What will you refresh in the New Year?
(See our new mission statement.)
Twenty years ago, the leadership of Jews for Jesus articulated our very first, brand-new mission statement.
Our founder, Moishe Rosen, had followed what he felt was a clear mandate from God; he stepped down to make way for a younger leader. To my surprise, I was unanimously elected as our second executive director. I felt compelled to unite our staff under new leadership with a call to refresh our understanding of who we were and who we aspired to become for the glory of God.
It was a momentous time, a time of great anticipation. Everything seemed to smell of fresh ideas and renewed commitment. Many of you were already partners with Jews for Jesus; maybe you’ll recall the excitement. But if you weren’t yet partnering with us then, guess what? Two decades later we are in a season of similar possibilities! At age 59 I’m not quite ready to step down, but as we continue investing in our younger leaders, we are mindful of the changing times.
Scriptures are timeless; our own statements are not
We always have and always will look to the Scriptures to shape our commitments. Yet unlike the Scriptures, the statements we forge to express our commitments are not timeless. We want to be like the men of Issachar who, the Bible tells us, “had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do” (1 Chronicles 12:32).
God’s Word provides our unchanging message, but understanding the culture of the times enables us to continue engaging people with that message in meaningful ways. The right words or methods for one season may later need to be refreshed for another, and with that refreshing often comes renewal.
Our leadership team has recrafted and refreshed our Jews for Jesus mission statement. With new words for a new generation, we’ve restated the purpose that has fueled our passion since the beginning of our ministry:
We relentlessly pursue
God’s plan for the salvation
of the Jewish people.
That is our mandate. That is our mission. That is what binds our hearts and minds together.
Our passion is captured in the words “we relentlessly pursue.” We won’t give up or give in; we won’t stand by passively as long as there are Jewish people who need to hear the gospel.
Nor will we relentlessly pursue anything we have dreamed up, but rather what God has clearly stated He intends to accomplish. It is God’s plan found in His Word. We are relentless in our pursuit of God’s plan because God has relentlessly pursued us with His love in Christ. He does not give up on us and, by His grace, we will not give up on those He has called us to reach.
Here in these early days of 2018, I’m writing you with greater conviction and confidence in the ministry of
Jews for Jesus than ever before. It’s clear to me from God’s many blessings—and your prayers and support—that He has a wonderful plan to reach His people with the good news of Jesus the Messiah. We are relentlessly pursuing that plan.
God’s plan will result in the salvation of Jewish people and all that that encompasses: forgiveness of sin, peace with God, the hope of being in His presence for all eternity—as well as the promise of abundant life here and now. God is not willing that any should perish. God is committed to seeing the very best for His people, for their flourishing in the fullest sense of the word. That is only possible through a relationship with Him through faith in Yeshua HaMashiach, Jesus Christ.
Our new mission statement flows out of the same passion that compelled the prophet Isaiah:
For Zion’s sake I will not hold My peace,
And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest,
Until her righteousness goes forth as brightness,
And her salvation as a lamp that burns.
The apostle Paul echoed that deeply held sentiment in Romans 10:1: “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.”
And so as we begin this new year we are relentlessly pursuing God’s plan for the salvation of the Jewish people.
I hope these words will inspire you, our ministry partners, as they have inspired us in Jews for Jesus. May restating our mission help propel Jews for Jesus into the future God has in store for us with grace and strength.
How about you?
The fact is, all of us need to take time to renew ourselves and refresh our commitments, to call on and depend on His Holy Spirit to empower us to live lives of dedication to the Lord. I want to encourage you to use this season of a new year to refresh your commitment to the Lord—to renew your passion to relentlessly pursue all that He intends for you today and in the days to come. I also invite you to stand with us in Jews for Jesus and renew your commitment to pray and partner with us as we move forward together to answer His call.
David Brickner is also an author, public speaker and avid hiker. Find out more about David, his writings, speaking schedule and possible availability to speak at your church. jewsforjesus.org/david-brickner