At Grace the Vision portion of our Vision & Values document is defined by the “big picture” view we take of the Christian life. This we hope is something any believer in any context could agree with, because it represents the foundational markers every Jesus following community should aspire to. To explain this we use a simple triangle that highlights the three lens’ of our worldview: Kingdom, Family & Mission. All three are dependent on each other and it is the work of the Spirit to bring these three realities together in a Christian’s life. In fact, the three together help explain and define each other. For instance, if you wanted to glimpse what the Kingdom looked like in practice: the closer the Family of God is joined with the Mission of God, the truer Kingdom picture you would have. Accordingly, the Mission of God is best expressed when people joined as family are centered around Jesus’ Kingdom.
To quickly explain the three lens’, at the top of the triangle, the first is THE KINGDOM OF GOD. This means that as Christians we choose to view our lives and the world around us through the narrative of God’s story. More specifically that Jesus came, died and rose to save creation from it’s bondage to sin and in it’s place institute a new order of government. This means that though we live in this world, we are not citizens of it, we are people of the Kingdom, called to participate in, witness to and work towards the Kingdom being established. As Jesus taught us to pray, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”. The implications are life-changing. It means that we will lose this world but we will gain Jesus!
At the bottom left, the second lens is THE FAMILY OF GOD. This means that as Christians we choose to view ourselves through our new identity as God’s children and God’s family. We no longer regard ourselves or our new family according to our past failures or reputation. In fact, “if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17)! No longer do we live for ourselves, but for the family and community around us. We call it covenant friendship.
At the bottom right, the third lens is THE MISSION OF GOD. This means that as Christians we choose to view our entire life’s purpose through the lens of God’s mission to the world in Jesus. We believe that we are each called to participate in demonstrating and incarnating Jesus to our neighbours. We have found that while it requires courage, we are uniquely positioned to truly love without thought of cost, serve without need for recognition, accept those who are not accepted and speak confidently to those who have not heard. We live to generously and joyfully express the goodness of Jesus to the whole world.
With that in mind, our values are the core ideas of how we distinctively are planning to express the Kingdom lifestyle as a family on a mission. To do this, we have developed twelve distinctives that explain who we we are. While each is described more fully in our Vision & Values PDF, we have included below, a quick synopsis of each value.
1. FAMILY & FRIENDSHIP
A church committed to building covenant relationships that esteem and respect each individual member as friends / family on a mission.
2. THE BIBLE
A church that believes the Bible is the divinely inspired word of God.
3. WORD & SPIRIT
A church that faithfully expresses their lives and worship through a dependence upon the truth of the inspired word of God and the Holy Spirit, the divine Presence of God.
A church cleansed from a works based righteousness, an evil conscience and orphan mindedness, to a new covenant life founded solely upon the undeserved mercy, abundant grace and unmerited favor purchased for us on the cross.
5. THE KINGDOM
A church that pursues the priority and reality of God’s eternal Kingdom that is breaking into creation through the authority of the finished work of Jesus at the cross.
6. THE GOSPEL
A church committed to confronting the present culture’s brokenness through the explanation of the good news of Jesus.
7. WORSHIP & PRAYER
A church that understands the preeminence of leading lifestyles of extravagant personal and corporate worship through meditation, acts of service, song and prayer.
8. CHURCH PLANTING
A church that bears an apostolic commission to break up new ground, plant new communities of grace as we go to the ends of the earth as the Spirit leads us.
A church that is led by a team of elders, employing a lead elder responsible for overseeing the team itself.
A church that is submitted to an apostolic team, that is responsible for the planting and establishing of the foundation of the church and future church plants.
A church burdened by the call to make disciples who understand the call of God, live submitted to the gospel and are conformed to be like Jesus in every way.
12. SOCIAL JUSTICE
A church that establishes God’s justice in our community through acts of love and service.