Matthew 28:18-20 Mission Statement

Serving People, Sharing Jesus, Sending Servants who make disciples in Belleville and beyond.


To glorify God by turning unbelievers into fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.  

Vision Narrative

SERVING PEOPLE: Saved to Serve

We see God doing a glorious miracle.  He is using the imperfect people of Open Arms to gather diverse and imperfect people we are connected in relationship with into community with Jesus at the center.  People of every color, social strata, and vocation are gathering around Jesus to hear him speak (Word) and experience his work. (Sacraments)  We see this church  (Open Arms) gathering around Jesus in homes, offices, coffee shops, parks, schools, restaurants, libraries, public facilities, and the Open Arms worship facility to experience the Word and Sacraments.   We see multitudes of people who were once separated from life with God born anew.  Their lives are being transformed by the Gospel.  They are learning to live as citizens of the Kingdom of God.  They are Gospel saturated people who are following their Savior Jesus and learning to live and love like Him and our whole Township is being transformed by Jesus’ love because of this. 

SHARING JESUS: Loving Each other

We see followers of Jesus who are connected with Open Arms in an intense spiritual battle with their own flesh,  a seductive world, and Satan.  We see this battle is growing increasingly hostile to Christ followers just as Jesus said it would be.  While we see the love of most who begin with Christ growing cold – just like Jesus said it would - we see the people Jesus is gathering into Open Arms seeking all the more to live in community.  We see Jesus saved servants looking forward to His coming and valuing time together all the more.  There are welcoming groups of Open Arms people meeting all the time everywhere in our community. They lovingly encourage and care for one another.  They seek relationships with those disconnected from community with Christ and lovingly invite them to join. 

We see the homes of our Open Arms families equipped for this spiritual battle as well.  They are connected to Jesus and constantly experiencing God’s grace – empowered to shine in this dark environment.  These homes are equipped to gather around Jesus to hear his Word and pray.  These homes are equipped to train, equip and raise up passionate and focused disciples of Jesus who will pass on a vibrant – living faith in Jesus to their children.  We see these Christ centered followers relentlessly reaching out with the love of Christ in all their relationships and empowered by the Holy Spirit to do so until Christ comes again.

SENDING SERVANTS Who Make Disciples:

We see a community of people that make up Van Buren Township who would deeply miss Open Arms Lutheran church if we ceased to exist.  They would miss Jesus’ love that is being shared with them through Open Arms people who are their neighbors, team mates at the ball fields, co-workers, servants at our childcare, servants in our social ministries, and loving servants who pop up everywhere looking for a place to jump in and share Jesus love.

We see Jesus’ people from Open Arms passionately sharing Jesus love and building relationships because they desire to be like Jesus and are looking for opportunities to share Jesus.  We are going and making disciples –  sharing the Gospel – baptizing and teaching people to follow Jesus so that we can all be together with our loving God in paradise.



As the Holy Spirit fills and empowers us through the Word, and the Sacraments we will fulfill our mission  through …

  • relationships (Luke 19:10)
  • relevance (1 Corinthians 9:22b-23)
  • cell groups (Acts2:46-47)
  • worship in spirit and in truth (Matt. 15:7-9; John 4:23-24)
  • mentoring (Ephesians 4:11-13)
  • personal witness
  • birthing new cells
  • planting new churches.