“Who does God want us to be as a church?”
This question allows us to set up measurable goals for success at Free City. All of our goals flow directly from our core values, or who God has called us as a body and as individuals to be. Our core values are best expressed in in 1 Peter 2:9-10:
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”
The gospel is not simply the means by which we are converted—it is the good news of redemption through Jesus Christ. It reconciles us to God and adopts us into his family. The gospel renews our heart, transforms our lives, pastors our soul and changes our behavior. It creates a new person and gives us a purpose. The gospel brings unbelievers to faith and believers to maturity. Christians are created by the gospel for the gospel.
Christian community is created by the gospel to display its beauty. Christian community is the place where the reign of God can be seen and experienced. The reign of God is a reign of life, justice, peace, blessing and freedom. The people of God are to live under the reign of God demonstrating that God is good and his reign is just. We explain and exemplify the Gospel through our lives lived together in Christian community.
Every believer is called to be a missionary, because our God is a missionary God. Gospel ministry is not reserved for a few in full-time, vocational ministry. It belongs to God’s people. We share the same call, but we are not called to be the same. Our different gifts and personalities complement one another as we engage God on mission. We need one another. The role of pastors is not to do gospel ministry on the behalf of others, but to prepare God’s people for gospel ministry.