we accomplish our larger purpose specifically is expressed in a mission
Christ-centered followers in Christ-centered homes.
Christ-centered is mentioned twice in
this brief statement. That’s because we believe in the Christ of the Bible: the
eternal Son of God who came to earth to live among us, died for the forgiveness
of our sins, and was raised from the grave, defeating the power of death. We
center our lives on him not only as the hope of our eternal lives, but as the
guide and sustainer of our everyday lives.
Raising indicates that
Christianity is not an event, but a process. In the same way an infant grows
and matures throughout its life, a saving relationship with Christ is a
life-long process of growing and maturing.
Followers indicates that as we
place our faith in Christ to lead us to our heavenly home, we also place our
faith in him to lead us in the right ways of living in our earthly home. We
commit to following Christ wherever he chooses to lead us.
Homes indicates that the
greatest influence on our spiritual lives takes place within our homes and
among our families. What we learn and experience in churches and schools is important,
but the instruction, nurturing, and encouragement we receive within our homes
are what sets the course for our lives.
will accomplish our mission by focusing on seven elements of spiritual
1. Worshiping God
intimately and passionately
Active and regular participation in the weekly
worship service brings us together as the body of Christ. We participate in the
Lord’s Supper, read from and are instructed in God’s Word, spend time in
prayer, and in all things we praise God, through the power of the Holy Spirit,
for the eternal salvation made possible by Jesus Christ.
9:1: “I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart.”
2. Engaging in spiritual
friendships with other believers
Small groups, meeting together for a common
purpose, give every member a chance to participate in the teaching and
fellowship ministry of the church. Ministry and instruction are more personal
in the setting of a small group, and provide the opportunity to bring a
Christian witness to all our neighborhoods.
Acts 2:44: “All the believers were together and had everything in
3. Pursuing faith in the
context of family
God has provided us the structure of family as
the primary means of spiritual development. Deuteronomy
6:5 says the most important thing for every one of us is to
love God with all of our heart and soul and strength, and verse 7 says the most
important thing we can do as parents is to model our love of God and our
obedience to his commands: “Impress them on your children. Talk about them when
you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when
you get up.”
Joshua 24:15: “But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
4. Embracing intentional
forms of spiritual growth
believer is responsible for their own personal spiritual growth. In addition to
active and regular participation in the weekly worship service and small
groups, every believer should participate in a more personal, devotional, intimate
time of communion with God.
Matthew 6:6: “When you pray,
go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then
your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
5. Serving others
Love is a tangible reality when it is shared
with other people through acts of selfless service. The early Church lived out
the idea that serving other people, both inside and outside the church, was the
best means of demonstrating the love that Jesus had for them. Like Jesus, we
live to serve rather than to be served.
1 Peter 4:10: “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others.”
6. Investing time and
resources in spiritual pursuits
Because we own nothing in this life, it is best
to wisely invest the resources we manage for the one who is the true owner of
all things. We recognize God’s ownership of all things, and what God has given
us we will share generously and invest back into his work.
James 1:17: “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down
from the Father of the heavenly lights.”
7. Having faith-based
conversations with outsiders
When we successfully integrate our spiritual
and secular lives, talking about our faith will be a natural part of everyday
conversation. Our faith is not a treasure to be hidden away but a gift to be
Romans 10:14: “How can
they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?”
7 elements of spiritual formation are adapted from the Barna Group, as found
in: David Kinnaman; Gabe Lyons. unChristian: What a New Generation Really
Thinks about Christianity... and Why It Matters (Kindle Locations 866-869).