There are various ways to appropriately, and emphatically, communicate the primary dimensions of ECPC’s vision.
For example, we could say, “We decide to know nothing except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. And we live as aliens and strangers in this world, in weakness and in fear and much trembling. And our speech and our message are not a display of ‘plausible words of wisdom,’ but rather a demonstration of the Holy Spirit who perfects true power in weakness. Our vision is that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 2; 2 Corinthians 12; and Ephesians 2).
Or we could say, “We insist that everyone read and re-read and become completely enamored and obsessed with what God emphatically reveals in Hebrews 11, and comprehensively embrace the supernatural impact of being surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, and subsequently be compelled by the Holy Spirit to lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 11 & 12).
In short, FIXATION/obsession with Christ and Him crucified is the vision of ECPC. And as the It is Finished work of Jesus actually impacts our identity, and subsequently eclipses and supplants our obsession with Amazon, Amazon Prime, Instasnaps, TheFaceGram, The fear-centric 24/7 news channels, Netflix, Appletv, Selfies, and all other forms of addiction to self we ENVISION the following Words of Jesus coming to fruition in ECLT: “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).
The vision of ECPC isn’t to simply talk about the concept of loving one another, but actually seize opportunities to love one another, and by this the world will know that we are disciples of Jesus. So here’s a real life example of how ECPC lives-out that vision – – – > Every summer and every winter ECPC partners with Albemarle Rd Presbyterian Church to do something good, true, and beautiful. In the summer we unite to share the gospel (through stories, games, skits, and fellowship) with all the various people groups living along the Albemarle Rd. corridor. And in the winter we partner with ARPC to offer temporary lodging to the homeless population in CLT. Now some of you will protest, “But isn’t ARPC a different church denomination than ECPC?” Yup. And that’s the point. The world won’t know we are Jesus’ disciples if we only ‘love’ the specific tribe, particular church, or denomination we shopped for and “committed” to for 3 to 5 years (before we grow discontent and shop for a new church that ‘suits us’). The world will know that we actually follow Jesus when we serve alongside people who don’t do everything the way we do, but nevertheless we sincerely come together to carry out a mission aligned with truth, goodness, and beauty.
And, finally, as we receive Christ’s emphatic command to love one another as He has loved us – – – > ECPC’s vision is to envelope people in deep and inescapably familial fellowship. As Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 2, “So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us. …what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy.” In other words, though many people reject long-haul/familial commitment to a local and particular church (the kind of commitment where you remain, and work hard, and persevere with ever-increasing humility and joy …even though there are an abundance of occasions where you don’t necessarily see eye-to-eye with people [i.e. FAMILY]) it nevertheless remains the steadfast and settled vision of ECPC to strive for such fellowship in ECLT!