Step 2: Our Values
VALUES ARE WHAT’S MOST IMPORTANT TO US
Dependent on God
If you want proof that this isn’t just a marketing scheme, try doing any of the outreaches without God’s Presence. We are jars of clay that transport the pearl of great price. We are completely dependent on His leading and guidance. Serving isn’t a gimmick, it is a posture of worship. We rest in God’s Power.
God’s Kindness is the Gospel (Good News)
Jesus gave us the perfect model, demonstrated by His constant movement to blend deeds and words to demonstrate the Kingdom of God in a way that instantly breached any distraction. Jesus said, if you see me, you’ve seen the Father. God’s Kindness was most powerfully demonstrated by His death on the Cross and resurrection from dead for us.
Anything worth doing is worth doing wrong. Sometimes it is difficult to be flexible enough to fail fast. However, we can take a half step in the right direction by merely admitting we want to change, but find it difficult. It’s easy to get bogged down in thinking we can prepare and control change. Reality Check: You can never prepare for change, but you can adapt. Let’s embrace failure, because it is the best teacher. A church that attracts the millennial generation is one that is teachable and is willing to change, even when all of the details aren’t nailed down yet.
“I planted, Apollos watered, God gave the increase.” How long does it take for someone to be changed? It’s God who is at work. Our job is to love them and accept them. Remember, acceptance isn’t the same as approval.
Pastors who lead congregations that seem “stuck” often confide that their congregation is very loving. After sitting in on some of these multiple times, it has been evident that their group really is loving – but usually only loving to those they already know. It’s common that among stuck churches there is either a misunderstanding about who millennial people are, or worse, some members are unwilling to change their judgmental view of them.
You may hear from detractors: “If we open the doors too widely who knows what sorts of people would show up – with their problems. We aren’t equipped to deal with problem people. We are barely hanging in there ourselves, not to mention more stress on this place.” Sadly those are the sentiments of more than you might realize. #kindnessnow would ask them, “Who isn’t welcome here?”
God has built into all of our hearts the desire to embrace life with joy. The Westminster Catechism nails it down in a sentence:
“Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.” (1.1 & 1.2 – Westminster Catechism)
Accurate or not, some believers have decided that in order to be a Christian they need to become dour, or at least very serious. We have no idea where they got that model from. According to Elton Trueblood, the author of The Humor of Christ, Jesus would have given any comedian a run for his money.
We believe the Christian life is fun and that God does have a sense of humor. We enjoy our way through life. In so doing, we will paint a picture of the Christian life that is winsome and magnetic. It is no secret that Martin Luther, despite his serious door tirade, lived a life of great gusto.
In order build a feel of fun, we need to dump all of the religiosity we can. If we take ourselves too seriously, we won’t be approachable. A church with momentum has the feel of a party not a funeral service.
“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is … fun!” (2 Cor. 3:17, KJV)