The head of Blue Ridge Bible Church is the Lord Jesus Christ, and we exist as a body for Him and for His glory. Just as God has had a plan and a purpose for the Christian church throughout the ages, so we believe He has a unique plan for Blue Ridge Bible Church today in the twenty-first century and here in the northern Virginia region. “’If people want to boast, they should boast about this: They should boast that they understand and know me. They should boast that they know and understand that I, the Lord, act out of faithfulness, fairness, and justice in the earth and that I desire people to do these things,’ says the Lord.” (Jer. 9:24)
Our region is one with unique opportunities. Loudoun is one of the fastest-growing counties in the United States, and one of the wealthiest. Our proximity to Washington, D.C., puts our congregation in contact with people who have great influence in shaping our nation and even the world. The county’s rural character has also made it a place where people come to raise their families. The wealth, influence, and family-oriented nature of the northern Virginia area represent tremendous opportunities to accomplish the work of God worldwide, to impart godly wisdom to those in positions of authority, and to raise up ongoing generations of faithful Christians. Truly, this is an exciting time and place in which to follow Christ.
Blue Ridge Bible Church was born out of a belief that the home is where discipleship ought to begin. A key role for our church has been to spiritually equip parents in order that they might disciple their children to spiritual maturity.
However, we are not to train these disciples so that they may rest content in a quiet home. We are to train servants who, like arrows in the bow of a skilled warrior, will be sent forth in the power of the Holy Spirit in order to “proclaim Him by instructing and teaching all people with all wisdom so that we may present every person mature in Christ” (Col. 1:28). Families are to be not merely a refuge, but a launching pad for a multifaceted ministry.
This is not only a value of our church; it is a great strength that has tremendous potential for the gospel. We recognize that our community has great needs in the areas of our strength. There are many who know that they need help in their homes, marriages, and child rearing. Our success in leading people to Christ will often be through the channel of matching our spiritual strengths with their perceived needs.
Our vision is to offer the bread of life and the living water to all who need it. We envision the lives of our people standing in such stark and inviting contrast to the surrounding culture that people will be drawn to ask us the reason for the hope that we have.
“From Issachar there were 200 leaders and all their relatives at their command—they understood the times and knew what Israel should do.” (1 Chron. 12:32)
“Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. The one who comes to me will never go hungry, and the one who believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35)
“… Jesus stood up and shouted out, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. Just as the scripture says, ‘From within him will flow rivers of living water.’ ” (John 7:37–38)
“But set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess.” (1 Pet. 3:15)
OUR VISION STATEMENT
BY THE GRACE OF GOD, Blue Ridge STRIVES TO …
And all these things are from God who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and who has given us the ministry of reconciliation. In other words, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting people’s trespasses against them, and he has given us the message of reconciliation. Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making His plea through us. We plead with you on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God!” God made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we would become the righteousness of God. (2 Cor. 5:18–21)
Jesus said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Matt. 22:37)
Therefore, be imitators of God as dearly loved children and live in love, just as Christ also loved us and gave himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God. (Eph. 5:1–2)
Our church will invest in and equip believers to be serious disciples of Christ primarily through the ministries of our weekend worship services and our LIFE Groups. We see a time when every believer eagerly looks forward to attending the worship service, not out of ritual or habit, but because it is where they celebrate Christ together and are fed the life-giving Word of God. We see LIFE Groups multiplying rapidly so that every believer has the opportunity to be in close fellowship with other believers, receiving from them the encouragement and support needed to live a life of complete commitment to Christ. We see spiritual generations of disciples who disciple others, who then disciple others until Christ returns.
Until I come, give attention to the public reading of scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. Do not neglect the spiritual gift you have, given to you… (1 Tim. 4:13–14a)
And let us take thought of how to spur one another on to love and good works, not abandoning our own meetings, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and even more so because you see the day drawing near. (Heb. 10:24–25)
We see a church that is equipping believers to discover and use the spiritual gifts that have been given to them by God through His Spirit, helping them find that unique purpose and task to which God has called them. We see every ministry staffed by volunteers who are serving not out of compulsion but out of the pure joy of being used by God for His kingdom purposes, supported by a staff that helps organize and enable every person to perform his or her God-given purpose. We also envision a range of personal ministries that are as varied as the people God plants in our body.
It was he who gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, that is, to build up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God—a mature person, attaining to the measure of Christ’s full stature. So we are no longer to be children, tossed back and forth by waves and carried about by every wind of teaching by the trickery of people who craftily carry out their deceitful schemes. But practicing the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Christ, who is the head. From him the whole body grows, fitted and held together through every supporting ligament. As each one does its part, the body grows in love. (Eph. 4:11–16)
We see a church that is raising up the next generation of church leaders from among our own people—elders, deacons, counselors, ministry leaders, and even pastors and worship leaders—to serve within our body, in churches that we will plant, and in other churches around the world. We envision an intentional process for identifying and equipping future leaders to shepherd the flock of God, and to whom we can entrust lives and souls as we give them opportunities for on-the-job training in their area of ministry. We see leaders reproducing themselves in their ministry position every three years.
So as your fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings and as one who shares in the glory that will be revealed, I urge the elders among you: Give a shepherd’s care to God’s flock among you, exercising oversight not merely as a duty but willingly under God’s direction, not for shameful profit but eagerly. (1 Pet. 5:1–2)
We see a church where life is deeply rooted in prayer—both the individual lives of our people as they commune daily and intimately with the Father, and in the corporate life of our body. We see our congregation coming together regularly to pray for one another, for our community, for the church around the world, and for God’s will to be done in each sphere as it is in heaven. We see a people devoted to prayer, unified and marked by love for one another. We see God moving with power in response to the praises, petitions, and effective, united prayers of His children.
Be devoted to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving. (Col. 4:2)
Finally, pray for us, brothers and sisters, that the Lord’s message may spread quickly and be honored as in fact it was among you… (2 Thess. 3:1)
…constantly pray… (1 Thess. 5:17)
We see a church that administers God’s grace to families by assisting to build strong marriages, loving those hurt by divorce, and equipping all parents to become the primary disciplers of their children. Our most effective children’s ministry will be a spiritually growing mother and father. We see husbands who sacrificially love their wives as Christ loved the church, and wives who love and joyfully follow their husbands’ leadership as the church loves and follows Christ. We see fathers whose hearts are turned toward their children, leading them in the ways of the Lord with gentleness, and mothers who serve their families with the love, joy, and strength that God provides. Unless the rapture comes first, we see generation after generation of families devoted to Christ, broken families being healed and passing on a spiritual legacy to their children, young couples being mentored by older couples to create godly marriages, children actively serving the Lord both independently and alongside their parents, and many families led to minister to orphans, particularly through adoption. However, our goal is not merely to strengthen these homes. We envision our families as being a powerful force for the advancement of the gospel and planting new churches, ready to seek and engage the lost in our community and world.
Nevertheless, each one of you must also love his own wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (Eph. 5:33)
He is a father to the fatherless and an advocate for widows. God rules from his holy palace. God settles those who have been deserted in their own homes; he frees prisoners and grants them prosperity… (Ps. 68:5–6a)
We envision planting thriving churches throughout our region that are rooted in their local communities. We see many of these church plants principally staffed by pastors and elders whom we have raised up from within our own body and who share our mission and vision. We see these churches strategically located to equip believers to reach their communities for Christ. In six years, we see at least three churches (local and international) in existence that we have either planted or helped to fundamentally restructure in order to accomplish the disciple-making mission to which Christ has called the church.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the farthest parts of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
We see a church that is using the incredible wealth of the county and nation in which we live to bless not only our own community but also communities around the world. We envision that for every church we plant in this region, there will be at least one other somewhere else in the world that we have either started or equipped to an extraordinary degree. We also see a new generation of missionaries being raised up from within our church, as well as many opportunities for both short- and long-term missions that will support these sister churches around the world.
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matt. 28:19–20)
Then, after they had fasted and prayed and placed their hands on them, they sent them off. (Acts 13:3)
We see a church that pursues excellence in all we do, working with all our hearts for the Lord, not for men, realizing it is the Lord Christ we are serving. Our church will be one that understands the high-tech culture in which God has placed us and the way people communicate and think about their changing world. We envision using technological advancements to communicate God’s timeless truth in a way that is meaningful to our society. To accomplish these goals, we will constantly evaluate our people and our methods to make sure we are effectively carrying out our gospel mission.
Whatever you are doing, work at it with enthusiasm, as to the Lord and not for people, because you know that you will receive your inheritance from the Lord as the reward. Serve the Lord Christ. (Col. 3:23–24)
To this vision we seek to dedicate our daily choices, our goals, and our lives. We seek all to the glory of God, with a desire to hear our Lord Jesus Christ one day say to us:“Well done, good and faithful slave! You have been faithful in a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master.”(Matt. 25:21)