6 Values for the Church and for Your Life
Recently we did a sermon series called My Church, and it was based off Matthew 16:18 (NIV) “I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” The word “church” in that passage is “ekklesia” in the Greek and it speaks of the gathering of Christians. The Church is not about the individual, it’s about the gathering of Christians. I think more people misunderstand the value of church today. I have heard people say, “I can be a Christian and not go to church.” Most people do not realize that you cannot fulfill almost 30 verses in the Bible alone if you’re not in a local church. Jesus wants you to be a part of a local church… it is personal to Him!
This series was specifically directed toward 6 culture statements of our church. The culture of a church is key to life change and seeing the vision accomplished. Culture can be compared to that feeling you get when you are with someone… do you feel encouraged and better or do you feel devalued and discouraged? One thing I know about people, is that people will not remember our words but they will remember how we made them feel. Another important truth about culture is that you cannot create culture, you have to be culture. What that means is, culture has to be the essence of who you are. For our church, our culture statements need to become who we are as individuals and the core of who we are as a church. Culture will trump vision, so if the culture is unhealthy, we will never see the vision we have come to pass.
I love what Jesus said in Mark 4:26-29 “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.” I love the phrase “the soil produces”. The soil in this verse speaks of culture. It’s the culture that produces the change in people’s lives. It’s the atmosphere and environment of a room, church, or even a person that produces the harvest. So you have to ask yourself, “Am I healthy?”… “Is the church healthy?”
Several years ago, we decided on 6 statements that are crucial to us. These statements are who we want to be and become as a church.
- “We put God first.” – We’re passionate about God.
- “We do our best.” – We pursue excellence because God deserves our best.
- “We are contributors not consumers.” – We want to add value to the church and community through serving.
- “We not me.” We are not designed to do life alone… We are better together!
- “We enjoy the journey.” – We choose joy in all areas of our life.
- “We honor above, beside, and below.” We desire to have a culture of honor for Jesus and others, regardless of status.
For me, when I look at these statements, they remind me of what I value as a child of God. It refocuses me when I get off track, so I can repent or change how I am thinking about a situation and ask for God’s help to be who I am called to be. My heart is to see a harvest of souls for Christ, and I desperately want people to encounter Jesus when they are around me. I realize keeping a healthy heart is crucial for that to happen. So I do what Solomon said and I guard my heart, for out of it flows the issues of life. I want my heart and life to reflect the 6 statements above, what about you?