If you want to know what to expect when joining a church or group of people, find out what they value. What one values will tell you what they will exalt, what they will focus upon, and where they will invest their resources. Our values are deeply held beliefs that make up who we are and where we are going. The way we achieve our goals will likely change, but our values will not. Our values are the pillars that hold up the structure of who we are. You will notice that our most important value is our first value. In everything we do, we want to live out the fact that it is about “Him and them, and not me.” From this value, extends all the others. That is why you will see all the other values as a subset of the first.
#1. WE SAY, “LIFE IS ABOUT HIM AND THEM, NOT ME.” “Him” is Jesus. “Them” is everyone we come in contact with. Jesus said that the two greatest commands were: 1) to love the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength; and 2) to love your neighbor as yourself. These two commands make up our entire purpose of existence as believers and as a church.
#1a. WE’RE ABOUT PRACTICING THE PRESENCE OF GOD THROUGH RELATIONSHIP, NOT RELIGION. “Religion” is about man trying to please God through what He does and how he acts. We do not believe God saved us to practice religion, but rather to enjoy a personal relationship with Him. Therefore, we focus on practicing His presence in our lives through praise, prayer, the ministry of the Word, and through His different ministries. Our gatherings exalt these practices as we corporately press into the presence of God in our lives.
#1b. WE’RE ABOUT TANGIBLY LOVING OTHERS AS JESUS LOVED OTHERS. Jesus commanded us to love one another just as He loved us. In fact, Christians are supposed to be known by their love for one another. We believe, that just as Jesus loved us, our love should know no bounds for one another. Therefore, we seek tangible ways to pour out Jesus’ love in this world.
#1c. WE’RE ABOUT SUBMITTING WHOLEHEARTEDLY TO GOD AND HIS WRITTEN WORD. We believe our greatest joys will be found in submitting to God and humbling ourselves before His word. We want to become all that the word of God says we are to become. This means we will study it, memorize it, and conform to its teachings out of a great reverence to the One who gave it to us.
#1d. WE’RE ABOUT CELEBRATING VICTORIES IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD. Celebration is born out of thankfulness and joy over all the amazing things God does for His children. We are a people who will break out in joy and celebration when we learn of the amazing victories our God gives us in this life.
#1e. WE’RE ABOUT BUILDING THE BODY THROUGH A BROAD RANGE OF PERSONALITIES, TALENTS, AND SPIRITUAL GIFTS. We realize every believer has different personalities, talents, spiritual gifts, and life aspirations. We feel one of the strengths of a healthy church is to encourage each believer to uniquely become what God intends them to be. Therefore, we seek to create environments where every believer can thrive in serving the body of Christ in their own individual ways.
#1f. WE’RE ABOUT ADVANCING THE KINGDOM OF GOD – PERSON TO PERSON, CHURCH TO CHURCH. We believe God intends every Christian to re-present Jesus to their neighbors in an effort to reconcile them to the Father and lead them to become disciples who reproduce disciples. If each one reaches one, the gospel will reach our world at an alarming rate. Therefore, we teach and encourage personal evangelism and one-on-one discipleship. We also feel on the corporate level, each church is called to multiply through planting other churches in communities where the Gospel is not thriving in power.