Friday, February 04, 2011

Grace Values 7, 8, 9

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 2 here.

7.  We gather in groups because we're better together

  • Acts 2:42ff paints a picture of the early church meeting in the temple courts and also meeting from house to house – there were both large group gatherings and small group gatherings.
  • Just going to a worship service is not enough - it's too easy to be anonymous.  
  • True life change happens in smaller groups - whether they're groups of 25, 12, or 2.
  • At Grace we are investing tremendous time and energy to provide resources that go along with our weekend services so that groups can meet during the week to discuss what they are learning on the weekend.  Check out these resources at our sermon series archives (click on the 'details' button to see the resources). 

8. We will do anything short of sin to reach people with the gospel
  • Some say Grace is too outreach oriented – I’m not sure that’s possible when we think of the stakes.   
  • Of all the things that a church does, reaching people with the gospel is the one thing that we won’t be able to do when we get to heaven.  We’ll be able to grow in intimacy with God, fellowship with other believers, serve others, worship God, but we won’t be able to reach the lost.
  • As a church we will always walk in a healthy tension between growing up those who are here and reaching out to those who aren't here yet.
  • The 3rd Largest Mission Field in the world is the US. (next to India and China) with 200 million people who are unreached.
  • Over the past 30 years an average of 4,000 churches close their doors per year while only 1,500 new churches start.  Christianity is losing ground in America.
  • The church must maintain a very sharp outreach edge and must refuse to get comfortable.

9. We're real people, no masks, no games. 
  • Finally, we just really value being authentic.
  • We’re committed to shooting straight - using real language to talk about faith, not hiding our faults, apologizing when we do dumb things, taking on real subjects head on, etc. 
  • Our Pastors will not preach from a pedestal but will relate as fellow travelers on the journey.  Always willing to preach the hard truths of the scriptures but bringing ourselves to the table too.  
  • We refuse to play the game of putting on our Sunday best and pretending that everything is OK. So, it is important for the people of Grace to be open to share real stories of struggle and triumph, sadness and joy, despair and hope. 


Anonymous said...

Pastor Derek I love our church ( the body of Christ). These values are so evident whenever we gather together and even as we pray for one another. Your leadership in all these things is so refreshing and obviously blessed of God. I love they saying that says " Grace Church is 120 years old and we don't act our age!" Praise God for His work in our lives! Brother Bob Boynton

Derek said...

Thanks Bob - you are a huge part of what makes Grace so special - I'm so grateful for your partnership in the gospel.

Di5 said...

Don't believe number 9 is being done by the majority of people whether just attendees or small group members.