OUR VALUES

Our shared values reveal how what we believe manifests “on the ground” - in our relationships and ministry efforts. We gather around these values and attempts to live from them. We hope our mentors and spiritual mothers and fathers hear their voices and influence in these commitments. While we admit we are not yet everything these commitments express, they represent what we desire to be.

 

CHRIST-CENTERED

We don’t place Jesus at the center; the Father already has.[1]  Jesus is the unmistakable center of the entire biblical narrative,[2] our future hope,[3] and our eternal worship.[4] It’s then only necessary that He also be the center of our lives, mission, and everything we do.[5] We do not preach ourselves but Him.[6]  At the center of our movement is a divine Person – who was once crucified but is now risen.[7]  He is the Lord[8] – Head of His Church,[9] our Chief Apostle,[10] our Savior,[11] Sanctifier,[12] Healer,[13] and Coming King.[14]

[1] Colossians 1:15-20 [2] John 5:39 [3] Colossians 1:27 [4] Revelation 5:12 [5] Colossians 3:17 [6] 2 Corinthians 4:5 [7] Revelation 1:18 [8] Philippians 2:11 [9] Colossians 1:18 [10] Hebrews 3:1 [11] 1 John 4:14 [12] 1 Corinthians 1:30 [13] Acts 10:38 [14] Revelation 1:7

SPIRIT-EMPOWERED

The Holy Spirit is not a distinctive reserved for certain Christian movements; any missionary movement is necessarily a Spirit-filled one.  He activates in us the love of the Father.[1] His power is given for the mission, and the mission is impossible without His power.[2]  Christ is exalted[3] in the Spirit’s fruits,[4] gifts,[5] manifestations,[6] voice,[7] and deep transformative work.[8]  We unapologetically seek His power and to join Him in His work.[9]

[1] Romans 5:5 [2] Acts 1:8 [3] John 16:14 [4] Galatians 5:22-23 [5] Romans 12:6-8 [6] 1 Corinthians 12:7 [7] Joel 2:28 [8] 2 Thessalonians 2:13 [9] 2 Corinthians 12:31

FAMILY ON MISSION

The Father has adopted for Himself a family made of every ethnic group and language.[1]  Our family is not defined by natural bloodline, social class, culture, affinity, or political tribalism.  We are a family defined by Jesus.[2] Our love and commitment for one another is forged in the crucible of mission.[3] We are a sent family – one that goes and grows.[4]  There is room at this family’s table for even more daughters and sons,[5] and we welcome to our family even those nobody else wants.[6]

[1] Ephesians 1:5, Revelation 7:9 [2] John 1:12-13 [3] Philippians 4:1-3 [4] Acts 2:46-47 [5] Matthew 9:37-38, Luke 14:21-23 [6] Luke 14:13-14

KINGDOM

The Kingdom is wherever God exerts His rulership, bringing order to chaos and rightness to wrongness.[1]  Jesus is King of the Kingdom,[2] and the appropriate response to His Kingdom is always repentance and belief.[3] In His ministry, He announced a new age in which the Kingdom began to invade earth.[4]  He proclaimed the Kingdom in His teaching,[5] demonstrated the Kingdom in His healing and deliverance,[6] and shared the authority of His Kingdom with His disciples.[7]  This Kingdom is truly here now[8] even as we wait for its future fullness.[9]  We aren’t building our own kingdom, but cooperating with His Kingdom.[10]  We celebrate every manifestation of the Kingdom’s rule in every sphere of life where wrong is being made right.[11]

[1] Psalm 110:1-2 [2] Revelation 19:11-16, Isaiah 11:1-5 [3] Mark 1:15 [4] Luke 10:11 [5] Matthew 13:44 [6] Luke 11:20 [7] Luke 22:29 [8] Luke 17:21 [9] Revelation 11:15 [10] Matthew 18:1-4 [11] Luke 7:22

HEALING

God’s Kingdom brings wholeness to people – spirit, soul, and body.  Our salvation is not only spiritual but physical as well.[1]  We believe our bodies will one day be resurrected and made whole.[2]  We expect in faith that God often heals the sick in the present as a taste of that future blessing.[3] Whether healing comes now or in the Kingdom’s future fullness, we believe Jesus is our Healer.[4]  More than a theory, this leads us to cooperate with the Spirit’s work in healing the sick.[5]

[1] Matthew 8:16-17 [2] 1 Corinthians 15:52-53 [3] James 5:1 [4] Isaiah 53:5 [5] Matthew 10:8

MARGINS

Opposed to God’s Kingdom is human empire (Babylon),[1] energized by human pride[2] and satanic power.[3]  In its quest for self-exaltation, empire will always marginalize the vulnerable.[4]  Empire systemically excludes the poor, denies justice to the oppressed,[5] and commits violence against the weak.[6]  Jesus does the opposite; His anointing is for the forgotten corners of empire.[7]  We exist in empire as His people living in love.[8]  While we are willing to proclaim the Kingdom at the very center of empire’s influence,[9] it is our joy to find Jesus in marginalized neighborhoods and communities.[10]  Poverty, whether spiritual or material, is the condition for receiving the Kingdom.[11]

[1] Revelation 17:5-6 [2] Revelation 18:7-8 [3] 2 Corinthians 4:4 [4] Ecclesiastes 5:8-9 [5] Amos 2:6-7 [6] Amos 1:13 [7] Luke 4:18-19 [8] 1 Peter 2:16-17 [9] Acts 24:24 [10] 1 Corinthians 1:26-29 [11] Matthew 5:9, Luke 6:20

UNBELIEVERS

God’s posture toward our unbelieving neighbors is love and compassion.[1]  Every person has participated in rebellion against God,[2] and our spiritual enemy has inflicted spiritual blindness on us all.[3] His love goes first in seeking us and drawing us back to Himself.[4]  Jesus’ death on the cross atoned for our sin so we could be restored to friendship with God.[5] Jesus’ priority was seeking the lost, so ours is as well.[6]  In our structures and strategies, we without hesitation prioritize the lost over the found, the sick over the well.[7]  We go to where they are rather than expecting them to be attracted to us.[8]

[1] Luke 19:10 [2] Romans 3:23 [3] 2 Corinthians 4:4 [4] John 6:44 [5] 1 John 2:2 [6] Matthew 18:12-13 [7] Mark 2:17 [8] Matthew 28:19

BIBLICAL JUSTICE

Biblical justice is systemic righteousness in relationships, economies, and institutions.[1]  Both the Old and New Testaments are concerned with personal holiness as well as social wholeness.[2] True justice is God’s idea and conforms to His character and moral law.[3]  Attempts at justice without His authority will always be flawed and tend toward new forms of oppression.  We seek to amplify the voices of the marginalized,[4] advocate for the rights of the oppressed,[5] and treat the poor with honor.[6]  In serving and showing mercy to the poor, we meet and serve Christ Himself.[7]

[1] Isaiah 58:1-10 [2] Amos 5:25, James 1:27 [3] Jeremiah 22:16 [4] Proverbs 31:8 [5] Proverbs 31:9 [6] James 2:5 [7] Matthew 25:40

LOCAL & GLOBAL

The good news of the Kingdom extends to our local and global neighbors of every culture and ethnicity, and we mobilize for both local and global mission.[1]  Doing mission in various contexts requires humble listening and ongoing understanding along with the development of culturally appropriate methods of doing ministry.[2]  We do not hinder our ministries with certain methods that may not be helpful in different contexts.[3]  As a movement for our neighborhoods and the nations, we cultivate the freedom for leaders to develop strategies particular to their context.[4]

[1] Acts 1:8 [2] Acts 17:22-31 [3] Acts 15:19 [4] 1 Corinthians 9:20-22

INCARNATION

Mission is best done in proximity rather than from a distance.  Jesus came in close to humanity in His incarnation,[1] and we come in close to those we serve.  We prefer to share our lives in mutuality as neighbors and friends, making the concerns of those we serve our own personal concerns as well.[2]  Mission at a comfortable distance is often ineffective, detached, and harmful.  We choose to take a personal stake in the communities where God calls us.[3]

[1] John 1:14 [2] 1 Thessalonians 2:8 [3] Galatians 6:2

RECONCILIATION

Jesus is both an exclusive and universal Savior.  He is the only way to the Father[1] but also the Savior of every ethnic group.[2]  Cultures often exhibit evidence of the goodness of God.[3]  The Kingdom also challenges the idolatries of every culture.[4]  We prefer indigenous leadership and expressions of the Gospel in every culture,[5] and we seek the intentional reconciliation of people across lines of ethnicity and socioeconomic class[6] because we are incomplete without one another.[7]  This includes seeking reconciliation and justice where power has been historically used in dominance against another group of people.[8]

[1] Acts 4:12 [2] 1 John 4:14 [3] Acts 17:28 [4] Acts 17:29 [5] Acts 6:5-6 [6] 1 Corinthians 12:12-14 [7] 1 Corinthians 12:21 [8] 1 Corinthians 12:22-24

MANIFEST PRESENCE

God is omnipresent whether He is acknowledged or not;[1] He’s manifestly present where He is treasured,[2] acknowledged,[3] celebrated,[4] and encountered.[5]  It’s God’s Presence that has always been the distinctive of His people.[6]  As we engage our primary work of prayer,[7] we are sent into the world on mission.[8]  As we engage the mission, we seek His Presence even more.  We steward a culture of intimacy with His Presence and action in the world.[9]

[1] Psalm 139:7-8 [2] Psalm 84:10 [3] 1 Samuel 3:10 [4] Psalm 47:5 [5] Revelation 1:9-13 [6] Exodus 33:16 [7] 1 Timothy 2:1 [8] Acts 13:2 [9] Luke 5:15-16

HUNGER

Spiritual hunger is a primary posture of receiving the Kingdom,[1] and God promises to fill those who are hungry.[2]  By engaging mission and spiritual disciplines, we intentionally cultivate growing, passionate desire for God’s Presence and His Kingdom.[3]  More than an emotion, spiritual hunger is evidenced by tangible changes in our values, priorities, and use of resources.[4] There is always more of God to experience,[5] so we position ourselves to seek and find Him.[6]

[1] Matthew 5:6 [2] Isaiah 55:1 [3] Psalm 42:2 [4] Matthew 6:33 [5] John 7:37-38 [6] Jeremiah 29:13

GOSPEL IDENTITY

The way of Jesus is neither lawlessness[1] nor legalism.[2]  It is something entirely different; it is the good news of grace given because of the cross of Christ.[3]  We teach neither license[4] nor moralism,[5] but the transformation of our very identities because of the cross.[6]  We cultivate holiness as individuals and as a community because our identity is radically and eternally rooted in God’s love.[7]  As our identities are shaped by the Gospel, we experience freedom from sin and self.  We are no longer common, but set apart in our identities for God’s special purposes.[8]

[1] 1 John 3:4 [2] Matthew 23:27 [3] Titus 2:11-12 [4] Galatians 5:19-21 [5] Matthew 5:20 [6] 1 Corinthians 6:11 [7] Romans 6:1-2 [8] 2 Timothy 2:20-21

THE BIBLE

Jesus is the Word of God, so we love the Bible.[1] We read it,[2] believe it,[3] trust it,[4] and seek to obey it.[5] We submit our feelings, ideas, personal experience, and understanding to it.[6]  We allow the entirety of God’s Word to encourage us as well as challenge and correct us.[7] As we seek to understand and live God’s Word together, we prefer leaders who value the Bible and model submission to its authority.[8]

[1] John 1:1 [2] Psalm 119:11 [3] 1 Thessalonians 2:13 [4] Psalm 12:6, Psalm 19:7 [5] Luke 11:28 [6] 1 Timothy 3:16-17 [7] Hebrews 4:12 [8] 2 Timothy 2:15

GENEROSITY

Radical, mission-motivated generosity is the pattern of the New Testament.[1] We embrace simplicity and contentment[2] rather than the idolatries of materialism[3] and money.[4]  We celebrate the blessing of giving[5] as we share our resources with one another[6] and especially the poor.[7]  We open our homes and tables for the purpose of love and mission.[8]

[1] Acts 4:34-35 [2] 1 Timothy 6:6-8 [3] 1 Timothy 6:9-10 [4] Matthew 6:24 [5] Acts 20:35 [6] Acts 4:32 [7] Proverbs 19:17 [8] Romans 12:13

HONOR

Jesus is deeply concerned for the unity of His people[1] evidenced in their love for one another.[2] For His sake, we cultivate a culture of listening to one another and forgiving one another.[3] We champion and celebrate each other’s callings[4] and victories.[5]  We submit to each other’s leadership.[6]  Ours is a culture of invitation where we experience belonging[7] and also challenge where we risk speaking truth to one another.[8]  The Kingdom moves along relational lines when our lives are linked together for God’s purposes.[9]

[1] John 17:21 [2] John 13:35 [3] Colossians 3:13 [4] Galatians 4:19 [5] Romans 12:15 [6] Ephesians 5:21 [7] Romans 15:7 [8] Ephesians 4:15 [9] Philippians 1:4-5

MOBILIZATION

The mission is not for an elite class of disciples.[1]  God calls, fills, and equips every fully committed disciple.[2] In our very identities, we are all missionaries.[3]  Because God’s Spirit fills young and old, women and men, any of us can hear and obey God’s voice to mobilize for Kingdom mission.[4]  Resisting unnecessary limitations, we seek to empower all disciples to their fullest potential.[5]

[1] Luke 10:1-2 [2] John 15:16 [3] Matthew 5:14 [4] Joel 2:28-29 [5] 2 Timothy 2:2

RELEASE

Organized structures should serve the mission rather than limit the organic movement God creates.[1]  We trust that Jesus is Head of His Church,[2] so we trust Him to ultimately lead His people.[3]  We prefer shared leadership and influence above celebrity personalities and concentrated power.[4] Biblical leadership serves and empowers rather than controls or keeps people dependent.[5]  It is our joy to release new leaders and ministries to God’s missional purposes even if it costs us.  We give away our best – including our best leaders.[6]

[1] Acts 6:6-7 [2] Colossians 1:18 [3] 1 Peter 2:25 [4] 1 Corinthians 3:7-9 [5] Luke 22:25-26 [6] Acts 13:3

UP, IN, OUT

The Church in its essential structure of discipleship as modeled by Jesus is up, in, and out.[1]  It is gathered in God’s Presence for worship and prayer (up),[2] connected in relationship as a family on mission (in),[3] and sent into the world to demonstrate and proclaim the Gospel (out).[4]  We seek to grow together in our practice of up, in, and out and celebrate the variety of ways these essential elements are expressed.

[1] Luke 6:12-19 [2] Hebrews 10:25, Ephesians 5:19, 1 Timothy 2:8 [3] Acts 2:46-47 [4] Mark 16:15