A Special Article by Elder Pastor Saul Garcia
What is it Worth?
Victory Outreach International is a worldwide movement, as a ministry, we are committed to following God’s Divinely Inspired Word. In 1967, God called our ministry into being. When He called we answered. From the beginning, God gave us the ministry of reconciliation. Victory Outreach has been honored, blessed, and privileged to share God’s message of salvation and hope.
After 53 years, our ministry is still passionate about spreading the Good News. Why our passion continues to burn within our ministry is simple: we have not forgotten that we have been reconciled to God through Christ. Scripture is clear about the person who is forgiven much it says that person loves much (Lk 7:47); Victory Outreach has been forgiven much.
We hold the Holy Scriptures as our rule of faith and conduct. As a ministry, we stand on God’s Word; Victory Outreach can do no other. Sola Scriptura is our ultimate authority. We are unwavering in our stance.
Having said that, we nevertheless, have values that we adhere too; these values help guide our ministry. Before I can go further, we should define the word value, we need to have a preliminary understanding of what this word means. The word value as a noun has several meanings one is “relative worth… or importance” and as a verb value means, “to consider or rate highly,” it also means “to rate… in usefulness, importance, or general worth.” These words as used carry the sense of giving worth to something. In other words the worth (value) of something is the result of the worth the person or people give to that thing or idea.
Victory Outreach has developed values; these values were born from within our ministry. We did not actually sit and write down values and then present them to our ministry. No that is not how it happened. As time passed and turned into years, our ministry grew. With the passing of time we realized there were things we practiced, that became part of us, as it were, that we believed, and that we did and considered important to our ministry. We gave these things a label and called them our Values. These values are derived from the Word of God; they do not take the place of God’s Word. They are like wall placards, banners, or posters or maybe like a motto, a catchphrase, or a rallying cry. In a word or two they remind us who God called us to be, who we must never stop being.
Let me share three values we have: Our Vision, Discipleship, and Family. After I write a few sentences about these values. You may conclude what I am writing about is simply our philosophy of ministry, in other words, “the why we do what we do”, and in a sense you would be right. The first value we have is ‘Our Vision’ it is best stated in our “Mission Statement”
Victory Outreach is an international church-oriented Christian ministry called to the task of evangelizing and discipling the hurting people of the world with the message of hope and plan of Jesus Christ. This call involves a commitment to plant and develop churches, rehabilitation homes and training centers in strategic cities of the world. Victory Outreach inspires and instills within people the desire to fulfill their potential in life with a sense of dignity, belonging and destiny. Victory Outreach works cooperatively with others of mutual purpose in accomplishing the task before us.
It is our vision for what we believe God has called us to do. It is the fleshing out of the Great Commission. We believe Victory Outreach has been called by name to keep our vision before us. The Vision is our daily marching orders for now and for the future. Within the ninety-one words of the Mission Statement are the seeds of all our values.
Discipleship within a church seems obvious. Churches should have discipleship programs, and I suppose most churches do. However, for Victory Outreach discipleship is a Value. We believe discipleship is more than just becoming a disciple or a follower. There is more to being a follower because one can follow from afar. Being a disciple is about growing and being equipped for the honor and glory of God. It is an up close (to the Cross) and personal discipleship. Discipleship is about developing men and women who will see the vision clearly, make Christ the center of our Mission Statement and become responsible for the message of reconciliation God has given us.
Another value is Family. I do not think there would be many who would deny the strength of the family bond. As Victory Outreach gathered and sang hymnals, and praise choruses, as we lifted our hands in worship, and prayed together and then listened to our pastor, preach to us. We did not feel like a bunch of disjointed outsiders who belonged nowhere. No, we belonged; we were bonding, and we were family. This value grew, it was important, it was needed then and it is needed now. The family value must be nourished today for tomorrow. You and I have embraced our Victory Outreach family, it is our legacy and this family legacy belongs to our descendants.
These Values are not unique, but they are important to Victory Outreach. We must guard them, protect them, and be careful not to neglect them, or water them down. If Victory Outreach does not protect its calling and its values it will not be too long before (at best) we will have diluted values or (at worst) we will have no values to speak of. You see values have relative worth. Just like gold, in the morning Gold could be worth X number of dollars per once, but on another day the price of gold could be worth much less. That is how it is with many things in life. For example, you are given a gift, you like it, it has value. But later, it no longer has the same value. You put it somewhere in your house; you throw or give it away, and that is the end of it. Ministries can lose interest in their values, or not believe them to have the same importance or value they once had.
Victory Outreach guard what God has given us and shown us. Let us guard the Word God he has deposited in our hearts and guard the Values that have bound us together in the past, in other words, “the why you and I do what we do”, and may we do it for the honor and glory of God.