Using the passages of Scripture cited in the previous post (Acts 2:42-47; Ephesians 4:11-16; Acts 13-14; Colossians 1:28), I developed the following core values about ministry and the local church:
God-Centered and God-Dependent
- All true ministry is founded in worship—a humble, God-centered focus in life. Worship is our highest priority and motivates and empowers us to ministry (Acts 2:43).
- Success in ministry is dependent on the working of the triune God, rather than people, skills, or programs. Therefore, the ministries and activities of this church will be characterized by a reliance on prayer in their conception, planning, and execution (Acts 2:42).
Priority of Scripture
- The Bible is God’s inspired Word, the authoritative and trustworthy rule of faith and practice for Christians. Scripture, rather than shifting cultural values, forms the basis of all our decisions and actions (Acts 2:42).
- The Bible is both timeless and timely, relevant to the common needs and specific problems of all people at all times. We will equip people through the expository preaching and teaching of God’s Word to understand the Scriptures and how they apply to daily life (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
The Church Gathered Edifies Itself; The Church Scattered Evangelizes
- The church gathers primarily to build itself up through worship, teaching, the ordinances, and biblical fellowship, as gifted Christians stimulate one another to love and good deeds (Acts 2:42-46).
- The individual members of the church community act in the local culture as agents of the King. A spiritually “healthy” community will have a witness in its neighborhood. We function as salt and light as we exercise our citizenship (Matthew 5:13-16; Acts 2:47).
Bringing All to Maturity and Many into Leadership
- We want to take individuals from where they are to greater maturity in Christ—a lifelong process of growth. We will build people who are strong and mature and trust God to grow our ministry as He desires (Acts 2:42-47; Ephesians 4:11-16; Colossians 1:28).
- We value the importance of godly leaders and their ongoing development. Pastors and elders should reflect increasing maturity in the qualities enumerated for that office in Timothy and Titus (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-4).
The People are the Ministers; The Pastors are the Equippers
- Each Christian is uniquely gifted by the Holy Spirit for unique service within the Body. Every Christian should be involved in some type of service to help build up the body of Christ and to help reach the world (Ephesians 4:7-16; Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11).
- The responsibility of the leadership is to equip people for ministry (Ephesians 4:12).
Each Christian has a World-Sized Part to Play in Global Outreach
- Christians are to take the gospel to the lost, both locally and around the world. Each one should play an active part—witnessing, praying, giving, serving, and/or going (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8; 2:47).
- We will develop and provide servants and resources for the growth of local churches cross-culturally. Those who are sent out as servants by the church should be well trained for the task before them, and well respected by those in the church (Acts 13:1-3).