Jesus is the head of the church, we are his body. As a church we get our values and aims from the life of Jesus. Thus, we are aiming to live out a culture that seeks the PRESENCE of God as Jesus did, to be a people and church full of EMPOWERMENT, that is seeking RENEWAL, that has prioritized its PURSUIT of the Kingdom of God above all. We are willing to SACRIFICE to obey God and walk with Him, but also know we must walk each day in His GRACE, making us FAMILY. These are values we see in the life of Jesus and they give shape to our life as leaders within the church. Our hope is not simply have our cultural values be merely a list on a website but to be fully embodied as individuals and a church.
You can listen to these in detail from our Vision Sunday.
God has always desired that we live in His presence. This is how the scriptures begin and end. God’s plan in redemption was not just to save us from sin, but to save us to himself so that we could have intimate fellowship with him. We are the temple of God, where he chooses to dwell (2 Corinthians 6:16-18) and his tangible presence distinguishes us from everyone else on earth (Exodus 33:15-17).
It has been said that the church is the only institution left in society where all of the other spheres of culture overlap. Our church does not exist for itself, but to equip people with a theological vision to join God in his great redemptive work and then send them into the world to do just that. From construction to education, marketing to international relations, our people see themselves primarily as agents of God’s Kingdom and work, not just for the bottom line, but for the common good. The church is called to identify, empower, equip and release people to thrive in God’s unique call on their life, within the body of Christ and the larger culture (Ephesians 4:11-16).
Seeking the kingdom means seeking God’s vision for the world and acting on God’s invitation to join him in the work he is doing. We have a conviction that the Creator God is at work to heal and renew the whole world. To follow Jesus and join him in his mission is to become agents of renewal in our neighborhoods, industries and our towns as a whole. We have realized the privilege we enjoy—even though most of us would not consider ourselves to be wealthy—and are committed to stewarding our privilege on behalf of others. We work towards establishing justice (Isaiah 58) for the good, true and beautiful in all of life and culture.
God calls us to seek him above all things, and he promises that when we do, we will and him, and he will reward us (Hebrews 11:6). We want to radically seek God’s face, power, promises and glory to see our lives and community marked by the promises and power of God (Hebrews 6:12).
The central image of our faith is the cross. Christ giving his life away for others in sacrificial love. We are called to embrace the way of sacrifice. We are called to give of our time, resources, money, skills and talents to see the Kingdom of God advanced here in Frederick County, and to make a clear way for others (Luke 9:23-25). Sacrifice is not easy, yet we desire and seek to be people who are committed to living beyond convenience, to the point of great personal sacrifice, to build a loving community centered on Jesus in Frederick County no matter what it takes.
In a harsh and often unforgiving world, we believe the church should always be the place where people can find grace. One of our greatest pleasures is seeing the resurrection joy on a person’s face as they move from death to life in Jesus, coming out from under a lifetime of shame to embrace their new identity as a member of God’s own household.
We want to be rooted and grounded in the reality and wonder of the grace of God. We believe that this not only changes our standing before God from sinners to sons and daughters, but also changes our hearts to want to do the will of God. This is the promise of the New Covenant (Hebrews 8:10-13). Grace also teaches us to be holy, and to live into the fullness of self- controlled, upright and holy lives as a contrast society in our world (Titus 2:11-14).
The primary metaphor the Bible uses to describe the people of God in the New Testament is that of a family. We are not called to see the church as a series of loose connections or a place for individuals to come so their needs can be met. It is essentially about learning to love others as Christ has loved us, (John 13:33-34) and lay our lives down for one another in tangible, compelling ways (1 John 3:14-19). This means we prioritize our life together to support, celebrate, mourn, struggle, love, forgive, and serve one another.