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Summary: Our core values as a church help us to understand why we exist and the things that are closest to our heart and upon which we build ministries and programs.

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“What We’re About”

August 7, 2005

Introduction:

"Video clip of Simon Birch."

It is the clip where Simon is in church and the pastor is going on about

the announcements and he asked, "Does God really care about cookie

sales?"

For the next two weeks, we will be talking about what makes Countryside unique. Why do we exist as a church? What are the things that are closest to our heart and upon which we build our ministries and programs? Today we are talking about our first three core values.

Our Church Mission:

“To passionately pursue God and express His love to others.” Matthew 22:37-40

Jesus said the greatest things we can do is love God and love others.

Our church mission is what we are about. It is our purpose and our focus for why we exist. Our core values are the underlying foundations that will allow us to fulfill our mission and keep our focus on the important aspects of our body.

Core values are the stakes in the ground.

*Illustration: When an elephant is born into the circus, they train it to stay in one spot by tying a rope around its neck and tying the rope to a stake in the ground. Because of the size of the baby, they are not able to pull the stake out of the ground. However, as the elephant grows, it has been conditioned to learn that it cannot pull out the rope.

As a church, we need to establish what the “stakes” of our existence are.

These values are the non-negotiable core in our lives. It is within the framework of these values that we operate and define ourselves as a collective group.

“Just as personal values influence and guide an individual’s behavior, organizational values influence and guide the team’s behavior.” John Maxwell

Our values will guide and shape our behavior as a body of Christ in this community.

It is upon these values that the heart of our church beats and the mission of our church is fulfilled.

Core Value Number One:

We desire those professing a relationship with Christ to grow more intimate in their daily walk with Him. This is an act of worship.

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living and holy sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship.”

Romans 12:1 (NIV)

Without a daily commitment to grow closer and more intimate with Jesus, we will not be able to fulfill our mission of passionately pursuing God.

“God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in love—like Christ in everything. We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do.” Ephesians 4:15 (The Message)

Intimacy with God is not a happenstance or accident. It is carefully cultivated and nurtured when His followers make a decision to seek Him fully in every aspect of their lives.

“Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field.” James 4:8 (The Message)

Core Value Number Two:

We desire to produce a community of believers committed to taking the message of the love of Christ to those who need to hear it beyond our walls and into our world. This is an act of evangelism.

“Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:19 (NIV)

In our lives, evangelism is not an option, it is a command. We must never forget that the call to follow Christ is also the call to tell others about who He is. It is our desire and passion that we develop relationships with those who do not know Jesus for the express purpose of leading them to Christ. If we do not share Christ with them, who will?

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14 (NIV)

Core Value Number Three:

We desire to promote unity within the church through unconditional love expressed to one another in authentic, nurturing relationships. This is an act of discipleship.

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as we see the Day approaching.”

Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV)

It is our responsibility to draw together to help one another become more and more like Jesus. If we are not serving together and growing together, we will never be able to produce relationships that nurture and minister to each others heart.

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