Core Values

1-b

WE ARE ALL ABOUT JESUS

One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord mall the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple (Psalm 27:4).

 

The greatest thing in life is knowing Jesus. If we could ask for one thing, it would be to draw closer to Jesus. We fully believe and live by the truth that “in your presence is fullness of joy and at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).  This takes priority over everything else we can be and do. We are a people who earnestly seek Him, who love to dwell in His presence and gaze upon His beauty. In the midst of a hurried and busy culture we will prize taking time to sit at the feet of Jesus (Luke 10:38-42). This is the highest priority in our public gatherings and in our personal lives.  Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). He is the only Savior (Acts 4:12). He lived a perfect life, died on the cross, and rose again from the dead so that all who believe in Him can have eternal life (1 Corinthians 15:1-3). He is everything to us and we long to know Him more and more.

2

WE ARE DEPENDENT ON PRAYER

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful (Colossians 4:2)

 

Being devoted to prayer is evidence that Jesus is our one thing.  It is a primary means by which we speak to and hear from Him. Through His death and resurrection, He has given us access to God so we boldly and eagerly approach the throne (Hebrews 4:14-16). Prayer is the engine of ministry. It is the means by which anything is accomplished in the mission of God.  Prayer was one of the four primary disciplines for the early church (Acts 2:42). Paul teaches us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) and “at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication” (Ephesians 6:18). Jesus prioritized prayer in His life on earth by going away often and for extended time to speak with the Father (Luke 6:12). He taught His disciples to pray persistently and not lose heart (Luke 18:1-8). We never want it to be the case that “we have not because we ask not” (James 4:2). Ministry is a supernatural work and prayer is the way to supernatural power.  We believe that prayer has the same power today as we see in the Bible (James 5:17-18) so we pray expecting God to do great things. In a church culture filled with white boards, planning, and strategies to execute, we will be a people who prioritize prayer.

3

WE ARE OCCUPIED BY THE WORD

When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was occupied with the word, testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus (Acts 18:5).

 

We want to be found occupied by the Word primarily because we are obsessed with Jesus. The Bible is where we learn about, hear from, and meet with God. We earnestly seek after Jesus by being devoted to His Word.  We treasure the Word more than earthly riches (Psalm 119:72). It is our delight (Psalm 119:47) and our meditation day and night (Psalm 1:2). It is the foundation of our public gatherings and private lives. The Word is necessary and not an optional part of our walk with God.  Jesus taught us that “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (matthew 4:4). One of the four main areas of devotion for the early church was the apostles teaching of the Word of God (Acts 2:42). The Word is sufficient for our growth as a follower of Jesus. We believe that “all scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). The Word of God is a guaranteed method for accomplishing the purposes of God (Isaiah 55:10-11). We love the Word of God and desire to be found “occupied by the Word” wherever we are.  

4

WE ARE LED BY THE SPIRIT

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God (Romans 8:14).

The power of the church is the Spirit of God.  We see in Acts the themes of Word and Spirit over and over again.  Being occupied by the Word and led by the Spirit are defining marks for the early church and is how they multiplied with great effectiveness.  When the people of God proclaim the Word of God empowered by the Spirit of God they will point to the Son of God and glorify God the Father. We do not want to rely on ourselves or do any ministry in the flesh. We are led by and dependent on the Spirit.  This means that we want everyone using their spiritual gift. 1 Corinthians 12:7 says “to each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” Every believer is endowed with spiritual power to serve the body and the world and we want to equip everyone to make the most of that.  This also means that we are open to how the Spirit may want to move in our gatherings, in our service, in our personal lives that is not always according to our plans. We “walk in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:26) to pursue holiness and we join the Spirit in His primary work of testifying to Jesus (Acts 1:8). We trust the Spirit to give us assurance and create intimacy in our relationship with God as Father (Romans 8:15-16). We trust Him to guide us into all truth (John 16:13) and so we follow His lead in all things.

5

WE ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven (Matthew 5:14-16).

 

In Jesus a light has come and the darkness cannot overcome it (John 1:5).  He is the ultimate light of the world (John 8:12). He then calls us as His people to represent Him on earth by being the light of the world.  We follow the footsteps of Jesus by taking our light and putting it in dark places. There is no reason to have a light and put it under a basket and no one uses a flashlight outside while the sun is shining. Light is made for darkness.  Therefore we shine our light by taking the hope of Jesus to dark places. We step into and not away from the suffering, the poor, the broken, and the hard hearted. We join Jesus outside the camp (Hebrews 13:13) and follow His calling in ministry to “proclaim good news to the poor…to set at liberty those who are oppressed” (Luke 4:18-19).  We take the light of Jesus to places and people who will ridicule and reject us. We step into dangerous and hard to reach areas with the Gospel. We shine our light in our workplace, in our families, in our social circles, in our neighborhoods, and everywhere we go regardless of what it may cost us. Our goal is for God to be glorified and this happens as we shine our light through doing good in our local communities and throughout the world. Every follower of Jesus is a light and so we are all called to be the light wherever God leads us.

6

WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER

There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all (Ephesians 4:4-6).

 

We are all united in Jesus and God has designed us to flourish in community. We need each other (1 Corinthians 12) and therefore are a people “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3). Fellowship was one of the four main areas of devotion for the early church (Acts 2:42).  One of the primary emphasises of the New Testament is unity and one of Satan’s primary strategies is to bring about division in the body. If we are too busy fighting one another we will have no energy and time left to fight for souls. Our unity has eternal implications so we will pursue this with all we have. We also know the Gospel is uniquely powerful to create diverse communities of people from different ethnic, cultural or socio economic backgrounds. The power of the Gospel is to “break down the dividing wall of hostility” (Ephesians 2:14) between us and God and for that same power to break down the walls we have against one another.  The Gospel breaks through cultural and class distinctives to create a people for whom Christ is all (Colossians 3:11). At the end of it all, there will be a people for God “From every tribe and language and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9).  Therefore our work to pursue reconciliation on this earth is a direct overflow of the reconciliation we have with God through Christ. In Christ we are one body who are working together for one mission.

7

WE ARE SERVANTS FIRST

This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God (1 Corinthians 4:1).

 

Servant is our only ministry title. It is our position, no matter what we do. Our posture toward one another and the community around us is as their servant. Our ambition is to consider everyone around us more important than us and their needs more significant than ours (Philippians 2:3-4).  We follow Jesus “who though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humble himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:6-8). We learn from Jesus that true greatness is servanthood (Mark 10:43-45).  In the midst of a culture obsessed with great leadership and being the best, we pursue the way of Jesus.

CORE VALUES

WE ARE ALL ABOUT JESUS

One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord mall the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple (Psalm 27:4).

 

The greatest thing in life is knowing Jesus. If we could ask for one thing, it would be to draw closer to Jesus. We fully believe and live by the truth that “in your presence is fullness of joy and at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).  This takes priority over everything else we can be and do. We are a people who earnestly seek Him, who love to dwell in His presence and gaze upon His beauty. In the midst of a hurried and busy culture we will prize taking time to sit at the feet of Jesus (Luke 10:38-42). This is the highest priority in our public gatherings and in our personal lives.  Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). He is the only Savior (Acts 4:12). He lived a perfect life, died on the cross, and rose again from the dead so that all who believe in Him can have eternal life (1 Corinthians 15:1-3). He is everything to us and we long to know Him more and more.

WE ARE DEPENDENT ON PRAYER

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful (Colossians 4:2)

 

Being devoted to prayer is evidence that Jesus is our one thing.  It is a primary means by which we speak to and hear from Him. Through His death and resurrection, He has given us access to God so we boldly and eagerly approach the throne (Hebrews 4:14-16). Prayer is the engine of ministry. It is the means by which anything is accomplished in the mission of God.  Prayer was one of the four primary disciplines for the early church (Acts 2:42). Paul teaches us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) and “at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication” (Ephesians 6:18). Jesus prioritized prayer in His life on earth by going away often and for extended time to speak with the Father (Luke 6:12). He taught His disciples to pray persistently and not lose heart (Luke 18:1-8). We never want it to be the case that “we have not because we ask not” (James 4:2). Ministry is a supernatural work and prayer is the way to supernatural power.  We believe that prayer has the same power today as we see in the Bible (James 5:17-18) so we pray expecting God to do great things. In a church culture filled with white boards, planning, and strategies to execute, we will be a people who prioritize prayer.

WE ARE OCCUPIED BY THE WORD

When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was occupied with the word, testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus (Acts 18:5).

 

We want to be found occupied by the Word primarily because we are obsessed with Jesus. The Bible is where we learn about, hear from, and meet with God. We earnestly seek after Jesus by being devoted to His Word.  We treasure the Word more than earthly riches (Psalm 119:72). It is our delight (Psalm 119:47) and our meditation day and night (Psalm 1:2). It is the foundation of our public gatherings and private lives. The Word is necessary and not an optional part of our walk with God.  Jesus taught us that “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (matthew 4:4). One of the four main areas of devotion for the early church was the apostles teaching of the Word of God (Acts 2:42). The Word is sufficient for our growth as a follower of Jesus. We believe that “all scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). The Word of God is a guaranteed method for accomplishing the purposes of God (Isaiah 55:10-11). We love the Word of God and desire to be found “occupied by the Word” wherever we are.  

WE ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven (Matthew 5:14-16).

 

In Jesus a light has come and the darkness cannot overcome it (John 1:5).  He is the ultimate light of the world (John 8:12). He then calls us as His people to represent Him on earth by being the light of the world.  We follow the footsteps of Jesus by taking our light and putting it in dark places. There is no reason to have a light and put it under a basket and no one uses a flashlight outside while the sun is shining. Light is made for darkness.  Therefore we shine our light by taking the hope of Jesus to dark places. We step into and not away from the suffering, the poor, the broken, and the hard hearted. We join Jesus outside the camp (Hebrews 13:13) and follow His calling in ministry to “proclaim good news to the poor…to set at liberty those who are oppressed” (Luke 4:18-19).  We take the light of Jesus to places and people who will ridicule and reject us. We step into dangerous and hard to reach areas with the Gospel. We shine our light in our workplace, in our families, in our social circles, in our neighborhoods, and everywhere we go regardless of what it may cost us. Our goal is for God to be glorified and this happens as we shine our light through doing good in our local communities and throughout the world. Every follower of Jesus is a light and so we are all called to be the light wherever God leads us.

WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER

There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all (Ephesians 4:4-6).

 

We are all united in Jesus and God has designed us to flourish in community. We need each other (1 Corinthians 12) and therefore are a people “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3). Fellowship was one of the four main areas of devotion for the early church (Acts 2:42).  One of the primary emphasises of the New Testament is unity and one of Satan’s primary strategies is to bring about division in the body. If we are too busy fighting one another we will have no energy and time left to fight for souls. Our unity has eternal implications so we will pursue this with all we have. We also know the Gospel is uniquely powerful to create diverse communities of people from different ethnic, cultural or socio economic backgrounds. The power of the Gospel is to “break down the dividing wall of hostility” (Ephesians 2:14) between us and God and for that same power to break down the walls we have against one another.  The Gospel breaks through cultural and class distinctives to create a people for whom Christ is all (Colossians 3:11). At the end of it all, there will be a people for God “From every tribe and language and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9).  Therefore our work to pursue reconciliation on this earth is a direct overflow of the reconciliation we have with God through Christ. In Christ we are one body who are working together for one mission.

WE ARE SERVANTS FIRST

This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God (1 Corinthians 4:1).

 

Servant is our only ministry title. It is our position, no matter what we do. Our posture toward one another and the community around us is as their servant. Our ambition is to consider everyone around us more important than us and their needs more significant than ours (Philippians 2:3-4).  We follow Jesus “who though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humble himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:6-8). We learn from Jesus that true greatness is servanthood (Mark 10:43-45).  In the midst of a culture obsessed with great leadership and being the best, we pursue the way of Jesus.

WE ARE LED BY THE SPIRIT

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God (Romans 8:14).

The power of the church is the Spirit of God.  We see in Acts the themes of Word and Spirit over and over again.  Being occupied by the Word and led by the Spirit are defining marks for the early church and is how they multiplied with great effectiveness.  When the people of God proclaim the Word of God empowered by the Spirit of God they will point to the Son of God and glorify God the Father. We do not want to rely on ourselves or do any ministry in the flesh. We are led by and dependent on the Spirit.  This means that we want everyone using their spiritual gift. 1 Corinthians 12:7 says “to each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” Every believer is endowed with spiritual power to serve the body and the world and we want to equip everyone to make the most of that.  This also means that we are open to how the Spirit may want to move in our gatherings, in our service, in our personal lives that is not always according to our plans. We “walk in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:26) to pursue holiness and we join the Spirit in His primary work of testifying to Jesus (Acts 1:8). We trust the Spirit to give us assurance and create intimacy in our relationship with God as Father (Romans 8:15-16). We trust Him to guide us into all truth (John 16:13) and so we follow His lead in all things.

# wearecitylight