Worship · Witness · Walk in Love
Grace longs to see the grace of God magnified as He transforms us into a community that worships, witnesses, and walks in love.
Core values are the distinctive biblical convictions that shape our ministry. They are the undergirding principles of who we are and what we do. At Grace we are shaped by these seven core values:
- Gospel. The gospel changes everything.
- The gospel of grace is not the A-B-C’s but the A-Z of Christianity. It is not just the minimum required doctrine for salvation, but it is the heart of and the point of all doctrine. The gospel is the hub which powers the wheel of truth and practice. It is not just the entrance to the kingdom, but the way we make all progress (Gal. 3:1-3) and become renewed both individually (Col. 1:6) and socially (Gal. 2:14). The atonement of Jesus described in the gospel has daily value for the people of God. A wise pastor/theologian once wrote: “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, ‘Repent,’ He willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.” There is always need for faith and repentance for the individual believer because the people of God remain sinners; there is always grace and mercy available for repenters because of the inexhaustible supply of the love of God that flows from the death and resurrection of Jesus.
- Worship. The gospel transforms us into worshippers.
- God, as he has revealed himself in the Bible, deserves our praise and worship. The central activity in the life of the church and its outreach is the worship of God. Jesus said that God is seeking worshippers who will worship in spirit and truth. This activity and disposition touches every aspect of our lives. Evangelism, then, is an invitation to come and see the deeds of the Lord and give him the praise, honor, glory and power that are his due. The way we love, the way we work, the way we speak–as well as our meeting together–is all worship. The chief end of man is to glorify and enjoy him forever.
- Outward-face. The gospel makes us a people for others.
- The gospel teaches us to have a deep respect yet great hope for every non-Christian. We are a place not just for ourselves, but for our friends and associates who don’t believe. We seek to infuse every event with an outreach aspect (expecting to be “overheard”), and every member with a winsome evangelistic lifestyle. Those who have learned to praise the Lord cannot help but praise him before the nations, inviting others to this exquisite delight and privilege. They also cannot help but to have their hearts broken for the poor, desiring and working to see the healing power of the kingdom of God bring peace and justice to the downtrodden.
- Gospel community. The gospel creates a new community.
- We not only speak the gospel verbally, but we embody the gospel making it visible through deeds of service and through community. The gospel completely transforms our human relationships. The gospel electrifies our friendships, our marriages, our relationships with parents and children, with peers as well as those older and those younger. Without the gospel, Gal. 5:26 tells us, we will either “provoke” those we feel superior to, or we will “envy” those we feel inferior to. But since the gospel has both humbled us and yet has assured us of our lovedness and greatness, now we are free from either envy or pride, either inferiority or superiority.
- Changed lives. The gospel produces changed lives.
- The gospel does not just reform people but transforms them, and produces a unique beauty of character. First, the gospel produces an entirely new relationship with God–a personal Father-child one rather than an impersonal boss-employee one. Second, the gospel gives a whole new motivation for obeying God–a love and gratitude-based delight in God rather than a fear-based self-interest. Third, that means the gospel gives a new scope to our service–an unconditional obedience rather than a negotiated agreement. Why? Because if we were saved by works, there is a limit to what God could justly ask of us, but if we are saved by his grace at such infinite cost to him, then he can ask anything of us and it would still be a “deal” and a joy! Fourth, the gospel gives us a whole new relationship with ourselves. We no longer take our identity from what others think of us or what we think of us but from what God thinks of us in Christ (1 Cor. 4:3-4).
- Cultural renewal. The gospel produces social healing and cultural renewal.
- The gospel enables us to be in the world but not of it. Thus we do not withdraw from the world but engage it. We have all received the ‘call to full-time ministry’. We see that all of our work matters to God. When the gospel clears out religiosity which makes religion and church itself into an idol, then so called “secular” work is as valuable and God-honoring as Christian ministry. We see that God matters to all of our work. That means the gospel shapes and effects the motives, manner, and methods we use in our work. The gospel heals class brokenness by making people with means generous through the power of Christ’s sacrificial giving for us, and by empowering the poor to self-sufficiency through its hope. The gospel enables Christians to work in their vocations with excellence, generosity, and Christian distinctiveness, thus transforming the culture in which we live from the inside out.
- Movement mindset. The gospel continually breaks out.
- The gospel does not just have power, it is the power of God (Rom. 1:16-17). The kingdom of God is gradually but inexorably growing (Mt. 13:1-23; 11:12). We expect the Holy Spirit to create movement and ministry in sons and daughters’ lives. Therefore, we encourage Christians to initiate and lead ministries. Kingdom-growth is expected, and kingdom-growth drives us to deeper dependence on the King. We rejoice to be a part of a church-planting movement that is advancing in North Carolina into all the world. It will not take a church, but a movement, to transform the cities of the Triad and the world.