Our Vision and Values

First Baptist Church has a very simple and compelling vision for our church, our community, our nation, and our world:

We want to see every family in Van and around the world reached with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We evaluate every ministry and entity of our church against that vision. We want everything we do to contribute toward achieving that goal. We will accomplish this vision by being intentionally:

PRESENT in our community;

VOCAL about our faith;

WELCOMING in the church;

CONSISTENT in preaching the Gospel;

PROACTIVE about developing leaders;

COOPERATIVE with other churches.

We believe by focusing on these six areas we will be able to see every family reached.


Discipleship Path

Brandon Cox wrote that, “Discipleship is the art and science of helping people find, follow and fully become like Jesus. Discipleship happens as God’s people show love, share truth, and live life with one another, making new disciples along the way.” That is the mission of the church. Reaching every family with the Gospel is only the first step; intentional discipleship is our end goal.

At First Baptist Church, we look at discipleship like a narrowing path. Each subsequent step narrows and intensifies the focus. We want every church member to move steadily down this path:


Attend corporate worship

The widest and easiest part of the path. We expect every member to connect to the body of Christ in corporate worship, but we are also mindful of the fact that very little active discipleship happens in such a large group.

That’s why the road narrows here to a more focused area:

Connect to a group/class

Joining a Sunday School class and/or a Wednesday night Bible study group is a key step in our Discipleship path. The smaller group unlocks more accountability. You’re able to connect at a deeper level than in corporate worship alone. But the road narrows even further:

Get involved in a men’s or ladies’ Bible study

There are small group Bible studies available throughout the week for men and women. These small groups offer an intense level of camaraderie, encouragement, accountability, and opportunity to go and grow deep. We encourage you to plug into one of these groups.

Find a mentor

One-on-one mentoring is an absolutely unmatched opportunity for growth. In this kind of relationship, you can discover the kind of student-teacher plan that Jesus intended for His followers. We offer opportunities to find a mentor in our Walk with the Wise program. This program runs 3 months at a time and matches a younger and an older member up together to build a relationship. We think this is a critical step to becoming a fully-devoted follower of Jesus Christ.

The path of discipleship narrows finally to the most important juncture:

Become a replicating leader

All that came before brings us to this place. As the pastor, the Sunday School teachers, small group leaders, and mentors have poured into a church member, they are preparing them to go and do likewise. This step is our desire for all church members, that eventually they become replicating leaders. That they pour themselves into other people as they have been invested in. This is clearly demonstrated in 2 Timothy 2:2—“What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” The Discipleship Path leads us to make disciples who make disciples. That is how we’re going to see every family reached with the Gospel!