Friday, February 13, 2009

Ember Core Values

These are the core values we came up with for Ember. I wish I valued them as highly now as I did then.

One We value the unity of the community of believers. Unity is too often sacrificed in churches, but it is far too valuable to be laid on the altar for the sake of knowledge, disagreement, ego or sin. Just as a severed body cannot survive, neither can the church full of factions and cliques minister to an increasingly cynical culture. We proclaim that the unity of believers must extend beyond the walls of individual churches and encompass all the churches in a particular region. Further still, the unity of Christ’s followers must extend beyond all space and time, till we are all gathered together with the Lord Jesus Christ, presenting ourselves to Him as His Bride. We are one Church, one Bride, one People of God. (Acts 2:44; John 17:20-23; Eph. 4:3-13; 1 Cor. 1:10; Rom. 15:5; Phil. 2:1-4; Ps. 133:1)

Tree We value the growth of the individual believer. Every Christian should be firmly rooted in the truth of Scripture, taught by the pastors of the church and through his or her own personal time with God, so that he or she might grow up to maturity in Christ. Furthermore, every Christian should bear the fruit of the Spirit, that is, they should be evident in the life of the believer. We value character, integrity and Christlikeness. (Eph. 4:13; Heb. 5:14; James 1:4; Heb. 6:1; Gal. 5:22-23; John 15:2-4; Matt. 3:10)

Burn We value the passionate worship of our Creator and Savior. We value life lived from the heart for the glory of God. We affirm the greatest commandment: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” God is worth being passionate about. Jesus is worth getting excited about. Boredom, mumbling, half-heartedness and apathy have no place in the Christian community. (The Book of Psalms; Matt. 22:37; Amos 6:1; Zeph 1:12; John 4:23-24; I Cor. 13)

Bleed We value the blood of Jesus, which He shed out of love for the forgiveness of sins. Self-sacrificing (agape) love for God and others is the defining characteristic of the Christian community. Jesus sacrificed His life for the world. Everyone needs to hear the good news of Jesus Christ and the message of His forgiveness. Our hearts bleed for this world and those who don’t know Christ as their Savior. Furthermore, we value compassionate, humble servitude that comes from a heart full of agape love. (Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; Matt. 4:17; I John 1:9; Acts 3:19; Matt. 25:31-46; Rom. 7:6; Gal. 5:13; I Cor. 13)

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