In order for Grace Christian Fellowship to walk in its metaphorical vision of seeing itself as an ideal Thanksgiving Dinner - a setting in which the family regularly gathers together; the family is fed well; the family enjoys each other’s company - laughing, sharing, loving, crying, showing compassion; invites others to the meal; and shares their love for this gathering with others outside of the family to honor the Host, Homemaker, and Cook, then we have to have a clear mission statement that will encourage the family to keep the main thing, the main thing. That mission statement is: Repurposing Lives By Sharing God’s Refreshing Grace.
To make sure that the family/church stays on its course we have non-negotitable values that keep us in check. The metaphor of a manmade riverbank was used to show how a strong riverbank will keep the river water in its channel so that it can move purposefully and powerfully to its eventual destination - the ocean of God’s presence. This riverbank is made of five levels, or five values that Grace Christian Fellowship holds close to its heart that when working together will again, keep the church/river flowing as it is called to.
Those five values are:
Truth: We are determined to preach and teach the Word of God in every activity we are involved in. Our faith is based on the Word of Truth - it is our standard or rule of faith - so we will continue to systematically teach the Word every Sunday, and make sure it is a part of every activity that we are involved in.
Compassion: We don’t want to be a church that is so doctrinally and biblically sound that we are missing the main impetus of the Word - and that is to mold us into the image of Christ to become compassion, caring, loving, people of comfort. All that we do as a fellowship needs to be centered on God’s Word and filled with compassion towards the hurting, lost, spiritually dead people that the Lord sends our way.
Enjoying Others: Grace is to be a fellowship in which the family members enjoy being with each other, which is seen in the joy and commitment that we have towards one another when one is hurting, rejoicing, grieving, or in need. Enjoying others is seen in the investment and quality of time shared with those who call Grace Christian Fellowship their home.
Authenticity: A sincere family gathering for Thanksgiving is going to be a place where people feel safe and secure enough to be authentic, honest, real, and transparent with one another. The Lord will transform or repurpose the lives of sinners when those sinners sense a spirit of loving transparency - from the pastors, as well as from the rest of the congregation.
Excellence: Although a nice family meal is to be relaxed and people are to feel at home and comfortable with one another, it will also be a place where the table is set nicely, and everything is done decently and in order. For us as a Christian congregation excellence means that if something is worth doing for the Lord, then it’s worth dong well. Some things are just worth the effort. Whatever we do we are to do with our whole heart. Excellence is seen in the quality of care and attention to details so that nothing is missed, delayed or prohibited in the process of Sharing God’s Refreshing Grace in order for lives to be repurposed.
Without the values – without the missional motives – without this riverbank of values to guide and direct our mission statement and vision – the river of our water – will spread all over the place and become weak, ineffectual, and will dribble down to a trickle.