Our values describe for us the kind of church in which we want to "live and move and have our being."
Jesus will be at the center of our lives so that all we do and say will look and sound like what Jesus would do and say. In doing this, we echo the writer of Hebrews, who said (in Hebrews 12:2) that we look to Jesus who is the "pioneer and perfecter of our faith." Jesus let us know what is at stake here. If we are not centered on him, if we are not connected to him, then we can do absolutely nothing. "I am the vine; you are the branches. When you are joined with me and I with you...the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can't produce a thing." John 15:5-6 (The Message)
"Grace" is the way that God does things. Grace forgives, even when there is no apology. Grace gives, even when there is no gratitude. Since that is the way God loves us, it is the way we want to love God and others.
"For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope." Romans 15:4. If we are to be Christ Centered, living a Grace Filled life then the first and highest authority for us are the Bible. The scriptures exist to TEACH, ENCOURAGE and OFFER HOPE to all. Therefore we should seek to humbly live under its authority. Our belief in the Bible is encapsulated in the following quote from the Southern Baptist Convention's Baptist Faith and Message (1963): "The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is the record of God's revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. It reveals the principles by which God judges us; and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. The criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted is Jesus Christ."
Study the ministry of Jesus. When you read about him in the pages of the New Testament, one of the things you will notice is that Jesus went to where the people were. He went out to the villages, sat on hillsides, ate in the homes of common people, and walked the dusty highways of that day with his friends and followers. Christ lived a missional live, and he calls us to live similarly: "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8
Our COMPARATIVE Values
- PRAYER is more important than strategies.
- PEOPLE are more important than things, programs, or policies.
- PARTNERS are better than "Lone Rangers."