Our core values (or basic assumptions) will give you a good glimpse into the way we are choosing to live and work together in the mission of the Gospel. You'll better understand who we are and why we do what we do. Furthermore, if we disappoint you in some regard, these tenets may explain why we don't do some of the things we don't.
A Clear Mission
Obviously the bringing of the Kingdom of God is a massive undertaking. There is no way for us to do it all, nor should we even try. (This will, no doubt, disappoint some who expect more from us.) But we know what our part, our mission is, and that’s where we focus our resources and plans. We believe that everyone has a place in the “story of God” and that it’s important that we stay focused on specifically what God is leading us to do. Not only does this keep us focused, it keeps us from interfering with someone else’s mission in the advancement of the Kingdom.
We are clearly focused on three fundamental building blocks of the faith without which we believe it is impossible to survive long term. Our model for this comes from Acts 2:42.
1. Being people of the Scriptures.
We believe it is impossible to thrive in the Christian faith without daily exposure to the Bible. Quite simply we believe that the Bible on a daily basis changes the way we look at everything. It transforms us from the inside out. It gives us vital instructions for our posture toward life and informs our worldview. The spoken Word of God listened to in community goes back to the earliest historical traditions. We will continue to provide the spoken Word to as many people as will listen in every region of the world that God will allow using whatever means God will allow for as long as God will allow.
2. Being people of prayer.
When God created mankind it was not to offer him salvation. There was no need for it. It was to interact and fellowship with him. Without going through the whole story of Adam and Eve and the restoration of what was lost through the Work of Christ we believe that interaction and fellowship with God is not only possible but mandatory in order to survive life in a fallen world. We believe in a conversational intimacy with God and we believe that through our deepening relationship with Christ we can agree with God’s will and pray, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done on EARTH as it is in Heaven,” effectively. We believe that prayer changes things. We believe that the Holy Spirit guides our steps and will direct our paths as we see clearly outlined in the Bible. Throughout history both Biblically and in the subsequent church histories a precedent has been established that when God’s people fervently and earnestly pray the tide of darkness is turned back and the Kingdom of God advances in awe inspiring ways.
3. Building community.
We’ve found throughout Scripture and throughout life that community is irreplaceable. Isolation leaves one with no place to fall and no input into collective experience and wisdom. We’ve come to believe that only in community can one find safety and balance. The Children of Israel lived in community in the Old Testament. Jesus lived in community as did the early church in the New Testament. This is a model for us today and we believe that although finding true community can be difficult if not treacherous it’s worth the search. As a “virtual” community we are striving to model what it looks like to live in healthy community and to provide the benefits of community to those who have been wounded along the way, feel disenfranchised or unaccepted by the church or simply have no other way to have community.
In all that we do we have the goal of irreversible change. It's not education, though that certainly happens, it's not inspiration, though that may be a result; it's - not encouragement, though we hope it happens... It's irreversible change – the transformation of hearts and lives that in turn empowers an awake and alert heart to influence those within their sphere of influence for irreversible change.
Walk with God - Follow the Wild Goose
Early Celtic believers referred to the Holy Spirit as the Wild Goose, a name rightly describing the unfettered, free, and wild nature of God [John 3:8]. We submit our decisions to God and listen for His affirmation or counter-intuitive direction.
Forced Growth by God
It is not our current mission to be big, manage regional offices, and have a legion of employees, a large building, multiple departments, and an overhead that enslaves us. We would rather see those who have experienced irreversible change move forward boldly into their own mission of irreversible change in the world as they walk with God. We will grow as God forces us to grow. We want our focus to be our mission, not the organization. We plan to remain small, mobile, flexible, and intimate . . . family.
We view our development as an organization in stages: crawl, walk, and run. This assumes a progression over time that requires patience, anticipation, and dreaming/planning/hoping. We are not now all that we will be. There are things that we do not now know that we will one day be fluent in.
The Heart is Central
We live and work believing that our heart is central. We have not accepted Christ into our minds; we have accepted Him into our hearts. To eliminate the heart from our existence is to eliminate a great part of our spirituality. We believe that the battles we face in life are designed to cause us to lose heart and surrender our place in Christ. We look at every circumstance with this in mind. Jesus said that He came to heal the brokenhearted therefore we embrace this healing daily. (Ps. 147:3, Is 61:1, Lk 4:18) We believe that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord with all our heart, mind and strength (Deut 6:5, Mt 22:37-40, Mk 12:28-30) and realize that it’s impossible to love God with all our heart if we don’t have all our heart with which to love. Therefore. the Holy Spirit is continually leading us deeper into all truth and the progressive sanctification of our lives. That is, we are being transformed daily into the image of Christ.
Scripture, Wisdom and a Daily Walk
The Scriptures are the baseline for all that we believe therefore any course of action that contradicts Scripture is viewed as an ungodly path. We live and work using the wisdom we've gained over the many years of our lives and through our daily walk with God, who at times may guide us in counter-intuitive directions. (Acts 6:3, Eph 1:17).
Humility, Love, Forgiveness and Leadership
We’ve all fallen short in every way imaginable. God’s faithful love and forgiveness remains true. We remember this and pray that all our dealings with people, whether they be for us or against us, would be marked by genuine humility, love, and forgiveness. We believe that Jesus example of servant-leadership is the correct posture for those in spiritual leadership. Therefore we do not believe we are rising up above those we lead but rather stepping down to willingly serve them.