Family

Under Adam, we were “children of wrath,” subject to God’s judgment because of our sin (Eph. 2:1-3). We were self-focused and alienated from others; we sought to build communities centered on our own wants and our own needs. In Christ, we have been set free from selfishness and pride. We have been adopted into God’s family (Gal. 4:4-7). We are his sons and daughters. We are no longer orphans, alienated from God and each other, but brothers and sisters in God’s family. The strength and depth of our relationships is a living picture of the power of the gospel.

As family, we no longer live for and depend upon ourselves. We are children of God who depend upon our Heavenly Father and his power in our lives (1 Corinthians 15:10; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10). We live to bring honor and glory to his name (Matt. 6:9). We no longer live in isolation but prefer one another and sacrifice for one another. We enjoy being together. We disciple, nurture, and hold one another accountable. And we feel love and kinship toward those alienated from God, longing for them to be reconciled to our Father who created them in his image and likeness (Gen. 1:27).

MISSIONARIES

Under Adam, our mission was to make our name known. Our time, our energy, and our resources were given to advancing our own kingdom. We loved to “follow the ways of this world,” enslaved to our sin (Eph. 2:1-3; Rom. 6:16). In Christ, God delivered us from our slavery to sin and self so that we can freely serve him by the power of His Spirit (Rom. 6:18-22). We are now missionaries sent to reach our city through living “ordinary life with gospel intentionality.”

Released from self-absorption, self-concern, and self-worship, we can joyfully die to ourselves and join God in his mission of reconciliation and renewal (1 Corinthians 10:33). As missionaries, we give our time, our energy, and our resources to making disciples and advancing God’s kingdom. We engage those far from Christ, listening to the questions, objections, and concerns people have about God. We share the gospel winsomely and commend the gospel by our words and actions.

SERVANTS

Under Adam, we used our gifts, talents, time, and resources in deeds that produced more for us, even at the expense of others. We were willing to suffer and sacrifice for more money, more power, and more influence. We demanded that others serve our needs. In Christ, we are servants in His world, zealous for the good works he has prepared for us (Eph. 2:10; Titus 2:11-14). We do not seek to be served but to serve (Matthew 20:20-28). We take initiative in meeting the needs of others. We suffer and sacrifice for the good of others and the glory of God. We use our gifts, talents, time, and resources that others may thrive and flourish.

As servants, we are committed to bearing good deeds in our families and church by seeking tangible ways to love and serve others. We walk as a “faithful presence” in our neighborhoods and vocations - committed to meeting the needs of our city through acts of compassion, mercy, and justice. We seek to make God’s invisible kingdom visible and tangible to the people around us.

STUDENTS

Under Adam, we were students of false teachings and false words that perpetuated the lie that was started in the Garden. We were enslaved to “the desires of the flesh and of the mind” (Eph. 2:1-3). We acted as our own gods, pursuing our own desires and committed to our own independence. In Christ, we are now students of His word. We are now “obedient from the heart” to Jesus’ teaching (Rom. 6:17-18). We are students who desire to come under Jesus’ teaching, submit to his ways, and learn what it means to live life for His glory.

As students, we study the Scriptures to understand what God has said (Acts 17:11). We practice the disciplines of prayer, solitude, and reflection so that we can discern the leading of the Holy Spirit. We learn from the teaching, training, and wisdom of godly leaders and teachers. We create communities of discipleship so we can learn from each other. And we engage the world around us so we can relate with relevance and wisdom to those who share our cultural setting.