So, we’re a family of 4 on a journey of faith, believing to pioneer a new, life giving, church. If I was looking in from the outside I’d have some questions. I’d want to know what their story is? What are they hoping to achieve? What will the church be like? Questions are good. I love questions and the opportunity they present to establish understanding. I’m not sure I’ll cover everything in this post and if there’s something that needs to be “spoken” about, just ask … did I mention that I love questions?
This post is an attempt to give a glimpse into who we are, more specifically what we value, because this will obviously play a role in shaping who we want “our” church to be. In using “our” in the context of church, please understand that we have no desire to possess what unfolds and that we want to play a role, alongside many others in shaping the identity and culture of our (collective) church. Who we are, as a family, is currently who we are as a church because nothing has taken shape just yet. Perhaps in a few years “who we are” will have grown and developed and we’re cool with that.
What kind of church will we be? What style will we use? Are we going to be “seeker sensitive” or bold deliverers of the truth? Where will our theological emphasis lie? Do we want to be a mega-church, house church, community church, or any other “type” of church?
All good questions but what I want to establish from the outset is what we VALUE. Methods change, well, they should, styles come and go and the “type” of church we hope to be is intrinsically built upon what we VALUE anyway, so that’s where I want to start.
Friendship. We believe in friendship. There’s a lot of talk about the strength of relationship and being relational, which I totally agree with, but we are hardwired for more than just relationship. We all need a friend and we all need to be a friend. Friendship is about loyalty, fun, vulnerability, always being there and sincere love. God himself calls us into friendship. I in particular, have come to realise, appreciate and now value people more than ever as the true treasure and there is nothing richer than real friendship. We want to give time and space to this, encourage it and hope to see it being a reality for many.
Servanthood. We celebrate service. To serve others is to encapsulate the way of Jesus. In a world so consumed with self, it’s refreshing and transformative to encounter people who have a posture in life to elevate the interests of others above themselves. Church is an opportunity to participate, to be active and contribute to the health of the faith community and the world at large. We will be inviting and celebrating people who serve.
Intimacy. We desire intimacy with Jesus, for us and for all. It can’t just be a sound bite, that “everything is about Jesus”. He IS the way, our source and sustenance. Closeness with Christ is to be immersed in grace, and we are all in desperate need of His grace.
Authenticity. We crave authenticity and to be authentic. I know it’s a buzz word but it’s for good reason. There’s no doubt there is a trend toward being real and it’s indicative of where society finds itself at present. We want to stay true. True to our convictions and true to who God’s called us to be. To glean and learn from others is such a great thing and it’s something we’ll always look to do but we’re comfortable in our skin and the environment we create will allow others to be too.
Transformation. We carry the responsibility of transformation. Things are not as they should be and we want to put our hands to bringing change. We know that any change we wish to see starts with us and we’re committed to that process. I’ve heard it said many times before that “the heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart” and this message of the Gospel is about transformation of the heart. It’s an inside out, not outside in, message. Jesus is the answer, the church is his vehicle.
Family. We esteem healthy family. It’s a word that I appreciate has such a wide scope of meaning, mainly based upon experience. We are not a perfect family and have no intention of putting that burden on other families but we are intentional about being a healthy family. Marriage, parenting and finding balance is important to us and we want to ensure we develop in our ability to strengthen this area of life and society.
So, there it is, some of what we value. It’s not going to resonate with all but it will with some. If you’re a part of the “some” I really encourage you to reach out and connect with us, we’d love to hear from you and talk about the journey forward. If you’re not a part of the “some”, that’s cool, you do you and we’ll cheer you on along the way.