We exist for God’s glory and our joy through
God’s Glory
God’s glory is supreme (Rom. 11:33-36; 1 Cor. 19-20; 10:31; Rev. 4:11; 2 Cor. 1:20; Ps. 23:3; Acts 15:14).  As one Christian compendium of beliefs proclaims, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”  To say that we exist for God’s glory is to state the obvious – at least from the Bible’s perspective.  Everything that does exist, exists for the glory of God (Rom. 11:36).  This is not merely to recite a theological truism, but this is a statement of ultimate purpose and supreme ends.
Every Christian is revived to spiritual life, set apart for sacrificial service to Christ and others, sealed with the promise of God’s indwelling Spirit, and adopted into an unspeakable inheritance that is to be enjoyed for all eternity (Eph. 1:3-14).  All of this, however, is not meant to lead anyone to marvel at the value of humanity or the exceeding goodness of those who are Christians.  No!  All of this is meant to lead everyone to marvel at the supreme wonder of God’s glorious grace!  Such a redeeming work should evoke worship and adoration for the King of Glory who has brought about this incredible reality.  God is to be praised, and His glory is to be the focus and pursuit of all that is.
This is true in individual Christian lives, and this is true in gathered Christian bodies – the local church.  The supremacy of God’s glory is both humbling and exhilarating for a local congregation of gathered Christians.  It means that each member of a local church is excluded from drawing emphasis away from God’s glory and desiring some focus upon personal preference or agenda.  No member of the congregation (including those in leadership) is the captain of the ship, an essential piece of the puzzle, or the driving force that motivates all toward some self-focused end.  Rather, all are subordinate to Christ as head, and all are meant to pursue the God-ordained end of His glory.  This is also done through the efforts and means, which God has revealed in His Word and empowered by His Spirit.  The exhilarating aspect of this is that God is at work among us when we are pursuing His glory.  He is always doing all that He does for His own glory, and when we find our place as beneficiaries of His self-glorification, then we also find ourselves on an inevitable path towards a victorious end.
We exist, first and foremost, for God’s glory.  In other words, all that we are, all that we believe, all that we say, and all that we do is in an effort to bring Glory to the God of our salvation.  We certainly are not perfect in this pursuit, but this is our genuine pursuit nonetheless.
Our Joy
Human joy is greatest in right relationship with God (Ps. 16:11; 144:15; Is. 12:2-4; Phil. 4:4; Rev. 21:1-7).  Much more than temporary happiness, we are after our lasting joy.  Happiness comes and goes with the passing of circumstances.  On good days happiness is abundant, but on bad days it is elusive at best.  Joy is something that is not dependent upon temporal circumstances.  Rather, it is dependent upon an eternal declaration and promise.  Moreover, it is dependent upon the possession of the greatest and unchanging prize of God Himself.  As the Psalmist made clear, If the Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want (Ps. 23:1). Joy is truly found, not so much in what God does for His children, but in the relationship they have with Him.  Again, the Psalmist is exemplary in this way of thinking when he said, “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water” (Ps. 63:1).
In true Gospel-centered Community with other believers, the Christian is able to seek his or her own joy (and that of others).  If you think about it, all human relationships that are not centered upon and rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ are relationships that seek happiness, not joy.  The marriage of a husband and wife that do not understand the self-sacrificial love of Christ (which demands unconditional love and devotion for one’s spouse) will be incapable of lasting much past the loss of personal happiness.  The best of friends will even become the worst of enemies when the happiness well runs dry.  Every human relationship that is not Gospel-centered will eventually run its course and see its demise.  In Gospel-centered Community, however, happiness and personal comfort is not the goal to begin with.
True joy is found in knowing God, being known by Him, and finding one’s self in genuine fellowship that truly lasts.  This is what the local church is all about.  Joy, real and lasting joy, is the aim of the gathered church.  Each Christian is an encouragement to the others; each member provides a service to the others; and each part of the body protects the rest because they are one.  There is no community like Gospel-centered Community; and there is no joy (true and lasting joy) outside of relationship with Christ and a local expression of His body – the local church.
Gospel-centered Worship
Worship begins with revelation. The God of the universe makes Himself known through revelation and humanity is made to respond to such a display with adoration, gratitude, humility, praise, celebration, and wonder. Because humans are naturally sinful, an essential aspect of Worship is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Therefore, Gospel-centered Worship includes a human response to the revelation of God as He makes Himself known as the Savior of sinners.
Humans are made to worship! All of life should be lived in worship to God; indeed there is no aspect of life outside of God’s authority. Worship cannot be quarantined to only this place or that time. However, corporate worship services are the primary occasion for cultivating a worshipful posture for all of our church family.
Each Sunday we remember the Gospel, and the God of our salvation, in singing, preaching, teaching, and prayer. We also see and experience regular symbolic reminders of that singularly marvelous message in the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Communion). Each of these aspects of our worship service provides an opportunity for us to receive, remember, respond, and rejoice.
Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker! For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand” (Psalm 95:1-7).
Gospel-centered Community
Community in creation, especially in humanity, reflects the nature of God Himself. God is triune; He is Father, Son, and Spirit. As such, God is communal and relational, and humanity is meant to reflect this essential aspect of God’s own nature.
While each Christian has a personal relationship with God, that relationship is neither private nor separate from other Christians. In fact, the Christian journey and its destination are always meant to be understood in the context of community with others. The Christian can no more live in isolation from other Christians than a brick can call itself a house.
Christian community is built upon the foundation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and nothing else. While local congregations may enjoy all kinds of similar interests on superficial matters (such as song style, personal attire, and carpet color), the Gospel message itself is the bond that exceeds and obliterates all others. Real, genuine, and lasting community is, therefore, Gospel-centered Community.
Gospel-centered Community is experienced as church members lovingly engage one another for the sake of the Gospel, for the glory of God, and for their greatest joy. Life-on-Life Discipleship, Life Groups (small group classes), Fellowship events, Evangelistic efforts, and Prayer Meetings are the primary ways that we enjoy Gospel-centered Community at FBC Diana.
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” (Ephesians 4:1-6).
Gospel-centered Service
Serving others without any expectation of receiving anything in return has been a hallmark of Christian lives over the last several centuries. Self-sacrifice and costly service was embodied in no one more than Jesus Christ. God the Son set aside the riches of His glory and took upon Himself the poverty of sinful man in order to rescue sinners from their hopeless condition of slavery.

Christ, the perfect example of selfless service, has also commissioned every Christian disciple to serve others for the sake of the Gospel. Serving others definitely includes humanitarian efforts and the donation of time and resources, and Christians should lead the way in these areas. FBC Diana is not only interested in the temporal well being of our local and global community, we are also supremely interested in the eternal well being of others.

Gospel-centered Service includes volunteer efforts, community improvement and advancement projects, cheerful and charitable giving, and evangelistic outreach. The God of the universe in human form has selflessly served those who could not possibly provide any return on His investment. We endeavor to live our lives by His example.
FBC Diana is involved with the efforts listed below.  
Contact KathyFord@FBCDiana.org for details or to participate.

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:9-10).

Gospel-centered Multiplication
God has not only saved sinners by His marvelous grace, He has also made them key players in His effort to save a lost humanity.  Christ has accomplished all that is necessary to effectively save, and Christians may proclaim this good news far and wide.  Gospel-centered Multiplication is the idea that no local church was ever meant to think of itself as separate from the global body of Christ.  FBC Diana has distinct resources and opportunities, and God has granted these to us for the sake of His glory.  It is our amazing privilege to live for something greater than us and press on toward the proclamation of the Gospel to all peoples everywhere.

Our approach is both particular and broad.  Through our partnership with the Southern Baptist Convention, we proudly participate in the cooperative program and give special gifts (including Annie ArmstrongLottie Moon, and Mary Hill Davis) throughout the year.  These avenues provide us the opportunity to join forces with other like-minded churches on a large scale in order to spread the Gospel on global ground.

With a more particular focus, FBC Diana also seeks to partner more intimately with specific Gospel-centered ministries and churches.
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us…” (2 Corinthians 5:17-20).