In order to be faithful to our Vision (what we hope to become) and our Mission (what we are to do), by God's enabling, we will seek to create environments that practice these Common Values.
G – God-Centered
God is our life, we live in Him and He in us
God lives in our very midst. Not some distant, detached being, our compassionate Father is intimately involved in our day-to-day lives. He lives in us, working out His plans for His beloved creation. He longs for deeper relationships with all of us and invites us to join Him in what He is doing in the world around us. We enter into personal relationships with God by responding to His love when we choose to place our trust in Jesus Christ and follow Him. Then as we open our lives to Him and learn to walk in His Holy Spirit, He transforms us into an increasingly vibrant reflection of His Son and works through us to reveal the life-giving truth of His kingdom to a world that desperately needs to know Him. It’s a radical way to live–listening, observing and responding from God.
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. Psalm 42:1
R – Reaching Others
Opening Our Lives to Other Lost and Broken People
God calls us to shine as His lights in the darkness, to live lives that radiate His endless love and reveal His enduring message of hope to the lost and broken people of the world. The hurting, the marginalized, the crushed. We have a God who heals deep wounds, a God who brings justice and peace, a God who restores hope. People just like us who need to know Him. God yearns to draw each and every one into close, intimate relationship with Him. As His people, God calls us to look outside our immediate surroundings to the world around us, to see beyond the crowd to the individual faces and hearts He wants us to reach out to with His love. As we seek God’s heart and grow closer in a intimate live in Him, His life flowing through us offers His healing touch to the wounded and ushers His kingdom ever deeper into our world, bringing restoration and transformation to His creation.
We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us. 1Thessalonians 2:8 Additional Scripture: Isaiah 49:1
–6, Acts 26:15
–18, 1Timothy 2:3–7, Acts 20:20
–21, 1 Thessalonians 1:5
A – Authentic Relationships
Bringing Authentic, Biblical Community to Life
God created each of us in His image. Like our Creator Father, we long for authentic relationships–with Him and other people. But our continuing rebellion and self-centeredness alienate us from both Him and others and lead to the struggles we often encounter in relationships. Incomplete without them, God offers restoration of these life-giving relationships through Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice on the cross. When we respond in faith to Jesus, we see more clearly that God reveals Himself through our relationships and fosters a unique bond among His people. We share one heart and one mind–the heart and mind of Jesus. God desires for us to experience love, grace and truth as we live life together–sharing hurts, celebrating joys, facing struggles and so much more on our lifelong journeys with God. Through these relationships, God loves us and grows us, creating a more vivid likeness of His Son in us both as individuals and together in community, diverse people united as God’s children.
We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you. … Open wide your hearts also.
2 Corinthians 6:11 & 13
C – Changing Lives
Experiencing God’s Transforming Truth and Power
God desires deep, lasting relationships with us, not only during our time on earth but throughout eternity. The choice to respond to Jesus simply marks the beginning. God calls each of us to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. This deep love creates opportunities for us to surrender and trust Him as we open our lives to the Holy Spirit who molds us into the image of Jesus, smoothing rough edges, shaping our characters, and causing His fruit to overflow from our lives. The Spirit’s ways are beautiful and mysterious, sometimes miraculous but often subtle, as He works and guides in the midst of our daily lives through our relationships, both with God and with others. This is a transformation and an enduring desire to pursue and obey God. With our life-change comes vibrant, intimate relationship with Him that rivals anything we have ever known. And from this growing, all-encompassing love for God flows wholehearted love for others that reveals His kingdom to a dying world.
And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18
E – Empowered to Serve and Give
Releasing Our God-Given Gifts and Resources
Christ in us is the Hope of Glory. God reveals His kingdom to the world through us, indwelt, loved people of God. He gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit and wants us to learn to live from His power. The Holy Spirit entrusts each of us with unique spiritual gifts and material resources, empowering us together to be a tangible, enduring expression of His grace and love on this earth. Our entire being–body, mind and soul–as well as our hopes, dreams, passions, gifts, talents, possessions, resources and time belong to God, and He asks us to willingly and joyfully offer all to Him, not holding back but trusting Him to meet our needs. By loosening our grips on the things of this world, we open our lives to the gentle, nurturing hand of the Holy Spirit, who lives in our hearts and cultivates an ever-growing likeness of Jesus within us. When we unleash all that we are and all that we have together in community, sacrificially investing ourselves in the lives of others, God moves through us to draw other lost and broken people in the world around us to Himself and to strengthen and encourage His people, the Body of Christ.