Vision and Focus
Why does Fourth exist?
Our Vision Slogan: Giving Forth Truth to the Next Generation.
We exist to give forth the truth of God’s Word to the church of the 21st century. Three particular Scriptures have impacted our thinking:
• Philippians 2:14–16: “Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.”
• Psalm 71:17–19: “O God, You have taught me from my youth, and I still declare Your wondrous deeds. And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me, until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to all who are to come. For Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the heavens, You who have done great things; O God, who is like You?”
• 2 Timothy 2:1–2: “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”
These texts emphasize the importance of ensuring that Scripture is passed on to future leaders. At Fourth, we prayerfully prioritize children, teens, and college students with the goal of the next generation surpassing the current one. The implementers of our vision are mature believers who have a heart for the next generation (e.g., empty nesters, senior saints).
Our Vision Strategy: 1 → 2 → 3 → 4
Reach → Teach → Train
Our vision strategy seeks to fulfill our vision slogan of “giving forth truth to the next generation.” As Forth Church, we use four numbers to represent four progressive stages of spiritual maturity. The action words (Reach → Teach → Train) are the specific strategies that we implement to walk people from one stage to the next.
Stage 1 refers to those who need to believe in Jesus Christ (Rom 4:4–5). They are dead in their trespasses and sins (Eph 2:1–3) and eternally separated from God (Rom 3:23; 6:23). These precious people need to be reached with the good news that Christ died and arose (1 Cor 15:1–4). As such ones place their faith in Christ, they cross over from death to life (John 5:24) and become apart of God’s family (1 Cor 12:13).
Stage 2 refers to those who need to be taught (Col 3:16). They are young in the faith and need instruction from mature believers (Heb 5:11–6:3). This stage may also include those who have been believers for years, yet were never discipled. The Stage 2 disciple has two primary responsibilities: to reach the lost and to grow through biblical teaching.
Stage 3 refers to those who need to be trained (Luke 6:40). It is one thing to know God’s Word—it’s quite another to do it (Jas 1:22). Fourth is a training church committed to giving the next generation an opportunity to serve and learn ministry. The Stage 3 disciple has three main responsibilities: to reach the lost, to teach younger believers, and to grow through biblical training.
Stage 4 refers to those who have progressed through all four stages and are presently helping others do the same (Col 1:28). This believer is reaching the lost, teaching the young in faith, training those who are ready, and sending out fully trained disciples to do the work of the ministry.