Our Core Values
God and His desire for our relationship with Him are of primary importance to us. He initiates that relationship, He knows and understands us, and He explains how we can best experience relationship with Him and others (Matthew 22:34-40). As we learn to love and serve Him and to love and serve others, we will experience His best for us. And His best is always our best! This core value finds expression in worship that is authentic and accurate (John 4:24) and in ministries that encourage us to love God and to love and care for others. While we seek to be sensitive to the needs and desires of other people, our primary motivation it to understand and implement God's desires for us as individual and as a community of faith. God comes first at Fellowship. He is our audience of One. (Isaiah 26:8; Jeremiah 9:23-24)
Lasting spiritual development in our self and our relationships and effectiveness as a local church occurs as we trust God and allow Him to work in and through us for His glory. It does not take place as we work harder to earn His favor or to impress others. Our confidence is in God through Jesus Christ, and not in who we are or in what we do. We are His Servants and dependent on His grace and favor in every area of life and ministry. Rather than absolving ourselves of responsibility, this value helps keep us trusting God as we risk ourselves in serving Him. It also insures that He receives the glory when He works in and through us. (Galatians 2:20)
The Word of God provides life-changing insight and empowerment as it is taught accurately and relevantly by authentic role models and applied and implemented by those who hear it. We invite and expect Spirit-directed life challenge and change in our leaders and teachers, and we anticipate a commitment to take Scripture to heart in those who hear the Word will result in individual and corporate growth so that we may both know and experience what God has done for us in Jesus Christ. (James 1:19-27)
God's favor has restored our relationship with Him and it motivates our love and care for others, too. Most religions encourage earning God's favor by our attitudes and actions. Biblical Christianity proclaims relationship with God flows from what God and His Son, Jesus Christ, did for us. As we appreciate His grace, it also becomes a foundation for our acceptance and relationship with others. Who we are and what we do is the product of enjoying God's mercy lavishly given to those who trust Christ. His grace allows us to experience the joy and freedom of being one of the beloved children of God. (Ephesians 2:8-10; Romans 6:8).
The New Testament encourages and exemplifies people choosing to learn and grow to become more like Christ. While God's plan for our growth is as varied as we Christians are, there is evidence that people develop best when a purposeful process is a part of our spiritual experience. We offer ministries experiences to people that are intentionally designed to help them grow through every phase of spiritual development, from spiritual birth, infancy and adolescence through maturity. Each Christian develops in unique ways, but we are encouraged to pursue this process of growth in order to allow Christ to work freely and effectively through us and in His body, the Church. (Colossians 1:24-29; 1 Corinthians 3:1-5; Hebrews 5:12-14)
Biblical Christianity is both a team sport and a solo endeavor. The individual pursuit of knowing God through Jesus Christ and the corporate experience of Christian community are vital aspects of a life of faith. Genuine personal relationship with God, consistent gracious and transparent relationship with brothers and sisters in Christ, and a relevant and redemptive relationship with those apart from Christ are integral to God's plan and process for us. We express this core value by promoting personal spiritual development, facilitating caring relationships with other Christians, and engaging our community through caring service and gracious communication of the Gospel. Our message and ministry will be validated by our transparent love and care for one another as a church. That love demonstrates that we are followers of Jesus Christ. (Acts 2:37-47; Ephesians 4:11-16; John 13:35)
People Over Programs
Our people, not our programs, are the end product of our endeavor. We value people, their families, their friendships and their roles and relationships in the community. We seek to facilitate growing relationship with God and others in every aspect of life. Our programs as well as the places the programs occur are simply tools to help people know and serve Christ. If we fail to remember this, we will be more concerned about what we do than the people we seek to serve, resulting in a loss of influence and effectiveness. At Fellowship, we want to worship God and build in one another's lives rather than being busy doing things without regard to what is accomplished in us. Our goal is not a full schedule but an ever-growing community of Christian individuals, families and friends. We do not want to get things done by people, but to help people be mature or complete in Christ by the things we do together. (Colossians 1:26)
Christians have the privilege of participating with Christ as He builds His church in this world. We have an integral part to play in His transformation of the individuals and of communities and cultures. This is a profound privilege, not a tedious, intimidating chore. Our approach is people oriented rather than event oriented. If often employs caring community service to provide evidence of Christ's love. We build relationships, model Christ-likeness, and genuinely care so we may share the Gospel in our time and culture. We use a similar strategy to share Christ with people whose appearance, language and culture are different from our own; both here and around the world. Christ also encourages Christians to practice and pursue cultural transformation in resisting evil, promoting justice, and pursuing peace. He continues to mobilize His church to share His message in the context of loving relationships and gracious acceptance and to transform our world as we await His return and redemption of individuals and the world in which we live. (Matthew 28:16-20; Acts 1:8)
Relevant and Resilient Ministries
Since we value people, we will purposefully adjust our ministry methods to remain engaged and relevant. Our message, the Gospel, will not and does not change, but the means and methods of sharing the message do change. We intend to adapt to the changing dynamics of our culture and people to engage their interests, and communicate Christ effectively, and to enfold those who trust Him into our fellowship. Some people will think such relevance and resilience is an abandonment of the message. Instead, we see it as a biblical strategy to serve others rather than insist on our own familiar, comfortable and beloved forms of spiritual expression. We will communicate Christ in a clear, compelling and relevant manner, avoiding change for changes sake alone, but being unafraid to implement purposeful change to remain faithful to and fruitful for Christ through changing times and generations. Our desire is to use continuous incremental change rather than crisis responses or pursuing the latest Christian ministry fad. Our desire is that Christ will be worshipped and His Church built up through all generations while avoiding disruptions of personal preferences or the pain of transitioning from increasingly ineffective programs to more relevant ministry forms.
Excellence in Ministry
Each of our Core Values in an expression of a desire to serve Christ well. We are passionate about allowing our inner life, our relationship with God and others, and all that we are and do to accomplish His plans and purposes for ourselves and for His Church. WE believe that we should pursue the best His grace and our dependence on Him can accomplish in every area of life, regardless of whether someone is watching or not. Excellence in not perfectionism, legalism, or moralistic attitudes and actions. These are counterfeits for spiritual excellence. Excellence is expressed in the recognition of God's character and actions, in our accepting and owning His grace in every aspect of life and service, and in genuinely loving and serving God and people.