Love is expressed relationally
Christian community becomes real in small steps, relationship by relationship, genuine connection by genuine connection, small group by small group. As we journey together on a common path of seeking to love and serve the Savior, our bond grows stronger. When love is real, love is relational.
Community is a gift
We are not meant to be alone. The church is a communal expression of faith, and we were created to participate in a dance of intersecting lives. At the same time, we know that people are different, and that personality, background, and interests can make a small group feel like home, or feel like an alien environment. Genuine community is always a grace. It is a gift. It is a gift we must seek individually as well as pursue collectively.
Grace is a gift
Paul described the grace that we receive from Christ as a free gift. It is not something we can earn. It is not based on merit. As someone once said, there is nothing we can do to cause God to love us more, and there is nothing we can do to cause God to love us less. We hope that a vivid sense of God's grace will infuse all our dealings with one another.
Radically resist busyness and hurry
Modern busyness and hurry are often the enemies of a balanced and centered life in Christ. Christian discipleship in the 21st century may require a resistance to busyness in all its forms, even those which are "religious."
We look outward
A church is not just a sanctuary from the storm, but a base camp from which to befriend those caught in the storm. God loves the poor, and the poor in spirit; God loves those who are far from Him, or alienated from the church; God loves every race, every class, every culture. Therefore, an integral part of our mission is to look outward, confront darkness, and live in faithful witness in the world.
We embrace diversity
Often we hear "the music of the gospel, the melody of the gospel" before we understand the words of the gospel. In the body of Christ, that "music" is not monophonic; its melody is a harmony of many voices singing as one. We welcome, therefore, all who come through our doors and encourage them to exercise the full diversity of their gifts. These many "voices" can help us better hear the "music" of the gospel.
Leaders need peers
A congregation needs the complementary gifts of many strong leaders. We know that even gifted leaders are fragile; therefore it is especially important that strong leaders work with peers - other strong leaders. Leadership must be male and female. We expect the leaders of this congregation to be healthy people, leaders that are low on competition and high on laughter. They should seek to empower one another, support and serve one another, in patience, grace and love.
We are all ministers
We encourage one another to be more fully present in our lives, present with our families and friends and present in our time and world, just as the Savior was present to His world and continues to be present to our own. Opportunities for ministry abound in our daily lives, and often we miss them. We encourage one another to be present to all the ministry moments in our lives, following Christ's example. We give opportunities for our members to minister together.
Our values are heart values that are rooted deeply in the Scriptures and have grown up out of our experience, both past and present. In God's Word, Jesus calls his followers to love radically, to live as a community infused with grace, to find a godly balance of work and rest, to look outward, to care for the poor and share the good news, to forgive one another quickly, to welcome diversity and promote equality in the exercise of spiritual gifts, to lead with humility and to release one another to minister in the world.