We have a conviction that the Creator God is at work to heal and remake the whole world. Our own lives are a part of that renewal project and God invites us to join in with him in his ongoing movement of grace and peace. To follow Jesus and join him in his mission is to be renewed through the gospel and become agents of renewal in our relationships, neighborhoods, industries and our city as a whole.
Plato said, "We are fired into life with a madness that comes from the gods and which would haves believe that we can have a great love, perpetuate our own seed, and contemplate the divine." We are all hardwired for life—full of love, happiness and meaning. What we do with this desire for life is called spirituality. The reason the human heart is marked by anxiety, fear, boredom, hurt and frustration is because we aim our desire for life at things that cannot satisfy—like money, sex, power, success and relationships. When we do this, we take these things, which are actually good things in and of themselves, and turn them into ultimate things, where they function like gods in our lives. But since they cannot fill the hole in us that craves life, they constantly leave us feeling threatened, oppressed and driven into the ground. We are convinced that life with God, made available through the work of Jesus on our behalf, is the ultimate source of a full and deep life. So we seek to have a thriving spirituality that is aimed at, Jesus, the only source that satisfies. Therefore, we connect people to God through worship, evangelism, life-sustaining spiritual practices and discipleship.
God not only reconciles us to himself but to one another as well. Jesus gives us the ability to form community out of the most unlikely of people from the most unlikely of places. This new community is marked by authenticity, vulnerability, encouragement, challenge and support as we care for one another and help carry each other’s burdens. The gospel also forms us into a countercultural community with regard to sex, money and power. These things used to drive us, but now we see them as gifts that are to be stewarded on behalf of others. Therefore, we connect people to one another through worship, missional families and small groups, discipleship groups and living life together.
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By God’s grace, we endeavor to help create a community where “justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream” (Amos 5:24). We are seeking the good of all peoples in our neighborhood, especially those who are marginalized or without an advocate. Therefore, we connect people to the poor and marginalized through ministries of justice and compassion and to the whole city through the civic involvement of our people.
It has been said that the church is the only institution left in society where all of the other spheres of culture overlap. Our church does not exist for itself, but to equip people with a theological vision to join God in his great redemptive work and then send them into the world to do just that. People are being set free from the narrow confines of advancing their careers for their own sakes and are taking hold of a bigger vision. From the arts to education, business to media, people are starting to see themselves primarily as agents of God’s Kingdom and are beginning to work, not just for the bottom line, but for the common good. They are collaborating with others in their field to find the most redemptive edge of that industry and work toward it. We also want to help multiply like-minded churches, ministries, institutions, companies and initiatives throughout the city.This is how we connect people to the culture.