What marks these simplechurches? Six values that we seek to live out as we follow our vision... Jesus.
Everything about Jesus was different - He spoke differently, acted differently and lived differently. His very life was prophetic – it was a life willing to counter the culture, a radical life of total obedience to the father. The community he began was intended to live the same way. A community whose very existence would be prophetic - cities on hills, aliens in a beloved land. We want to be people that carry on this legacy. We want to be different – not weird, not antagonistic, not irrelevant – but righteously different: generous, loving, kind, hospitable, compassionate, free and united. A family of people who are present in the world, but live differently from the world.
If our whole goal is to move toward Jesus, then we must remember that we are following and living with a person. People are not static. They are moving and active. They do one thing for a moment, then they are on to the next thing. Certainly this is how Jesus lived while on the earth – healing in one moment, teaching in another, moving from town to town. But as Jesus healed and taught, he also did so in very creative manners – flexing with what the Father said to him by the Spirit. We want to follow this lead, remaing creative and flexible - always following his perfect lead.
The Apostle Paul once said, “though he [Jesus] was rich, for our sakes he became poor.” The very nature, and mission of Christ involved an outpouring of generosity. He left the riches of heaven for the poverty of earth. Why did he do this? In order to be obedient to the Father and compassionate to the needy. We want to be people that live in this light. In a world of gaining more, we want to give more. In a culture of reckless consumerism we determine to live simply. Why would we do this? In order to be obedient to the Father and compassionate to the needy. Jesus once said, “Don’t store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy.” These, we declare, are words we will live by.
Jesus came on a mission. He came to release the prisoner, give rest to the weary and bind up the broken. He came to draw the hungry to his Father’s kingdom and his Father’s table. We want to be people that follow his lead and join him in this work. That said, we’ve sensed the Spirit narrowing our focus in mission along two important avenues. First, the Marginalized. Jesus always displayed a unique passion for the broken and hurting; we want to join him as he cares for marginalized of all stripes. Second, the Neighbourhoods. When Jesus came he in-dwelt the real world. He came to the people and ministered where they live. Again, we want to follow this lead. Particularly we want to have a heart for neighbourhoods, – where real people live and work. We want to see fellowships indwell every neighbourhood, serving them, praying for them and loving them.
It was a given for Jesus’ early followers: they were granted power and authority, and it was then expected that each one engage in meaningful kingdom activity. Nothing has changed. We want to be people where no one is sitting on the sidelines. Rather, as we move towards Jesus we want to be seeking his Holy Spirit to empower, equip and release every believer for active service in the church, the world, and the kingdom. No spectators, no consumers – every member a priest
At the centre of it all, Jesus was always engaged in loving relationships. He ate with people, walked with people, mentored and discipled people. He also established a kingdom, not made of bricks and mortar, but of people in fellowship around him. And for this people he had one cry – “Oh Father, let them be one.” We want to be a people that answer that cry. We want to be fellowship of people united in a communal life around Christ that is marked by Joy. We want to laugh together, cry together, dream together and eat together. We will not gather around programs or religious events, but as friends on a movement toward Christ. And as we dwell in our world, this will be our key means of engaging those around us. Ultimately, we want to love our neighbours, our city and our world, with real friendship, real compassion and real care.