Demonstrating and Communicating God’s Love to Our Neighbors
We long for a church in which Christ is acknowledged to be the only Head, who shed His blood for the Church, His Bride.
We long for a church whose culture is characterized by grace, love, hospitality, humility, gentleness, peace, patience, kindness, mercy, goodness, and mutual submission to each other; where followers of Christ are eager to forgive one another; where we pray with and for one another, both on organized and organic occasions; where we are tenderhearted toward one another and comfort one another; where there is an increase of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and the character of the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:2-12);
Within this culture, we long for a church in which we are free to confess our sins to one another without unnecessary shame and are given the tools and support to repent and to overcome specific sins; where we believe we can overcome sins through our union with Christ in His death and resurrection; where members admonish one another and spur one another on to love and good works as we gather regularly in groups of various sizes;
We long for a church where each member is equipped to identify his or her spiritual and broader gifts and to use them in the service of the body and in the transformation of the culture for Christ; where members are given the opportunity to grow as Christ’s followers through a designed and intentional discipleship strategy; and where more mature followers of Christ spend intentional time with newer followers of Christ to help them grow in their faith and overcome their sins.
Therefore, we long for a church in which the followers of Christ are more interested in doing and obeying the Bible than merely hearing and studying it or books about it; where faithful obedience triumphs over fear and limited human imagination; where growth in character and virtue are emphasized over the increase of mere head knowledge and as the prerequisite for gaining such knowledge; and therefore where Christian education is focused on challenging and equipping the followers of Christ to live out their faith; where the growth and maturity of every follower of Christ, including the ordained leadership, is evident to all.
We long for a church characterized by servant- and shepherding-leadership that seeks to equip and encourage the members to do the work of the ministry. Therefore, we also long for a church in which the obedience and faithfulness of its members to the Lord is celebrated publicly.
We long for a church that equips and sends its maturing members into the mission field, whether in their work environment, in their schools, in their hobbies, or through planting new churches both in the surrounding region and in foreign countries. Therefore, we long for a church in which we all strive alongside each other for the advancement of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.