who take the lead in carrying out our mission: Depending on God to grow disciples deep & wide for God’s glory. If you become a member, this becomes your mission.
This mission isn’t easy. You will meet resistance from the Enemy as you pursue this mission and this mission will require you to supernaturally rely on God. Though difficult, joining this mission will be immensely rewarding as you watch Jesus use you and use our church in supernatural ways.
What drives our mission is the finished work of Christ (the gospel). Pursuing this mission doesn’t earn us anything. We pursue this mission as a response to the life-changing grace of God. Ultimately, this is Jesus’ mission. He’s building our church and he calls and empowers us to join him in his supernatural disciple-making mission. We think it’s the most exciting thing anyone could be a part of.
TO SEE GOD’S NAME BECOME THE BIGGEST NAME IN SILICON VALLEY.
SILICON VALLEY, CA
San Jose is California’s first city. Founded in 1777, the early settlers of San Jose called their new home the “Garden City” because everything they planted grew and flourished in the city’s good soil and temperate climate. This was a prophetic name for the city that’s grown to become the “Capital of Silicon Valley.” Silicon Valley is home to over 2 million people and home to major global corporations such as Google, Apple, eBay, Cisco, and Adobe. Silicon Valley is a flourishing and strategic city that plays a pivotal economic and cultural role in our global world. What happens in Vegas might stay in Vegas, but what happens in Silicon Valley impacts the world.
We love Silicon Valley. It’s a beautiful place to live and work. Yet Silicon Valley is also a broken city teeming with over-worked and under-loved people seeking meaning, hope, and glory in everything except the God who created them. The nearly 8-million-person San Francisco Bay Area is perhaps the most un-churched region in America.
A BIG VISION FOR SILICON VALLEY
Forbes Magazine has called our city both “the most innovative city in America” and “the most sinful city in America.” Silicon Valley needs not just one new church; it needs hundreds of new churches. Things don’t have to stay the way they are. Our dream is for Garden City Church to pioneer a gospel movement, a church planting movement, in the Bay Area.
We have a supernatural vision for our church. It’s a God-sized vision. We believe God wants to use our church to help turn Silicon Valley—a place known for its technological impact—into a region also known for its worship of Jesus and its gospel impact. Instead of Apple, Google, or Facebook, we want to see God’s name become the biggest name in Silicon Valley. We believe God wants to use our church to raise the dead, to turn spiritually dead people into worshippers of the risen and reigning Jesus who are passionate to see others meet, enjoy, and follow Jesus. Hence our mission: Depending on God to grow disciples deep & wide for God’s glory.
The story of the Bible starts in a Garden (Eden) and ends in a Garden City (the New Jerusalem). It’s the story of God rescuing and redeeming broken people and renewing broken cities. We believe God has called us to plant something new in the Garden City—to plant a church that will impact a city that’s impacting the rest of the world. Through Garden City Church we hope to make the gospel of Jesus Christ accessible to the people of Silicon Valley in a new and profound way. Our prayer is that Silicon Valley will be a better city because Garden City Church exists. Our hope is that other parts of the world will feel this too.
"Know & love the god who knows & loves you"
The gospel is the good news that we can enjoy a relationship with God and bring renewal to the world through the work, record, and performance of Jesus, rather than through our own perfor- mance. The gospel is how we both get in and grow in the Christian life. This message changes us from the inside out, transforming our hearts and our behavior. The gospel frees us to continually discover and say, “I am more broken and sinful than I ever dared believe, but in Jesus I am more loved and accepted than I ever dared hope.” This provides a radically new orientation to life and work for the people of Silicon Valley. The gospel of grace frees us from the idols that enslave us— frees us to live for God’s glory, not our own. What every human wants is to be both known and loved. The gospel announces that because of Jesus, we can have this: we can be known and loved by God. Jesus changes everything. Jesus gives his disciples a new identity, a new record, a new power, and a new future. The gospel is the driving center of everything we are and everything we do as a church. We not only proclaim the gospel, we aim to create a gospel culture at Garden City.
"We value the gospel, which means we commit to know and love the God who knows and loves us."
"know & love one another"
Through the gospel we gain a new family of deep and diverse friendships with brothers and sisters in Christ who come from all walks of life. The church is not a meeting you attend, it is a network of relationships you belong to—a big family that’s built upon grace and is busy pursuing Jesus’ mission together. As we do life together as members of a family, knowing and loving one another, our city will notice. “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). We gather and scatter in our city no longer living for ourselves, but as connected and committed members of a family/body. In community, Jesus changes us and uses us.
He shrinks our pride and surfaces our gifts. We come to see that all people stand on equal ground at the foot of the cross, giving us a freeing humility that welcomes the messy and glorious work of being a family and finding our unique place in the family.
As a family of men and women, we are all equal, but not the same. The church family is modeled off of the nuclear family, where both men and women ambitiously lead and contribute, yet with distinct roles that complement one another. Both men and women are equal and lead in our family, yet in a way that honors the distinctive leadership role God has given qualified men as the head of their homes and as pastors/elders. Our model is our Triune God—Father, Son, and Spirit—who have eternally enjoyed loving, servant-hearted community, yet with each member of the Trinity exercising different roles.
"We value family, which means we commit to know and love one another."
"know & love our city"
We are a church of missionaries where every member is on mission to delight in, declare, and demonstrate the gospel to our city, yet in diverse ways that are true to who we are as unique image bearers of God. Disciple-making isn’t something we add to our lives, it’s something we weave through all that we do as part of the diverse ways we’re each called to know and love our city. God wants us to thrive as image bearers, to use our unique design and calling to reveal God to the world and to help others flourish and discover more of who they are as image bearers of God. As we each carry out our callings with excellence, thoughtfulness, and prayer in the homes, neighborhoods, and workplaces where God has placed us, we advance not only our careers, but also the mission of God.
We do our most fruitful mission work by living out our ordinary lives with gospel intentionality, not through attending a busy schedule of religious activities. As we each explore who we are and the unique work God has called us to do, we will be a church that makes Silicon Valley a better city. As one writer puts it, “The kind of work God usually calls you to is the kind of work that you need most to do and that the world needs most to have done…The place God calls you to is where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
"We value image bearers, which means we commit to know and love our city and its diverse image bearers."