We are in the midst of a sermon series on the necessity of keeping our focus. We are at a time in the life of our church in which we must prayerfully discern our mission, vision, and strategy with a hope that we may most faithfully and effectively make disciples and glorify God. To recap, we discussed:
- The Needs around us and asked the question: “What’s Going On?” We learned that our community is hurting and needs Jesus.
- Our Identity and asked the question: “Who Are We?” We learned that we are Christians who have been and are being healed by Jesus.
- Our Mission and asked the question: “What Are We Supposed To Be Doing?” We learned that we were intentionally created by God to love God and enjoy Him forever.
This Sunday we will discuss our Values and ask the question: “Why Are We Doing What We Are Doing?” In other words, what is our motivation for carrying out our mission? Aubrey Malphurs said it well: “You won’t do ministry that really matters until you define what matters.” So, what really matters to us? What are our shared convictions that guide our actions and reveal our strengths? Another way to think of this is to ask this question: “Of all the good Churches around, why do you choose to gather with this particular church?” Here are the core values our Refocus team have discerned:
Value #1: Fellowship
We value fellowship because we love spending time with other Christians: encouraging, helping, and caring about them. Christianity is not a private religion. Yes, we have a personal faith in Jesus Christ, but our faith is never meant to be private. Our personal relationship with Jesus is meant to be lived out as we develop healthy relationships with those around us. This is demonstrated by our commitment to gathering in worship and in small group Bible Studies. This is demonstrated by our commitment to meeting one another’s needs whether they be physical or spiritual.
Value #2: Teaching
We value teaching that is biblically sound because we want to know Jesus through Scripture. We agree with The Baptist Faith and Message: “All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.” This is demonstrated by our commitment to Biblical preaching and teaching. This is demonstrated by our commitment to reading the Bible and studying it. We want to cultivate a teachable spirit that studies the Scriptures.
Value #3: Prayer
We value prayer because we want to regularly communicate with our loving God. We value prayer that is authentic, persistent, and guided by faith. This is demonstrated in our corporate prayer meeting, our prayer chain, and our commitment to personal prayer. This is demonstrated by our teaching on the importance of prayer and the necessity of growing in faith through prayer. This is demonstrated by our commitment to reach out to those who are in need of prayer and praying with them and for them in Christ-like love.
Value #4: Encouragement
We value encouragement because we desire to give the hope of Jesus to all people who are in need of hope in their life. This is demonstrated by our commitment to speaking with grace and truth to one another and striving to be peacemakers. This is demonstrated by our commitment to hold one another accountable to live holy lives that bring glory to God. This is demonstrated by our sacrificial love for everyone that guides all we think, say, and do.
Value #5: Generosity
We value generosity because we want to be obedient with what’s been entrusted to us. We know that we will give an account of our lives to God. This is demonstrated by our faithful giving of our tithes and offerings. This is demonstrated in the meeting of benevolence needs that arise. This is demonstrated by faithful stewardship of our time, talent, and treasures.
Value #6: Worship
We value worship because we love God and know that He is worthy of our worship. This is demonstrated in our commitment to worship God all the time, in all places, and in every season. We worship through music, sermon, reading the Bible, testimonies, prayer, giving, etc. Everything we do is an act of worship. This is demonstrated by our commitment to make the public worship gathering a priority in our life.
Value #7: Family
We value family because we know the biblical model of the family and its value to the community and our church. This is demonstrated in our marriage enrichment events and our family ministry milestones. This is demonstrated in our family-focused ministries and classes (VBS). This is demonstrated in care for our recent renovation of the children’s space in our building. This is demonstrated by desiring to have young children with us as we worship.
Value #8: Evangelism
After discerning the top 7 core values of our church, the Refocus team noticed that an important value was not listed: Evangelism. The team has determined that Evangelism should be listed and identified as an aspirational value. Aspirational values are those that an organization needs in order to succeed in the future but currently lacks or needs attention. We value evangelism because we want to tell others the good news about Jesus Christ. This shall be demonstrated by our commitment to encourage and support one another to regularly share our testimony and the Gospel with others. This shall be demonstrated by our intentional outreach into our community. This is demonstrated in our annual VBS.
Take time this week to pray about what is really important to you. Ask God to grant wisdom.