HELPING PEOPLE AND PLACES ENCOUNTER JESUS
Encountering Jesus means coming face to face with who he is and coming to terms with our need for his salvation. When we encounter Jesus, he begins to put our lives and relationships back together by his grace and reign over us. Sin has corrupted our hearts, disordered our loves, disoriented our lives, and fractured our relationships. All this is being healed in Jesus who reconciles us to God, who renews our hearts, who reorders our loves, who reorients our lives, and who heals our relationships by the power of his Holy Spirit. We desire to give as many men, women, and children the repeated opportunity to encounter Jesus, to hear and respond to the saving message of his gospel. As lives are renewed by that encounter, we know that places are transformed. We desire to see the gospel bring renewal to our communities, neighborhoods, nations, vocational domains, education, the arts, and every circle of influence God entrusts to us.
Our mission is the means by which we help others encounter Jesus. We seek to help people and places encounter Jesus by Reaching, Teaching, Training, and Sending.
Conversion – We work to give as many people the repeated opportunity to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ and respond in repentance and faith. As individuals and as a community, we want to reach people with the gospel.
Convictions, Character, and Community – We work to help people develop a Christian mind and Christ-like character in the context of biblical community, helping them to live together as disciples of Jesus.
Competencies – We work to equip people for ministry inside the church and beyond its walls (leadership, evangelism, missions, mercy, justice, vocational domains…)
Commission – We work to raise up and send people into ministry in the church and beyond (commissioning elders, deacons, group leaders, age group ministry leaders, church planters, missionaries…)
Our values explain our collective heart that moves us into our mission so that we might fulfill the vision of helping people and places encounter Jesus. The values we embody and express as we carry out our mission represent our philosophy of ministry.
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CENTERED ON JESUS
We will trust and treasure Jesus above all things finding our identity in him, pursuing intimacy with him, and enjoying all that the Father is for us because of him. Our gatherings and groups will focus on Jesus: his person, his work, and his teachings, and seek to bring our lives under his rule.
Colossians 1:28 (ESV) — 28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.
DRIVEN BY GRACE
The Grace of God serves as our greatest motivation and the fuel for our transformation. We are fully accepted by his grace; therefore, we fearlessly obey and strive to please God according to the grace at work within us. The gospel is the way we enter the Christian life and the way we live the Christian life (Romans 1:15-16). It is sufficient for all of life. The gospel is the way we grow as Christians (Galatians 3:1-3; Colossians 1:6). This means that the gospel is our motivation and explanation for the qualitative distinctiveness of our lives.
SHAPED BY SCRIPTURE
The Bible is God’s Word to us. God has given us his Word so we can know him and live in line with his desires for us. In it, God communicates to us who he is, what his plan is for the world, and what he requires and expects from us in our relationship to him and others. The Bible reveals, instructs, rebukes, corrects, and trains us to live a life of righteousness (2 Tim 3:16). As we read it, the Holy Spirit illumines our minds to understand it and enables us to obey it.
RENEWED AS COMMUNITY
Spiritual formation is a community project. The Holy Spirit dwells among us as God’s people and is renewing us individually and collectively into the image of Jesus, showing the world the beauty of life lived as a people under the gracious reign of God.
SENT ON MISSION
We are the gathered community called out of the world to belong to Jesus, and we are the scattered community sent into the world to proclaim Jesus. We are sent together to saturate neighborhoods and nations with the message and mercy of Christ—announcing his Kingdom in word and deed.
Philippians 2:14–15 (ESV) — 14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world… Romans 10:13–15 (ESV) — 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” In this way we are a missionary community. There is a difference between being a community of missionaries (which we are) and being a missionary community. A missionary community sees themselves as sent together on mission, a collective witness working together to demonstrate and declare the gospel. We are communities of light, scattered throughout our cities demonstrating and declaring the gospel of Jesus.
EMPOWERED BY THE SPIRIT
We seek to carry out the mission of Jesus with the same resource Jesus carried out his mission, the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit. We will prayerfully seek the Spirit’s presence and power as we live as missionary communities formed by the gospel.
Acts 1:8 (ESV) — 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” John 20:19–22 (ESV) — 19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. These values are not words on a plaque hung on a wall somewhere. These are realities cultivated in the life of God’s people finding expression as they daily embrace the gospel. These values mark a community with a rich gospel content that is creating a rich gospel culture.