The gospel is the good news that God is making all things new through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This transformation is gracious in appearance and cosmic in scope. It brings healing to the broken, pardon to the rebellious, and confidence to the ashamed. Even more, it animates us to love God, love others, and love God’s world. We intend for the gospel to shape all that we are and to set the course for all that we do.
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” (Rev. 21:5)
The gospel gives birth to a new family. God’s family is not defined by race, class, success, appearance, or utility, but by God’s grace and God’s mission. We intend to be a community who cares for one another, welcomes outsiders, invests in our common life, and celebrates often.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)
Ministry is not the job of religious professionals. Rather, it is the calling of the entire Christian community to love others by what they say and how they live. Most ministry takes place in the ordinary business of the world, or in our case, the day-in and day-out of campus life. It involves challenging individual, ideas, and institutions with the claim that Jesus is Lord, affirming truth, beauty, and justice wherever they are found, and seeking the conditions for our neighbors to flourish. We intend to live faithfully in our calling to love SMU.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matt. 28:18-20)
The challenge of Jesus’ lordship should conform to the pattern of Jesus’ life. Jesus rejected elitism, greed, and coercion for hospitality, compassion, and sacrifice. This is the way of Christian ministry. We intend to cultivate a culture of deep respect for every individual, whether they share our beliefs or not. As C. S. Lewis once wrote, “The load, or weight, or burden of my neighbor’s glory should be laid on my back, a load so heavy that only humility can carry it….”
And he called to him the crowd with his disciples and said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Mark 8:34)
Genuine Christian belief leads to practical Christian commitments. These practices (worship, prayer, confession, witness, stewardship, holiness, etc.) are means by which the grace of God forms us according to the image of Jesus and our true humanity. They train our hearts how to love well. We intend to actively engage in the practice of our faith under the rule of God’s Word.
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of break and prayers. (Acts 2:42)