(Updated 12/09/2011 – under review)
At Life Church, we embrace the following core values:
- 1 Doing The Bible
- 2 Listening To God and Talking To God
- 3 Celebrating God
- 4 Devoting Ourselves To Other Believers
- 5 Developing Friendships With The Unchurched
- 6 Becoming More Like Jesus
- 7 Communication
- 8 Helping People Ask Questions, Get Answers, and Find Solutions
- 9 Working With Others
- 10 Trying Out Ministry Ideas
We are intentional about hearing (Revelation 1:3; 13:9), reading (2Timothy 3:15-17), studying (Acts 17:11), memorizing (Psalm 119:11), and meditating (Joshua 1:8) on God’s Word (2Peter 1:20-21) – known as the Bible. We don’t stop there however! At Life Church we take seriously Jesus’ teaching about the importance of putting his words into practice (Matthew 7:21-27). God’s Word gives us life, is reliable, instructs, and is to be obeyed.
This also has an impact on our Sunday meetings. The seats in Sunday church meetings have largely become “viewing stands” or ‘bleachers” where people come to watch someone else do ministry. At Life Church we are dismantling the “viewing stands” in order to create an environment in which people do the Bible rather than just listen to the Bible.
We make a habit of listening to God and talking to him; this practice, also known as prayer, is a regular part of our day.
Celebrating God is the essence of worship; it’s something we do because he deserves it – both for who he is and for what he’s done. The Bible teaches us to worship him in Spirit and in truth (John 4:21-24). This means that our celebration of God is not tied to any particular place or tradition and that we celebrate him in accordance with what he has revealed in his Word.
We celebrate God with singing, audible praise, shouting, clapping, dancing, lifted hands, bowing, and kneeling. We also celebrate him by giving our resources: time, talents, skills, and finances.
50 days after Jesus’ resurrection, on the Day of Pentecost, over 3,000 people responded to Peter’s impromptu sermon. After they were baptized they devoted themselves to the Apostle’s teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer (Acts 2:37-47). Like them, we at Life Church devote ourselves to the fellowship. This means we devote ourselves to other believers and to spending time together with Jesus as our focus. In this way we encourage one another, share our lives with each other, and meet one another’s needs. We are willing to risk taking the first step in reaching out in order to promote fellowship and to make our gifts available to our brothers and sisters.
We meet together in two ways:
- Large group meetings (e.g. on Sunday morning)
- Small group meetings throughout the week – Life Group
We develop friendships with people outside of the church – loving them like Jesus does (Luke 15; Luke 19:1-10; John 4), with a goal of seeing them eventually enter God’s Kingdom.
We want to be more like Jesus – this is the essence of holiness or being set apart for God’s use; it is the logical goal of following him. Jesus is the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:13-20) exact representation of God’s being (Hebrews 1:1-3). For this reason holiness is really the process of becoming more like Jesus. God’s presence is what actually transforms people (2 Corinthians 3:7-18); trying to be transformed by following rules doesn’t work (Romans 7). For this reason we pursue holiness by seeking God’s presence – especially when we experience failure or sin.
We walk in the Light.
We strive to make our lives increasingly open to others rather
than hiding who we really are (1John 1:5-10).
We are accountable.
We are honest with God and with one another about the things that
We lead integrated lives.
We don’t compartmentalize our lives – we allow Jesus to transform
every part of us.
We train people to follow Jesus.
We train people to follow Jesus because Jesus himself commanded
his followers to “make disciples” (Matthew 28:18-20)! We don’t
force Jesus on others, but when people respond to the message of
his life we embrace them and mentor them in this new way of life.
We pass along the “whole will of God” (Acts 20:25-27) to new
believers — teaching them to teach others to teach (2 Timothy
2:2) in order to reach an ever-expanding audience.
God has revealed himself to us and he calls us to be open and
transparent with our brothers and sisters. This openness and
transparency are not just personal – they are also corporate. We
want to be open and transparent as a congregation so that the
information that people need to participate is readily available.
We want to communicate about:
- Events and activities
We want to be faithful in communicating the right information:
We want to be faithful in communicating in predictable ways:
- Sunday Announcements
- Small Group & Ministry Meetings
We help people to ask questions, get answers, and find solutions because this is an important part of learning how to follow Jesus (Luke 2:41-47). At Life Church we want everyone to learn. We don’t want anyone to feel embarrassed about asking questions (2 Timothy 2:24-26; 1 Peter 3:15-16).
We serve God, one another, those outside of church, and our communities. We carry out the Father’s will by collaborating with our brothers and sisters (Nehemiah 2:11 – 4:6).
As we collaborate, we embrace the following disciplines of a
learning organization (identified in “The Fifth Discipline” by
Personal Mastery is a discipline of continually clarifying and deepening our personal vision, of focusing our energies, of developing patience, and of seeing reality objectively.” (p. 7)
Our “personal mastery” should be an outcome of becoming more like Jesus.
Exposing Our Mental Models
“Mental models are deeply ingrained assumptions, generalizations, or even pictures of images that influence how we understand the world and how we take action.” (p. 8)
Our “exposing our mental models” should be an outcome of the honesty and openness that characterize our fellowship with other believers.
“Building shared vision a practice of unearthing shared
pictures of the future that foster genuine commitment and
enrollment rather than compliance.” (p. 9)
– Our “building a shared vision” should be an expression of
the unity that Jesus prayed for among his followers (John
Team Learning starts with dialogue, the capacity of members of a team to suspend assumptions and enter into genuine thinking together.” (p. 10)
Our “team learning” should be a reflection of the fact that as followers of Christ we are one body (1Corinthians 12:12-30).
Systems thinking – The Fifth Discipline that integrates the other 4.
Our “system thinking” should be a reflection of our humility in the face of the complexities of the world around us, our love for all of the people who may eventually be affected by our actions, and our faith in God to guide us towards the solutions we need as we wait on him.
At Life Church we try out new ministry ideas. This doesn’t mean that we try things just for the sake of trying them. Rather we encourage believers to submit to the discipleship process, listen to what God is saying to them, and receive a vision for their own ministry. When that happens we provide them with support and mentorship in trying out the ideas that spring from the vision they’ve been given.
We believe that for this to have any value at all we have to give people the freedom to fail. This means that if their idea doesn’t work out we re-evaluate and move on.
Projects at Life Church evolve through the following phases:
- Discovery Discovering potentially good things to do.
- Definition Defining the good thing that we propose to do.
- Development Developing a potentially good idea into something that works.
- Deployment Deploying the idea as a fully implemented ministry