VALUES: Who we are
All of the Scriptures and history point to Jesus,3Luke 24:27,44; John 5:39-40; 2 Corinthians 1:20 and so should our lives.41 Corinthians 2:2 He is our hope, not ourselves.5Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 5:8; 9:16 Our motivation comes from the sacrifice and righteousness of Christ alone.6Romans 1:17; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 3:8-10 Knowing Jesus is how we come to know ourselves more deeply,71 John 3:20 as we come to know the Triune God through the Son.8John 14-17; Matthew 28:19-20; Colossians 1:19
Gospel means “Good News.” We want the good news of Jesus to drive everything in our lives. The Gospel is how we change and how we will increasingly flourish. How? The clearest snapshot of the Gospel is the cross – a paradoxical image of life-giving death. The bad news is that we are worse off than we think. But the simultaneous good news is that we are more loved than we ever hoped. He has seen our mess to the bottom, but his love is deeper still. And this transforms repentance from groveling into a joyful awakening. Instead of pleading for forgiveness, it is a homecoming to the Father’s love. For that reason, it is our hope that in all we do we can lead in repentance.
Jesus came to us. He became a human being – which theologians call the Incarnation. He fully entered our suffering. He did not wait for us to fix ourselves, but he moved toward us throughout his life. Jesus was not only revealing his character, but in so doing he was also revealing his methodology. He washed feet, and then called us to do the same. As followers of Christ, we want to be ‘incarnational’ – moving toward the brokenness of the world, just as he did for us.
In the Bible, ‘glory’ means weight or significance – a statement of what matters, of gravitas.9Exodus 33:18; Psalm 19:1; Isaiah 40:5; John 1:14; 17:22; 1 Corinthians 10:31 And just like planetary orbits, the greater re-orients the lesser.10John 3:30 We must not mistake God’s grace and kindness as an invitation to remake him in our own image.11Romans 2:4 Instead, grace has an agenda: namely, to make us holy.12Leviticus 11:45; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 1 Pet.1:16 God intends to make us increasingly like him.131 John 3:2 That is what it means to be made in God’s image,14Genesis 1:26-27; Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:3 and it is the end goal of grace. Instead of cheap grace, God will not settle for partial healing in our lives. He intends nothing less than to recover fully his own likeness in us.15John 10:10; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Peter 2:9f
PRIORITIES: What we do
Preach the Word
The Bible is the Word of God – the way God speaks to us today. God has promised to meet us in the reading of his Word, by the power of his Spirit.16Isaiah 55:10-11; John 14:26; 16:13 So we place ourselves under God’s Word, in order that we might know him and enjoy him more daily. Beautifully, the Bible is not primarily about us and what we must do, but rather it brings us the Good News of who God is and what he has done for us. Every page reveals his character.17Psalm 119; John 5:39-40; Luke 24:27,44; 2 Corinthians 1:20 And even while it demonstrates how broken our world is, it also constantly reminds us of the hopeful trajectory he has for all of history.18Revelation 21:4-5
Depend on Prayer
Prayer is the way we talk to God.19Luke 11:2f It is a counterintuitive act, in a world where many view prayer as a waste of time or self-soothing relaxation. Instead, it is an act of utter dependence on God, acknowledging our need of him in every moment, and an offering of our heart’s desires to be molded ever-increasingly to be like his.20WSC #98, Psalm 37:4 We are children bringing all our delights and needs before our loving Father. As he promises in his Word, God has sovereignly planned to use our prayers to accomplish his will in history.
Celebrate the Sacraments
Sacraments are ways Jesus commanded us to remember and identify with him.21Matthew 28:19-20; Luke 22:19 They are outward signs of an inward reality. They are images of the Gospel that Jesus has commanded us to enact in our lives. Baptism signifies how he washes us when we join his body. The Lord’s Supper is an ongoing feast that looks forward to his return.221 Corinthians 11:26
Sacrifice our Abundance
Though he was rich, for our sake, Jesus made himself poor.232 Corinthians 8:9 He sacrificed that we might have life to the fullest.24John 10:10 It is out of his abundance that we want to give our lives away just as he did – with our finances, our time and our various God-given abilities. Counterintuitively, the Gospel reveals that the joy of life is actually in giving our lives away.25Hebrews 12:2 Because of the riches he has poured out from heaven, it is our privilege to steward those through sharing them.26Luke 19:1-10
Equip the Saints
In the New Testament, “saint” is the primary term used for every Christian as a part of the body of Christ. The word means “holy one” – and that is his long-term goal for us.271 John 3:2 He has given us all different gifts.281 Corinthians 12:28; Romans 12:6 As a church, we want to equip all of our members to find their joy through using these gifts. No one of us can do everything. And yet together, by his grace, Jesus promises we will do great things in his name.29John 14:12; Ephesians 2:10
Renew what is Dead
The resurrection is at the heart of our faith.301 Corinthians 15:20-22 As Jesus said, he is the God of the living, not the dead.31Matthew 12:27 And the hope of the resurrection is that he is making all things new32Revelation 21:5 – even dead things like us. As he raises us to new life, we hope to join increasingly with him in that work33Philippians 2:12-13 – in all the comprehensive ways that Christ is healing what is broken and dead in our own lives and all of creation.34Isaiah 11; Romans 8:22; 2 Corinthians 5:17 We are yearning for and actively seeking the fullness of his Kingdom.35Matthew 6:33
FOCUS: Our end goal
Raise up disciples and churches
Who lead with joyful repentance,
Sharing our hope as we go out into the world.
We subscribe to the Westminster Confession of Faith. Below is a very abbreviated statement of our core beliefs:
- The Bible is God's Word. It reveals His immeasurable love for us and how simply to live in His grace. (2 Tim.3:16)
- There is only one God, in three persons: the Father, Son & Holy Spirit. (Dt.6:4; Mt.28:19)
- All humans are broken and cannot save themselves. We need a Savior. (Rom.3:10-12)
- Jesus Christ, the God-man, lived the life we could not, died the death we deserved and won new life for us in His resurrection from the grave. (2 Cor.5:21)
- The cross tells us two things: a) I deserve that death. b) He was willing to die for me. In other words, I'm worse off than I dared to imagine, but... at the very same time, I am more loved than I ever dared to hope. (Rom.5:8)
- Since we can't save ourselves, salvation is God's work alone. (Eph.2:8-9)
- The Holy Spirit lives in God's people and leads them more & more toward Christ. (Jn.16:13; 1 Cor.3:15)
- Everything we do is to be done for God's glory. (1 Cor.10:31)
- God is faithful to His people not simply as individuals but also as families & communities according to His promises. (Dt.29:29; Ex.20:4-6)
- Jesus will return to receive His people to Himself. (Acts 1:11)