We exist to ignite a passion to know and follow Jesus from Central VA to the world.
Why this mission and not something else? What does it mean?
…to catch fire or cause to catch fire. To arouse or inflame. We want to be on fire for Jesus and His work in the world. We want this flame burning inside of us to melt away the impurities within our lives that block an unbridled passion for life. When we read the Bible, we discover stories of people who were so passionately committed to Jesus that they were full of joy WHILE suffering all of the pressures of life. We want to be those kinds of people.
We want to see a community so on fire for Jesus that it stands as a bonfire against the darkness of our world. We don’t want this just for ourselves, we want to experience this kind of movement so that it can be a gift to the places we live and work.
Knowing and Following Jesus
This may seem like a strange way to say this phrase. Shouldn’t we be passionate about Jesus? The problem with being passionate about something is that it is very different than actually knowing them. I can be passionate about my wife but it is very different than actually knowing my wife.
The message translation explores this beautifully in John 1,
The word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish. – John 1:14 (MSG)
Jesus came to make God known. Through him, we get to know God. Not just what God is like, but we actually get to have a relationship. It is only through this knowing that the passionate adventure the God calls life is unlocked. In other words, it is knowing that is key to everything else we do as individuals and the church.
Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. – John 17:3 (NIV)
From Central VA to the World
This gives us both priority and scope. God has entrusted us, as well as many other churches, to shepherd this area. We want to love well here and then go out there.
Beliefs are not worth much unless they are translated into actions. Our core values provide a path for translating belief into action.
1. We believe that God loves messy people.
It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners. Mark 2:17
Jesus spent his time with tax collectors, sinners, the broken, rejected, and lost. Messy people don’t scare God, in fact, He loved them enough to send his own son to set them free. None of us are perfect and we know that God reached out to us so that we can tell people far from God how they can experience God’s grace.
2. We believe that saved people serve.
He sat down, called the twelve and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all”. – Mark 9:35
Jesus modeled life for us where we find meaning and purpose in the service of others. God gives us strength so that we can serve the world. We do this through mission trips, projects, serving in the church, and being very aware that God gives us moments every day to bless others.
3. We believe that connected people grow.
And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as through reflected in a mirrior, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another… – 2 Corinthians 3:18
The New Testament is clear that the power of God transforms those who believe from death to life. Our chains to brokenness and sin are broken and we are given new life.
4. We believe in generosity.
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. – 2 Corinthians 9:7-8
We serve an indescribably generous God. God loved us so much that he gave His Son so that all who believe in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. Being generous is an attitude of being a blessing to others in whatever way you can. You may have skills, gifts, money, time, connections, and other resources that God has given you so that you can use them to serve others.
5. We believe in being a people of praise.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship… – Romans 12:1
Worship is a lifestyle. We practice gratitude and praise in every aspect of our lives since we understand life is a gift from God.