Over the past little while I have been reflecting on the kinds of values and practices that should be evident in the people of God and which help to develop the church into the kind of community that reflects the truth and goodness of God and His kingdom. In the last ‘Pastor’s Pen’ I posed the question, ‘ If God wants to make a difference in people’s lives in our area, and He wants to use us in that process, what will it look like – would it be any different to what we are doing now?
In my research I came across another church’s vision and values statement that I believe really communicates the thoughts and desires of my own heart for God’s church here at NPBC. I’d like to share it with you…
At _________________ we are trying to build a loving community that follows Christ in order to reach the community that is all around us, both locally and globally. We are trying to do that by becoming the kind of church the Bible describes – a church with relevant teaching, God-honouring worship, honest friendships, continual prayer and compassionate love for people.
With respect to…
We dream about being a community where Jesus Christ is the centre of everything we do. We long to be a place where the centrality of Christ is elevated above controversial issues. We desire to be people who worship Christ both individually and collectively and who pursue Him in our daily lives.
We dream about being a community where we can come as imperfect people to celebrate and share in God’s transforming grace. We long to have each person come to know God’s free gift of eternal life through Christ. We seek to be a community that extends God’s grace in tangible ways to one another and to those with whom we live and work.
We dream about being a community where the search for truth is approached with honesty and humility. We believe that the ancient narratives, letters and poems of Scripture are God’s gift to lead us toward that truth. We affirm the central truths of the historic Christian faith and at the same time seek to engage with the difficult issues raised by living in a complex world.
We dream about being a community where each individual is so committed to following Jesus Christ that by the power of the Holy Spirit we reorder our lives – our relationships, habits, traditions and possessions – in order to become more like Him. We envision building a community where lives are continually changing because of vital relationships with God.
We dream about being a community that lives not for itself but for others. We long to develop generous hearts where Christ’s commitment to love and serve others is valued and practiced by everyone. We hold selfless, humble service of the poor and hurting in our city and world as a high ideal. We seek to be people who freely release resources for God’s redemptive work.
We dream about being a community where everyone is cared for and loved. We dream about equipping each person to do the work of ministry. We seek to be a diverse community of people who have discovered their gifts, awakened their passions and joined together to participate in God’s causes in our world.
We dream about being a community of people who are free to celebrate God’s gifts of life, love and grace. We recognize that life is difficult and at times overwhelming. We long to enjoy life and each other as we build a community in a stressful world.