Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Grace Values 4, 5, 6

As we have embarked on launching Grace Harborcreek - one of the exercises that has been very valuable for our leaders is re-clarifying our values as a church. These are the things that define us, that carry our DNA, that ensure that whether you walk into Grace McKean, Grace Harborcreek, or any of our future campuses that you will recognize the church as distinctly Grace. In my State of the Church sermon I talked through these 9 values and will briefly outline them in this 3 part series of blog posts.  You can read part 1 here and part 3 here.

4. We participate. We're not just spectators.
  • Church is not a spectator sport.
  • Many churches have the 80-20 rule - where 20% of the people do 80% of the work.  This is completely unacceptable.
  • Christians don’t go to church – they are the church.  And they bring the church with them wherever they go.
  • Role of a church staff is not to do all the work of ministry but to prepare God’s people to do ministry. (Eph. 4:12)
  • You were created for ministry, and if you miss your ministry, you miss the reason for which you were created.
  • Serving is far more satisfying than sitting.

5. We give because Jesus is radically generous.
  • The early church mirrored the generosity of Jesus (Acts 2:42ff) and so should the modern church.  
  • In general, Christians are no more generous than their non-religious counterparts. This should never be.
  • A lack of generosity is not a money issue, it's a heart issue.  It's a sure indication that hearts are not being changed by the gospel. 
  • Strategic, systematic generosity is the answer to greed.
  • Jesus is not a killjoy when it comes to money, He simply says that there’s a better way to live.  A way that leads to peace and joy and not this crazy turmoil that so many people are in trying to play the game that says 'accumulate and consume, accumulate and consume.'
  • God's design was for His ministry in the world to be funded by the overflowing generosity of his people as their hearts are being changed, so we will never resort to gimmicky shortcuts like spaghetti dinners and raffles. 

6. We serve our community, expecting nothing in return.
  • Would our community care if our church didn’t exist anymore? 
  • The church exists for the community and not the other way around.
  • Jesus said throughout his teaching that one of the things that will distinguish his followers from the non-followers, is that their hearts are going to beat fast for people in need. Their hands are going to be busy trying to do something about it. Their wallets are going to reflect a willingness to stretch and sacrifice for those who continually live with less. 
  • We hope to focus our efforts in the coming years on defining and getting after the 3-5 unacceptable realities in Erie... those 3 to 5 issues that the church can't just sit back and allow to continue.  Not on our watch. 

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