The Fruit of the Gospel
Our vision comes out Paul’s conviction that the truth of the gospel “bears much fruit” (Col.1:6). As we stay true to our mission, we envision “joining God in creating a gospel community of mature Christ-followers living in love for the growth of the church, the good of our city, and the joy of all peoples to the glory of God.” This sounds nice on paper, but what does this mean exactly?
Understanding and Applying the Vision
Vision – Our vision is the mental picture of what the church and our city should be, could be and eventually will be (Rev. 21:1-5).
Joining God – We all want to see God at work, and so we must join God in what He is working towards (Acts 1:1,8).
Creating – God’s power is revealed in His ability to create something out of nothing (Gen.1:1; 2 Cor.4:6; Eph.2:10) and His grace to use us in the process.
Gospel Community – A true community is not a gated community; it’s a gospel community. It’s not gated by age, race, class, past sins, or present struggles. In short, we want to see a community where God’s grace reigns and God’s truth is shared in love (Eph.2:1-22).
Mature – A mature Christian is able to discern 1) truth from error, 2) good from evil, and 3) right from wrong – and actively puts gospel truth into practice with a spirit of humility and love. (Eph. 4:11-16, 5:9; Phil. 3:15; Heb. 5:11-14).
Christ-Followers - A true disciple of Christ lives in freedom under his Master’s authority through learning what He says and following where He leads (Matt.28:19; John 8:31-32; Luke 9:57-62).
Living in Love - We desire to see men and women being led by the Spirit to love God and others by dying more unto sin and rising more unto righteousness (1 Cor.13:1-3; Rom. 6:4; 8:12-14; 1 Pt.1:24).
Growth of the Church - We envision God growing our church by bringing people in and building people up to reproduce ourselves through raising up leaders who are sent out to replant more gospel-centered churches locally and abroad (1 Cor. 3:6-7; Eph.4:12-16).
Good of the City - We want to see not only a great church but also a great city. Our church exits to build one another up and to seek the spiritual, social and cultural good of our city (Jeremiah 29:4-7; Acts 17:6).
Joy of All Peoples - The church has been blessed in order to be a blessing (Ps.67). We have been brought in for the purpose of going out with message of joy to our closest neighbors and to the farthest nations.
Glory of God - In everything we do, our aim is for the fame of God’s name. (1 Cor.10:31; Col.3:23). The purpose of life is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, so the question we want to always ask ourselves is, “Will this bring glory to God?”
Our core values help determine our priorities, direct our decision making, and distinguish us from other ministries. They’re not the Ten Commandments; they didn’t come down from Mount Sinai; they’re just the top ten values that help shape who we are and that say to those around us, “here’s what we hold most dear…”.
1) Reproductive Growth
We value Jesus’ example of spiritually reproducing disciples and skillfully training them in the various areas of the church. We value growth by multiplication rather than merely addition. We want to continually ask, ‘What is my role and who am I training to come behind me and fill it?’
Jesus didn’t say we would one day hear, “Well done, good and fruitful servant,” but rather “good and faithful servant” (Matt.25:21). We value people who do what they say and are faithful with what God has given to them.
3) Loving Relationships
“You shall love the Lord your God ... and love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:37, 39). The mark of a Christian is living in a loving relationship with God and each other. Without love, we are nothing (1 Cor.13:2).
4) People over Programs
The church is not a particular place or program but a particular people called by Christ to minister God’s truth to each other through meaningful dialogue, discipleship and prayer - that is what it means to “get involved.”
5) Being Honest
“Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way” (Eph.4:15a). We value people who are honest with God, honest with themselves and honest with others.
6) Cheerful Sacrifice
“God loves a cheerful giver” and so do we. We value people who gladly give of their resources to further God’s work, not out of a sense of duty or compulsion (2 Cor. 9:7).
7) Gospel-Driven Discipleship
“Go and make disciples of all the nations” (Matt. 28:19a). We place a high value on the form of discipleship being gospel-driven where the person and work of Christ is the power for transformation through a process called 318 (see Rom. 1:16a; 2 Cor. 3:18)
8) A Praying Life
From the very beginning, the people of God have been known as those who “call upon the name of the Lord” (see Gen.4:26). We value prayer as an essential weapon and discipline in the Christian’s life of faith and in the life of our church (see Matt.6:5; Eph.6:18; Col.4:2).
9) Creative Beauty
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men” (Col. 3:23). Because we’re made in God’s image and all our work is unto Him, we value providing creative and beautiful work. From farming to finance, all that we do should resemble the fingerprints of our beautiful Creator.
10) Personal Worship
We value men and women who are seeking to worship God Monday through Sunday in all they do by growing in their personal walk with Him through personal Bible study, prayer, and obedience (Rom. 12:1; Col.3:16).