What We Are About
We recognize that we are to shape our church life in fulfillment of God’s purposes, rather than simply our own personal preferences or the preservation of an institution.
More than believing that the church has a mission; we believe that God’s mission has a church. What we have come to know of as “the church” is meant to organize us to fulfill that mission.
Jesus is calling us to join the ultimate revolution he set forth by declaring and demonstrating that, in him, God’s good reign is invading our world that has been ruled by spiritual oppression and darkness. This purpose is captured in his central declaration that the “Kingdom of God has come.” (Matthew 12:22-29; Luke 10:9, 11:20) In his sacrificial death, he bore the consequences of our human sin… our shame and separation from God... and in his resurrection, the consequences of this spiritual death were overcome… allowing those who unite their lives with his, to begin a new and everlasting life with God. Therefore, we believe that our central purpose must be to embody and equip this new life which includes changes within us (personal transformation), changes among us (uniting with and serving others), and changes around us (serving wholeness and justice through prayer and action that manifest God’s will over the powers of this world). These are more fully described in the following:
Restoring Identity in God (the Goodness of God WITHIN us)
Jesus is calling us to be “united with him” in a life of submission and satisfaction in God. Therefore, as disciples (students) of the life of Jesus, we desire to become increasingly centered and satisfied in God’s love; liberating us from the false pursuit of what possessions or even people can provide. This profound process of transforming our identity and inner life involves the heart (will), mind (thought), body and soul.
Jesus said in John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” We are called from merely striving in our own self-will and strength to that of abiding in God working in us through the indwelling of His Spirit.
Restoring Community in God (the Goodness of God AMONG us)
Jesus confronts the reality of a divided world. Apart from God, human nature has been given to contempt and competition. We see divisions all around us: hatreds rooted in ethnic and national identity; hostility between genders; separation between rich and poor. And in more sobering moments we see division within ourselves… pride and prejudice… hurt and hostility…and self-centeredness.
Christ is establishing a new community to show the world His reconciling power. Through Christ, we are able to begin embracing our common life in God, where our differences no longer define and divide us. The church is to be a “preview” community of the Kingdom of heaven… a foretaste of all things united through God and unto God. This is why Jesus said our unity was essential… and prayed for it. (John 17:23).
Therefore, we are called into a life in which we develop genuine, supportive relationships and serve one another with the unique gifts God has given us. (Ephesians 2:19, 4:15-16, 25-29; Hebrews 10:25)
Restoring the World in God (the Goodness of God AROUND us)
Jesus called his followers to do what he was doing… declaring and demonstrating the Kingdom of God breaking into the world… marked by the healing of sickness, freedom from spiritual bondage, living and relating justly, leading others into the new life he leads… and to do so to “the ends of the earth.” He said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing.” (John 14:12)