The DNA of First City Church is built around Five Core Convictions and Four Gospel Identities. These convictions and identities shape our philosophy of ministry (the way we disciple one another and the way we build systems and structures). They are deeply embedded into the way we live life together as a community on mission.

CORE CONVICTIONS:

GOD IS PRIMARY

God is the foundational reality in the universe; the starting point for everything else. The deepest longings of the human soul can only be satisfied when we delight in God's supremacy and rest in His sovereign grace. {Isaiah 48:11; Romans 11:33-36}

THE GOSPEL CHANGES EVERYTHING

Through union with Jesus, we can be restored from our fallen condition into right relationship with God and others. The gospel transforms not only individuals, but also churches, societies, and culture at large. It is not just a gate we pass through one time, but a path of ongoing renewal and repentance that we are to walk each day of our lives. {Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 1:18-24}

THE CHURCH EXISTS FOR MISSION, NOT COMFORT

Jesus commissioned his disciples to take the good news of His kingdom to everyone who would listen. The church is God’s called-and-sent people, living on mission in the world by proclaiming his gospel and living for his glory. {Matthew 28:18-20; 1 Peter 2:9}

THE CHURCH MUST ENGAGE CULTURE

God’s people must live an incarnational existence - living on mission with Jesus in our neighborhoods, our workplaces, and our spheres of influence. The church is not to withdraw from culture, but to be a transforming influence in culture for the glory of God. {Mark 2:15-17; Acts 17:16-32}

STRUCTURE SUBMITS TO SPIRIT

Jesus governs His church through His Word and His Spirit. Therefore, we are committed to living prayerfully and reflectively, with an active dependence on the Holy Spirit and the regular means of grace he has given to us. {John 14:26; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14}

GOSPEL IDENTITIES:

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.