While we believe it is important to have core values that undergird us a community of faith, we know that a set of values does not necessarily mean a church is living them out. We first must grasp how the Gospel message leads to Gospel motivation and grounds in our new identities in Jesus and then, out of our love and gratitude to God for who He is, what He has done, and who He makes us to be, we work out our values.
As we look at the story of God in the Bible, we see four key identities grounded in God and His Work: Family (sons of God), Missionary (sent ones of God), Servant (belong to God for His work) and Disciple (students of Jesus Christ taught by the Spirit of God).
1. Family: God has always desired a people–an earthly family–who would live in such a way that the world would know what he is like. Jesus said that those who live in his ways and obey his Father are truly his family. Through Jesus, we believe we are children of God and brothers and sisters with each other. As family, we see it as our obligation to personally care for the needs of one another – both physically and spiritually. We disciple, nurture and hold each other accountable to this covenant life together. (Genesis 12:1-3; John 1:12-13; Romans 12:10-16)
2. Missionary: God sent his son, Jesus, to Earth to take on human form and live within the culture. He worked, ate and interacted among the people; living in such a way that those around him could see and experience what God was truly like. Jesus came so that all people, places and things could be restored to a right relationship with God. In the same way, we believe we are missionaries sent into our culture to restore all things to God through Jesus. (John 1:14; 20:21; Colossians 1:19; 2 Corinthians 5:16-21)
3. Servant: Fully God and fully human, Jesus took on the posture of a servant. He gave his life, even unto death, so that others could experience salvation, peace and restoration. Jesus said, “I am among you as one who serves…” All those who follow Jesus are called to serve in the same humility. For us, this means joyful submitting to God, leadership and to each other as we serve whoever God brings into our lives. We do whatever He leads us to do, whenever He tells us, and wherever He wants us to do it. (Matthew 20:25-28; 25:31-46; John 13:1-17; Philippians 2:5-11; 1 Peter 2:16)
4. Disciple: As a young man, Jesus grew in wisdom. He learned from local religious teachers, by living in community, and through regular times of listening to God. Jesus called others to follow his ways, to be his disciples, and to live in obedience to all that He commands. He then sent these followers out to make new disciples. We believe we are also called to be followers of Jesus who take responsibility for our own development and the development of others. (Luke 2:52; Matthew 28:18-20; Ephesians 4:11-13; 2 Timothy 2:2)