Summary: A look at the core values of our church and what they mean for individual beleivers.
The Core of the Church
August 13, 2006
Introduction: Today we are going to begin a two week look at the uniqueness of LifeQuest. We are going to focus in on the heart of our church; what makes us unique, different, and shapes the design, flow and maintenance of the ministry here. It is important that we establish the key factors of what sets us apart. We need to focus ourselves to who we are and what we are about because it helps to keep us focused and directed as we approach ministry and life.
For some of you this is not new information. Some of you have been on this journey with us now over the last four years and you have heard these things many times. The key importance for you is to understand continually that we need to re-visit these principles, especially as we look toward the future and toward what cold be here.
Every year I speak on these core values in a series and I repeat them over and over again throughout the year because it is important for us to keep them on the horizon of our vision.
For some of you, this is new information. Maybe you are new here or maybe you just have never been around when I have spoken on these things. Whatever your situation, I want to challenge you to dig in with me today as we talk about vision. These are not just principles that reflect the heart of our church; they are principles that can change your own heart.
We have made many changes around here; not just over the last four years, but in the last few weeks and months. And many changes are on the way. From the style of music to the style of dress to the way we communicate information to the name of the church community, there are many changes. Some people feel that so many changes mean we are losing our way or that we somehow are selling out what we are.
In fact, because we have our Core Values in place and we have defined what is important to us, we can make changes to our methodology and approach without fear because we are firmly grounded in what we are about.
Solid convictions offset fear of the unknown.
There is a key truth that I want to share with you as we begin today:
A value must change an individual before it can change an organization.
Think about that for a moment. In order for a value or a principle or a value to change an organization or a community, it must begin to change the heart of an individual. Jesus demonstrated this principle by asking his disciples a very straight question.
Jesus had called the disciples together to leave their comfortable homes and families and communities to follow him. This was not just to be a traveling vacation for a while to find themselves. This was a deep, purposeful and challenging time where Jesus built into them values of the heart. After about three years, Jesus asked them an incredibly tough question.
“When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?" They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.” Matthew 16:13-17 (NIV)
For them to carry the message of salvation to the world and the hope of eternity into the hearts of man, it had to first take root in their lives. It was absolutely essential that they got it before they could translate its effect to others. The same is true for us.
For us, these seven core values are rooted deeply into the DNA of our church community. But in order for it to really make a difference, it must be driven deep into the DNA of our own souls.
1) We desire those professing a relationship with Christ to grow more intimate in their daily walk with Him. This is an act of worship.
Our desire is not that you gain more knowledge about God. Our desire is that you gain more connection to God.
We can know all kinds of information and have all kinds of facts and figures and still not have an intimate connection with a person. Information does not translate into intimacy. Connection and intention lead to intimacy.
Our desire is for those who worship at LifeQuest to have their minds changed about how they see life and then allow it to change their actions.