But how are we going to do that? A purpose statement gives us a destination to aim at, but what it doesn’t do is to tell us how we are going to get there. Core values are the thing that describes how to reach our desired destination; they are the beliefs that shape our behaviour. Pastor Darrin Patrick describes values as, “Something you believe so strongly that you practice it consistently.” So you will make hundreds of decisions every day based on what it is you value. If you value family, for instance, you will do things like buying groceries for your home, filling up your car’s gas tank, and locking your doors at night.
What we’ve listed below are five core values that we believe will shape how it is that we behave as a church, and that will help us to achieve the mission God is calling us to.
1. Everything is worship:
Everything we do, we do to give glory to God.
This is true of our Sunday morning gatherings – where we worship through singing, giving, prayer, the teaching of the Word and communion - but this is equally true of how we live as a church outside of our gatherings. Bringing renewal in our families and in our communities reflects God’s intention for the world and brings glory and worship to Him. The gospel transforms how we approach relationships, our use of power and our use of money. So everything we do – praying, talking, giving, eating, laughing, preaching or hanging out at the park – is through Jesus and for Jesus. If we are His people, everything we do is worship.
2. Everyday mission:
Our mission as a church is not confined to one day.
Bringing renewal to our city means recognizing that our work in God’s global mission to reconcile all things to Himself cannot be limited to what we do on Sundays – it must be part of the ordinary and extraordinary moments of our lives.
Sometimes this will mean changing the purpose behind things we already do everyday. Or, it could mean reorienting our lives and priorities to create more opportunities to be on mission. The gospel profoundly impacts our lives, and we need to find ways to reflect that, engaging with God’s mission in the ordinary rhythms of life.
3. Everyone is a minister:
Ministry is the job of everyone in the church.
Though we have made ourselves God’s enemies through sin and have become distant from Him, He has made a way for us to be drawn near to Him and this is awesome news for this broken world. Ministry means joining with God in the work of leading humanity to Him. This covers everything from sharing the gospel to someone for the first time, to encouraging, correcting and informing lifelong believers with the truth about God. But who is to do this work? Ephesians 4:11-13 tells us that church leaders don’t exist to do the ministry of the church. Rather, they are given to the church by Christ to “equip the church for the work of the ministry.” To put it another way, each of us who are in Christ are ministers. 2 Cor. 5:17-20 describes how each one of us have been called by Jesus to now be ambassadors, or representatives, for Jesus.
4. Everyone is growing:
We need to be growing to be more like Jesus everyday.
The Christian life is the life of repentance. This is because the more we understand who God is, the more clearly we see the different areas of our lives where we fail to glorify God fully. The gospel gives Christians the ability to humbly put ourselves in situations (such as being on mission in our communities) that expose our continued struggle with sin. Then, as we apply the transformational power of the gospel to these areas of our lives, we will continue to grow more in the image of Christ. To do this, we need to expose our lives to each other. Where we follow Christ, we encourage those around us to follow Him. Where we do not, we welcome those around us to challenge us and point us to the gospel so that we bring ever aspect of our life under Christ.
5. Everything depends on Christ:
We can do nothing without being empowered by Christ.
As a community that is shaped by the gospel, we understand that our identity does not come from what we do but from who we are – a people who have been transformed (2 Cor. 5:17, Col. 3:3-4). Because our identity is found in Christ, everything we do is dependent on that connection to Him. In John 15, Jesus compares that connection to the way a branch produces fruit only so long as it remains connected to the vine, concluding “apart from Me you can do nothing.”
Therefore, we understand that everything we hope to accomplish as a church, will be inspired, directed, and empowered by God and will also be utterly dependent on Him.