Thursday, April 05, 2007

Thoughts on What I Value... What I Hope the Church will Value

(1) I value the Way of Jesus. The early believers were called followers of The Way. Not followers of the manual or creeds or belief systems. I believe the way of Jesus is a better way of living.
· Forgiving is better than resentment and bitterness.
· Giving is better than getting. (Although receiving from God is a very important concept to consider. If you can’t ‘get’ from God then you’re in trouble. Cuz He’s the ultimate giver.)
· Putting others first frees me from the tyranny of self.
· Giving money away is better than materialism which stupidly suggests that all I need is one more thing to make me happy.
These things and many more are found on The Way.

(2) I value belonging as much and maybe more than believing. This is good news if you’re not yet a believer. You don’t have to believe to belong. It’s not about believing in a list of things and then if you do you can belong to our community. It’s more like come belong to our community, hang out with us for a while… and while you’re here let’s learn together about The Way. (Oh, and you might have more to teach me than I have to teach you.)

(3) I value real, tangible, practical actions that benefit adherents and non adherents alike. Many, many years ago Abraham was given a two-fold promise… he was going to be blessed and then that all nations would be blessed through him. Most churches that I’m aware of, including my own are much more excited about the first part of that promise than the second. There is no reason for anyone in the community to listen to us if they don’t see us doing.

(4) I value people and believe they are our greatest resource… not the pastor, not the building, not the savings accounts, not the ministries… people.

(4b) Having said that, I really value people who ‘get’ that church is about serving. (repeat after me, “It’s not about me. It’s not about now.) I cannot count the number of singles, couples and families that have ‘traded up’ and moved on from the church I was a part of to be a part of a church that met their needs in better ways. (And to be fair… also, the number of people who have ‘traded up’ to come to my church. Boy, were they in for a rude awakening!)

(5) I value questions and discussion as much or more than answers. And yes, I do believe Jesus is The Answer… but not in a dogmatic kind of way that shuts down all dialogue. Think of it this way… answers are good but good answers usually lead us to more and better questions. Jesus is the best answer I know of but following The Way of Jesus always leads me to more and better questions!

(6) I value quitting while I'm ahead. God bless! J

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