THE KINGDOM OF GOD
We embrace the teaching of Jesus that the dynamic presence and rule of God – the expression of his love and power – is breaking into the world through Christ and the Holy Spirit. God’s beautiful future is coming into the world now and we are called to both experience the Kingdom and to be instruments of it coming to touch and restore others and all of creation.
We are Kingdom people who value:
THE INWARD JOURNEY
The Bible is the final authority and guide for our faith and practice. We preach from it, study it, and meditate upon it with the goal of hearing God speak into our lives in an inspiring and defining way.
The Practices of the Spiritual Life
We value worship, prayer, meditating on and studying Scripture, silence, solitude and the other practices of the spiritual life as nuts-and-bolts ways of engaging our hearts and relating with God. We value engaging our hearts, because Jesus taught that we are to love Him with all our inner being (Matt. 22:37) and that we live life from the inside-out (Matt. 15:18). The practices of the spiritual life give the Holy Spirit a fighting chance to quicken and energize our spirit, and this is the only way we can bring true worship to God (John 4:23-24); it is the only way we can hear His voice, experience the fullness of His presence, be transformed, or empowered to bring God’s Kingdom.
Becoming Like Jesus
We value growth and discipleship. For us discipleship isn’t primarily about doing a course or having a mentor to learn how to do Jesus-things but finding passionate desire in our heart for God, his way of love, and his work. It forms Christ in us so that we reflect His glory (Gal. 4:19, 1 Cor. 3:18). God loves us too much to leave us where we are, and we value a fertile environment for continual spiritual and emotional growth.
THE OUTWARD JOURNEY
Loving Each Other
We value being one body in Christ – true friendship as brothers and sisters in Christ based on friendships that are intimate, enabling, mutually responsible, and loving. Our lives overlap with God’s life substance-wise when we love because God is love. Jesus taught that sacrificial love for each other was the mark showing we are his disciples (John 13:34). Without love there is no context for the presence or the blessing of God (Psalm 133). There is no relational basis for ministering to each other, praying together, encouraging and supporting each other, or spending time together and bearing witness to each other’s lives in a way that adds meaning to our victories and talents because they are celebrated, to our insights because they are heard, to our grief because it is shared, and even to our failures because they can be forgiven. We value bearing witness to each other’s lives as an act of love to recognize the existence of each sacred life and to help each person grasp the truth that their life matters.
Holy Spirit Ministry
We value the call to all followers of Jesus to participate in His ministry to bring the Kingdom using spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12, Romans 12:1-8). All followers are invited to participate in the flow of the Spirit and to be conduits of it like “downpipes” (John 7:37-39). We seek to discern what the Father is doing and to put our hands to it with expectation that the Spirit will do the work (John 5:19). We value equipping people to do the works of the Kingdom(Ephesians 4:11-16).
Generosity to the Lost and the Poor
We value the mission of God. The Father is searching for His lost and hurting children to restore them (Luke 15:11-32). This mission was the central motivation for the coming of Jesus (Luke 19:10). And because of this mission we offer generously ourselves, our time, our energy and our resources to bring Good News to the lost and the poor. This means both declaring and demonstrating God’s love and the coming Kingdom in practical and powerful ways. We seek to lead the lost to an authentic, saving relationship with Christ and to provide practically for the poor. We embrace the deep mystery in Scripture that service to those beyond our circle leads to incredible intimacy with God (see Heb. 13:1-3, Matt. 25:34-40, James 2:14-26, Prov. 21:13).