Our vision statement was adopted in January 2014.  It describes what we intend Emmanuel to be.

Vision Statement

Emmanuel Baptist Church
Rochester, MN

Scriptural Foundation is Acts 2:42-47

Jeremiah 29:11 says from God, “I know the plans that I have for you, . . . plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” However, we must also consider verses 12-13, “Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for me with all your heart.” God wants to share the plans of our future with us, but also wants us to seek Him through prayer and scripture. We can trust the Lord to show us the preferred future he has prepared for us; works in which he has prepared us to walk (Eph. 2:10). Our seeking of him must be now and continual.

This statement is a vision of what can be for Emmanuel as best as we can see today, but because we see through a glass darkly (1 Cor. 13:12) we must continually seek God for His plans for our bright future. God promised Jeremiah that he could call to God and would be told great and mighty things (33:3). We claim this promise for Emmanuel. !

From Acts 2 we discern the following vision for Emmanuel.

1. Devotion – a continual devotion to our Lord and His church is to be the mark of our lives; we are to persist in our devotion; we are to be loyal to our Lord and one another.

2. Discipleship – central to discipleship is the Teaching and Preaching of the Word of God. Discipleship has many forms and will become central to our existence. As this is taken seriously our culture will change to be a disciple-making church; A comprehensive plan will allow us to make disciples in multiple ways: the teaching of the pastor(s); teaching in SS (which we will work to make the best we can give); to small group studies; to the discipline of spiritual practices that feed and nurture you as a believer.
• We want to develop discipleship plans for Children, Youth, and Adults that helps pre-believers cross the line of faith and then grow to maturity in Christ.
• We want to have high standards for membership which will ultimately require a class before joining Emmanuel.
• Develop mentoring relationships for individuals, couples, and families.
• Develop a discipleship process that develops leaders who will be disciple makers and mentors.
• Develop a pastoral growth plan that enables our Sr. Pastor and any other pastors to grow as people and in the skill and craft of their role in the church.
• Develop a pastoral residency program for post M.Div. students for the purpose of training future pastors for ministry in the upper Midwest.

3. Community – as a fellowship of believers we are to nurture a common life in which we will share meals together, share Communion, share life events, and share in meeting one another’s needs. Our common faith is the basis of our common life which establishes our community. We are to give ourselves to nurturing and building it.
• The Lord’s Supper will be observed regularly.
• Hospitality – We will practice hospitality by inviting one another and others into our homes where we will share food, drink, and fellowship. We will take time to pray for one another and the church. Our fellowships with one another in small groups should promote a gladness about the church as a whole and create a longing in us for the larger gathering that we enjoy and do not want to miss. We know that smaller group fellowship will foster spiritual growth. We will work to include everyone, not allowing any to slip through the cracks including those who can do nothing in return for us.
• We have a deep appreciation for our larger fellowships of the Pioneer-Western Association and the Minnesota Wisconsin Baptist Convention and we will find ways to engage those fellowships and enhance them.
• We will form fellowships with other groups for the purpose of advancing the kingdom of God through sharing the gospel and meeting human need.

4. Prayer – prayer will come to define us; we will become a praying church and not just a church that prays; we will pray in the service on Sunday, have time for prayer in Sunday Bible Study classes, meet with others for small group prayer, and the Wednesday night prayer service will become so foundational to our life together members will change their schedule to be present!

5. Care – we will genuinely care for people inside and outside the body of Christ; we will understand that this will always be something that will be a part of the fabric of shared life together in a multi-generational, hopefully) multi-ethnic, multi-economic context; we will not complain about caring for people repeatedly, but we will disciple believers toward living for the Lord in a way that affects their work and their stewardship so that they will not be habitual users of the generosity of others; we will be generous; we will
sacrifice for the sake of others.
• Emmanuel will become a place where the wayward, the prodigal, the hurt, the
disillusioned can return to the Lord and to church.
• Emmanuel will become a people to whom God sends the abused, the addicted, the homeless, the excluded.
• We will develop ongoing ministry(ies) into our city that meets human need and blesses our city.
• We will enhance our ministry to Mayo patients both at the BHH and beyond.
• Our members will know that their church will help them meet their needs.

6. Worship – after having prepared ourselves through personal worship we will meet for corporate worship; both are essential to a healthy Christian and church. We will meet for corporate worship weekly and we will long for it so much that we will limit how often we are gone, yet understanding everyone will be gone some. We will possess a deep awe and a holy reverence for our God who works miracles and performs wonders even today. Celebratory worship of God will be central to our lives and our corporate worship.

7. Favor – we will gain favor with those in our city by living in such a winsome way that even those outside of Christ and his church will enjoy being around us. We will engage in such relationships because we love people and we pray for them to come to Christ.

8. People – as we consistently identify, intercede for, invest in, and invite our 4, people will be saved and baptized on a regular basis. However, we will shift our mindset to baptism as a beginning rather than a culmination. We will plan for the baptismal candidate to be discipled. We will facilitate a meaningful expression of faith for each person being baptized that gives us certainty about their decision for Christ which is best expressed in the baptismal waters.
• We will plant churches in partnership with the Pioneer-Western Baptist Associations and the Minnesota Wisconsin Baptist Convention.
• We will lead the way in developing a church planting center that will enable and empower church planting in all of Southern MN and to the ends of the earth.

The following core values were updated in 2007.

Core Values

I. WE WILL LISTEN TO GOD !

1. God’s word is authentic, authoritative, and our basis for both doctrine and practice.
2. We seek to internalize that word by…
(1) Regular Bible study
(2) Intentional prayer
(3) Special awareness events – (Experiencing God, Spiritual Gifts, Special Bible study)

II. WE WILL MAKE GROWTH BASED DECISIONS !

1. God has commissioned and placed us to reach the unreached.
2. We seek to fulfill that commission by…
(1) Developing new ministries that appeal to the unreached
(2) Use time for the benefit of the unreached
a. The worship / ministry time ratio
b. The times of worship and activities set for benefit of unreached
(3) Use facilities for the benefit of the unreached
(4) Balance the use of financial resources to reflect “outreach”

III. WE WILL DEVELOP MATURING DISCIPLES !

1. God’s intention is that we “grow up” into the stature of Christ.
2. We seek to stimulate spiritual growth by…..
(1) Presenting balanced, varied training events
(2) Being accountable to others in prayer, Bible study, and personal evangelism
(3) Being participants in presenting ourselves as worthy worshippers and presenting meaningful worship to the Lord

IV. WE WILL BE INCLUSIVE !

1. God’s word reveals that Jesus came “to give His life a ransom for the many”.
2. We seek to include all persons in the life and ministry of Emmanuel by…..
(1) Learning to appreciate all cultures and people groups
(2) Interacting with other cultures through ministry to and with the Hmong, Asian, Hispanic, and English as a Second Language outreach arms of the church
(3) Penetrating the community to find and enlist all persons at some point of contact with our church and the gospel of Christ

V. WE WILL MAINTAIN DENOMINATIONAL INTEGRITY !

1. God’s word emphasizes doctrinal and congregational integrity.
2. We celebrate our family of faith relationship by…..
(1) Recognizing our identity as Southern Baptists
a. Teaching who we are and why
b. Utilizing Southern Baptist literature, materials, and programs
(2) While maintaining local church autonomy, cooperating with and participating in the emphases and activities of the Southern Baptist Convention, the Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptist Convention, and the Pioneer Baptist Association
(3) While holding firmly to our Baptist roots to be continually aware that the “Body of Christ” is inclusive of all who are His, and, whenever possible, to be supportive and cooperative with other evangelical believers