As disciples of Jesus our identity is not defined by what we do, but by
who God is and what he has done in and through Jesus. To understand our identity we should look at the creation of mankind in Genesis 1. God says, "Let Us create man in Our image." As humans we are created in the image of God, who exist as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Sin has marred that perfect image, but hope was not lost. Jesus, the image of the invisible God, entered into our brokenness. Jesus lived the life we could never live and died the death we deserved to die. But He did not stay dead, He rose triumphantly over sin and death extending forgiveness and restoration to God through faith in Him! God in Christ is now restoring and making all things new, even us! As new creations in Christ, Jesus tells us what our identity should look like. In our Savior's last words He says, "as you go, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you." We believe that our discipleship flows out of this new identity Jesus has given us and it impacts everything. Our relationship with God, one another and His creation is all informed by this identity
Baptized in the name of the Father, we are family!
In Christ, The Father has not only chosen to forgiven us, but He has chosen to adopt us as His sons and daughters. As Son’s and daughters of God we no longer live life in fear and bondage but now live a life of worship to God as beloved children. (Gal 4:4-7; Eph 5:1; 1 John 3:1 ). This adoption not only changes our relationship with God but with one another. As Christians who have been adopted into the family of God, we are now brothers and sisters in Christ. Therefore, it is our privilege to seek to love and care for one another as a family. We greatly value life together which includes normal things like eating together, celebrating together, making disciples, and speaking the truth of the Gospel to one another. As Jesus says, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (Jn 13:35, Eph 2:18-22).
Baptized in the name of Jesus, we are servants!
alThough he is a King, Jesus humbled Himself and took on the humble form of a servant. Jesus the Son of God, came not to be served, but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many. We were once slaves to sin and false god’s that put us in chains and led us to death, but now have been freed from our old wicked master and Jesus is our Lord! Our new master Jesus, is good and gracious and has set us free from sin and death giving us abundant life! As we live under His Lordship we are now called to walk in this same humility. We joyfully submit to Jesus as Lord, the leaders he has placed over us, and to one another. We serve Christ by serving all those whom He brings into our lives. Almost every writer in the new testament describes themselves as a servant of Christ. James, Jesus half-brother, even identifies as a servant of Jesus. There is no extent to which the love of a believer should not go! In serving one another and the least of these we give a foretaste of the goodness of the King and His Kingdom to come and display the transforming power of the Gospel! (Mk 10:43-45; Phil. 2:1-11).
Baptized in the name of the Spirit, we are missionaries!
As Disciples of Jesus we have been and are being empowered by the Spirit to show and share Jesus to others. We believe the Spirit does many things in our lives such as convicting us of sin and our need for a Savior, giving the gift of salvation, reminding us of the truths of God’s word, and growing us in the fruit of Christ-likeness. One of the primary things we see Him do is empower us to be witnesses of Jesus in the ordinary rhythms of life. And as we live our lives as a family of servant missionaries sharing and showing the Gospel we believe the world will see Jesus is the one true Savior of the world!
(Acts 1:8; Gal 5:16-26; John 13:34-35)
We are a family of servant missionaries who see all of life as an opportunity to bring the good news of Jesus and His kingdom to bare. It is not through programs or great events that we believe disciples will be made, but through His Spirit filled Church living normal life with Gospel intentionality. Some of these ordinary rhythms we are striving to bring Gospel intentionality to are:
We regularly eat meals with others to invite them into the community of God.
Meals are a daily reminder of our common need for God to provide for us—both physically and spiritually. Jesus called us to remember him and his sacrifice for us through a meal. When we eat together, we commune around this truth. We regularly eat meals with those not in our immediate family or circle of close friends, discipling them toward a life of dependence on God. (Leviticus 23:1–44; Matthew 6:11; 26:17–30; Acts 2:46–47; Romans 12:13)
We set aside regular times to listen to God and to one another.
Jesus listened to God in prayer to know his Father's will. We are also called to listen to God. We do this by regularly interacting with God through His Word; alone and in community. We must make space to hear his Spirit guiding and directing us. We also take time to listen well to one another, ensuring we know one another's stories so we might know how to care for and bless one another best. (Mark 1:35–37; John 14:25–26; 16:7–15; Hebrews 1:1–3; Romans 1:20)
Everyone’s life is shaped by a story.
As a church, we take time to be shaped by God’s story. God has been unfolding his story since before time began. We believe we are participants in His story and need to understand it and see how our lives intersect with it. Therefore we regularly reacquaint ourselves with God's story by interacting with God's Word. We look for ways and times to tell His story often. We also take time to listen to each others stories to know how to bless them best and to help them see their lives redeemed within God's story. (Genesis 1:1–2; Psalm 1:1–6; John 1:1; 2 Timothy 3:16–17)
We intentionally bless others through words, gifts, and actions.
God desires that all nations—all people—would be blessed through Jesus. The church is the body of Jesus through which he blesses people. We believe everything we have been given is not just for us but so God might bless others through us. We have been blessed to be a blessing. We intentionally seek God's direction for whom he would have us tangibly bless with the resources that he has given us. (Genesis 12:1–3; Ephesians 1:22–23; 2:8–10; 1 Peter 2:12)
We gather together to celebrate God's extravagant blessings.
God calls people to celebrate his goodness and grace regularly. We gather weekly in house churches and missional communities and regularly as a larger family on Sundays to celebrate through songs, preaching, communion, and personal stories of all God is doing in and among us. We invite everyone we can to join us in these celebrations as a way of displaying God's glory in His people. We also join the celebrations of others in our city and communities with the intent of bringing greater joy into the celebration. (Leviticus 23:1–44; Acts 2:42–47; Hebrews 10:24–25)
We take time to rest and work, play and create, with the intention of bringing about restoration to people and places.
After powerfully and joyfully creating the universe, God rested. We were created in His image and therefore were made to create joyfully and rest, as well. Work is meant to be an act of our worship as we seek to be good stewards God's creation and gifts. Rest and play show we trust God to do great work even when we aren't working. As we come to know, trust, and worship God, we become more rested, creative, and hard-working. (Genesis 1:1–2:3; Deuteronomy 5:12; Mark 2:23–28; Colossians 3:23; Hebrews 4:1–13)