our love says...
who we are as a community
Every family in the world has a culture—a set of values and a particular language that bind them together. We have ten key statements that give us a clear identity. They are our distinctions as a community of faith. You read them below and also find out more about them in our Next Steps course.
god goes before us
We as a church and a movement will never forsake that foundation of being a prayerful, worshipful, presence people. A people that honor God, that lift up Jesus, and are led by the Holy Spirit. God’s presence is the one thing that will change everything! In the presence of God we find freedom, joy, courage, and so much more. It will be a distinction of our lives and our church that we make room for His presence and ready our hearts for His work. There is no substitute.
"The Lord is the One who will go before you. He will be with you..." Deut 31:8
The life God gives us is an overflowing, abundant one. It is not intended to stop with us. We are a church and a people that desire God do something in us that overflows into the world around us. That we do not keep this to ourselves but see people in our family, on our street, at our workplace, and beyond impacted by the life God has given us. Our first priority is that you have an overflowing, full-hearted relationship with Jesus. That you get life and give life.
"I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)." John 10:10
We've found that God often asks us to go beyond where we currently are. To step out in faith because where we place our feet often reveal the extent of our faith. It is why we lean in with expectancy and we are front-footed in our pursuit. Faith and courage are always required to fulfill God's vision for us.
"But as soon as the priests carrying the ark reached the Jordan, their feet touched the water at its edge and the water flowing downstream stood still,..." Joshua 3:15-16
We Make This Home
We want this church to feel like home—where all are welcome and all belong. To be a place where people find a seat at the table and have a voice that is heard. We're committed to creating an atmosphere where people have no doubt that they are loved and believed in. And to do that, we're all needed. God is fitting us together brick by brick, person by person. Each brick is significant! Every person matters! This is an ‘all-in’ life of loving, serving, and giving to one another.
"That’s plain enough, isn’t it? You’re no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You’re no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. He’s using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day—a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home." Ephesians 2:19-22
We Remove the stone
Life comes at us hard. Questions, doubts, hurts, distractions, and so much more can make it hard to see Jesus in our everyday. Our hope is to create a place where those stones are rolled away much like Jesus had people remove the stone in front of Lazarus' grave before He called him to life. We're committed to doing things with excellence and in such a way that people see Jesus and nothing else.
“Remove the stone,”Jesus said. Martha, the dead man’s sister, told Him, “Lord, he’s already decaying. It’s been four days.” John 11:39
We Speak the Language
We will make every effort to speak the language of our culture and community. In a relevant and creative way, we will answer the questions our city and culture are asking. To bring solutions not simply point out the problem. To be a church and people who have intelligent, relevant, and meaningful discourse on the topics of today while pointing to Jesus as the answer for it all. In other words, don't make other people learn our language, we learn theirs and in that context, communicate the timeless and transformative message of the Gospel.
"So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with those who worshiped God and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there." Acts 17:17
We embrace the tension
We believe God has set us free to live not by a religious code but in a relationship with Christ. We know that living a life of grace and truth or freedom and discipline can at times be challenging. There can seem to be a grey area. But we embrace this. Living with forgiveness, grace, and unconditional love towards each other while also encouraging, upholding, and pursuing a life based upon God's unending truth.
"The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14
We Live and Multiply
Where we live, we multiply. God's intention with us is growth. Both as individuals and as a church. We want to raise up leaders and disciples right where we are. In every sphere of life and community. We believe it is our God given mission to reach all people and lead them into a full life in Christ. To this end, we'll be intentional and sacrificial to spend time with people. God is growing us inwardly to expand us outwardly. What we give God, He will multiply.
"...so that you may live and multiply" Deuteronomy 30:16
We Celebrate Loud and Often
Celebration, thanksgiving, and joy will be our posture and our strength. We believe He reigns and so we rejoice. A church where dry bones come back to life. Coming together in the presence of the Lord. Our culture needs to see joy that resides regardless of circumstance. Thanksgiving in all things and at all times. Celebration of stories and people. Yes, we're loud. Yes, a lot. And yes, we'll keep it that way. We have a hope and a joy that is contagious and is our strength that we want others to experience.
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" Philippians 4:4
We Fight For Unity
If this sounds similar to another value on this list (ie Make This Home) it's because it is. That's intentional. Why? Because unity, being together, having one heart will never just happen. It is a constant pursuit and fight to obtain and maintain. It is a key to unlocking what God wants to do in and through us. Our unity, our love, our peace, and our constant fight for each other will be the witness to the world of who Christ really, truly is and His love for people. In fact, it wasn't until the disciple got in "one place, together" that the Holy Spirit showed up in a way no one had ever seen. So, the poisons of gossip, complaining, backbiting, discord and division are not welcome here. Nor will they be tolerated.
"On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place." Acts 2:1