Our Community Values
Values speak to the way we’re going to go about doing the work Jesus has called us to do. They help us evaluate whether we're doing Jesus’ work, Jesus’ way. Here’s our working list of initial values that keep us on track as a community of faith:
1. Imitating Jesus—“Jesus said to the crowd, ‘If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross daily, and follow me.’” (Luke 9:23)
As imitators of Jesus, we seek to learn and live out the values he modeled while on earth, including: humble service, fearless courage, uncompromising integrity, relational authenticity; purposeful innovation, love for people, cultural engagement, biblical centeredness, a holistic lifestyle, and responsive spirituality. Moving beyond the query, “What would Jesus Do?”, we ask, “What would Jesus do if he had my job, my family, my talents and opportunities, my resources, and my responsibilities?”
2. Humble Service—“Jesus came to serve, not to be served—and then to give away his life in exchange for many who are held hostage.” (Mark 10:45)
Living in a culture that is measured by consumption and accumulation of goods, we seek to follow Jesus’ example of freely giving of our resources and contributing our time and talents to the people and community around us. We desire to move beyond selfish preoccupation by serving in practical ways to enrich the lives of others, to care for the poor, and to assist people in need.
3. Courage—“Don’t be bluffed into silence by the threats of bullies. There’s nothing they can do to your soul, your core being. Save your fear for God, who holds your entire life—body and soul—in his hands.” (Matthew 10:28)
Living with a sense of eternity in our hearts, we live with a confident assurance that Jesus is the leader and director of our lives. This gives us to courage to venture beyond our present comforts in pursuit of the preferable future that God has promised. Jesus spoke of the broad and narrow roads—we desire to take the road less traveled in an effort to please God with our attitudes and actions.
4. Uncompromising Integrity—“We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)
In an age of moral expedience, we are committed to developing lives that are characterized by growing levels of integrity. This impacts the way we act in the private arena of our lives, our performance as employees or employers, our business dealings, and our willingness to take responsibility for our failure and mistakes.
5. Relational Authenticity—“This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends.” (John 15:13)
As followers of Jesus we are committed to developing strong relationships. This means that we will be patient and longsuffering, that we will share freely, that we will refuse to gossip or speak maliciously, that we will work to reconcile disputes in God-honoring ways, and that we will admonish and hold one another accountable to become fully mature followers of Jesus.
6. Purposeful Innovation—“No one pours new wine into old wineskins. The new wine would swell and burst the old skins. Then the wine would be lost, and the skins would be ruined. New wine must be put only into new wineskins.” (Luke 5:37-38)
While our message remains unchanged, our methods constantly change to enable us to speak the language of our culture. We seek to include the timeless traditions of our ancient faith, while at the same time embracing techniques that enable the most effective advancement of Jesus’ kingdom.
7. Loving People—Engaging Culture—“Suppose one of you had a hundred sheep and lost one. Wouldn’t you leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the lost one until you found it?” (Luke 15:4)
Jesus risked his reputation and spent energy and time befriending people who were not followers of God. He viewed them as spiritually hungry and religiously confused—in need of compassion and direction. It is our mission as well to befriend people who are far from God and to assist them in their spiritual journey.
8. Biblical Centeredness—“Don’t suppose for a minute that I have come to demolish the Scriptures—either God’s Law or the Prophets. I’m not here to demolish but to complete. I am going to put it all together, pull it all together in a vast panorama. God’s Law is more real and lasting than the stars in the sky and the ground at your feet. Long after stars burn out and earth wears out, God’s Law will be alive and working.” (Matthew 5:17-18)
Jesus’ modeled obedience to the truth of God’s word, and by his own witness he raised the bar of obedience higher, moving beyond the letter of the law to the spirit behind the law. He refused to get sidetracked by trivial rules and regulations, but instead focused on matters of the heart and practical service to others in need. We too yield our wills to the truth of Scripture, affirming that the Bible bears witness to Jesus, the true Word of God.
9. Holistic Lifestyle—“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 16:28-30)
Jesus modeled a pace and quality of life that was healthy and freeing. Even though he was undertaking the most important mission of all, his life was not hurried, filled with anxiety, or characterized by fatigue. We seek to develop lives that are marked by this quality of “unforced rhythms of grace,” taking time to enjoy the journey and the company of trusted friends along the way.
10. Responsive Spirituality—“Jesus told the people: I tell you for certain that the Son cannot do anything on his own. He can do only what he sees the Father doing, and he does exactly what he sees the Father do.” (John 5:19)
Recognizing that God’s Spirit is constantly at work around us, we seek to identify his presence and to join him in the activity that he is initiating. This requires the practice of the spiritual disciplines to allow God to recalibrate our hearts according to his priorities so that our lives will be marked by the character and fruit of God’s Spirit. In response to God’s Holy Spirit, we desire to live lives characterized by brokenness, repentance, humility, and worship. We gather together to corporately experience a sense of the divine presence at work in our midst.