EXCITED: In the book of Acts the Bible gives us a picture of the early Church: It says, “They were all in awe as many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the Apostles.” This is where the excitement must come from- to see and experience the awe and wonder of God. We will see this by the way He uses us to change lives as we distribute His grace to a needy world.
COMMUNITY: The book of Acts goes on to say that they existed in a community, a family, where there was no need that was not met. We see WCC growing and thriving out of this family environment. We have to be relationally driven, not program driven.
Committed to Passion
COMMITMENT: The definition of commitment is to pledge yourself to some particular course of action, to pay the price to see an expected outcome. We believe that God has called us to be a wartime church not a peacetime church. General George Patton once said that peace brings out the worst in people–-selfishness, contentment, and unbridled pursuit of pleasure and comfort–while war brings out the best in people–character, honor, commitment, self-sacrifice, and loyalty. To be a wartime church takes commitment; we call for it and expect it.
PASSION: Too many people are doing the work of the church, God’s work, with empty eyes. Eyes with no flame of excitement, no fire of expectation. We want to see passion filling our people, lighting up their eyes, and spilling out into the world.
Loving and Following Christ
LOVING CHRIST: Paul said in Second Corinthians that it was the love of Christ that controlled him. It is this same motivation that drives us. It is out of love that we follow.
FOLLOWING CHRIST: We want to follow Christ naturally. In John 15, Jesus tells us to abide in Him; this abiding is essential to our healthy growing relationship with Him and our ultimate happiness in life. Abiding brings us connection and strength, as well as nourishment to live the life to which we’re called. Following Christ has to be the foundation of everything we do as a church. To minister outside of this relationship is wasted activity. When we follow Christ out of a motivation of love, we live lives of worship to Him.
Loving and Serving Each Other
LOVING EACH OTHER: The Apostle John records these words of Jesus in his gospel: “My command is this: Love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that he lay his life down for his friends.” That is the level of love that Jesus expects us to have for one another. It is when the world sees that kind of love that lives are drawn to Christ.
SERVING EACH OTHER: Love is meeting needs. When we love, we serve. The book of Acts is full of examples of people giving their lives away for each other. It is only when we put others first that we can fulfill God’s dream for us and our church.
Loving and Reaching the Lost
LOVING THE LOST: It is only when we understand and feel the amount of value that God places on all people that we can be effective in sharing His grace with the world. People matter to God in a tremendous, indescribable way. We need to look at all people in our lives as having that degree of value. This is how we will reach people, by displaying a different kind of love, an unselfish love, a self-sacrificing love, the love of grace.
REACHING THE LOST: Evangelism will not happen on accident! We must be extremely intentional that we do the work of evangelism. When we are following Christ naturally and serving and being served by a loving community of believers, our lives will be so full that we will look at people in our lives that aren’t experiencing that and be willing to do whatever it takes to being them into our community.
THE NEED FOR BALANCE:
We need to be extremely conscious as a church and also as individuals to maintain balance between these three essential elements:
- FOLLOWING CHRIST (WORSHIP)
- SERVING EACH OTHER (COMMUNITY)
- REACHING THE LOST (OUTREACH)
If we are to be effective as individuals and as a church, this balance is crucial. If we emphasize one and not the others we will be out of balance and thus not in a position to make a maximum impact.