This past Sunday, we began a new sermon series entitled THAT Kind of Church. Over the next several weeks we will be studying, with prayerful examination, the distinctive characteristics and values that make JCBC who she is.
In part one of the series, I made the bold claim that the stakes could not be higher for our church to claim, with crystal clear confidence who we are, where we are, when we are. The JCBC experience can be articulated in a great many ways. Indeed, there may be as many ways to describe who we are as there are individuals whose stories have been transformed by being a part of the Body of Christ here.
In order to claim a common language, however, I want us to take nine weeks to consider seven core values that shape our lives together as a congregation. The first two weeks, I am focusing our energies on foundational truths. Namely, the Lordship of Jesus Christ, as well as the nuance of our faith and practice as a Baptist people.
During this exciting season of strategic planning and vision-casting for our future, this particular series is timely for us. As we speak, our four Strategic Planning Innovation Teams continue the arduous work of honing out a plan of action for our future, surrounding our four identified strategic initiatives [PDF]. My decision to focus our congregational attention and energy on our core values, is so that we remember WHY it is we do what we do—because we are THAT Kind of Church.
I want to ask every JCBC member to take some time this week to prayerfully (even devotionally) read the values delineated below. And as you prepare to gather on Sundays, ask God to place someone on your heart and in your mind whom you may need to invite to this series.
Have I told you lately how much I love being your pastor?
Well, I do.
Dr. Shaun King
Johns Creek Baptist Church
JCBC Core Values
Johns Creek Baptist Church seeks to be a free and faithful voice of the Gospel, witnessing with integrity to Jesus Christ and the mission of the Church. The church believes in and dedicates itself to preserving and practicing historic Baptist principles, Freedoms, and traditions. We value excellence in worship, theological depth and diversity, authentic Christian community, deliberate church growth, congregational courage, responsible Christian stewardship, and a missional consciousness where every member is mobilized to serve.
We value Excellence in the Worship of God.
Believing God is the one and only object of true worship; and further believing that God is deserving of the very best we can offer, we value excellence in all expressions of worship. We especially value worship that is spiritually inspiring and intellectually stimulating–placing our highest value on excellence in preaching and music. (Isaiah 6; John 4; 1 Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:17, 23; Ephesians 5:19-20)
We value Theological Depth and Diversity.
Believing in historic Baptist principles, freedoms, and traditions, we recognize the soul-competency of every individual and affirm the priesthood of all believers. As such, we value theological depth and diversity in all areas of our shared life, believing that spiritual and intellectual openness better enables us as a congregation to marvel at the ineffable mysteries of God. (Philippians 2:12; 1 Corinthians 1,3; Acts 10-11; 2 Corinthians 4:7-9; Hebrews 5; Psalm 133:1)
We value Authentic Christian Community
Believing we are all imperfect people with unfinished stories; and further believing that our Lord welcomed all such people with a radical hospitality, and loved all persons without limitation; we value authentic Christian community where any and all of God’s Beloved may belong. (Matthew 11:28; Acts 2:42-47, 8:26-40; Romans 12:4-5; Matthew 18:20; Galatians 3:28-29;
We value the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Growth of His Church
Believing deeply that the message of Jesus Christ is the hope of the world; and further believing that the Church Universal is the visible presence of the Risen Christ in our age, we value the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the deliberate growth of His church so that this sure and certain hope may endure from generation to generation–unto the end of the age. (Matthew 24:14, 28:16-20; Mark 16:15; Acts 2:47, 5:14, 6:7, 11:21, 16:5; Ephesians 3:20-21)
We value Congregational Courage.
Believing God is always calling the Church to new and next steps of faith; and further believing (by remembering our own history) that God’s calling always comes with some risk, we value the congregational courage required to always remain faithful to God’s call—wherever it may lead. (Joshua 1:6, 9-11; Ephesians 6:10; Psalm 56:3-4; Isaiah 41:10; Proverbs 3:5-6; Mark 5:36; Psalm 31:24)
We value Responsible Christian Stewardship
Believing God’s grace to be a generous gift of unmerited favor; and further believing that maturing in faith demands using what God has given to us, for God’s own glory, we value responsible Christian stewardship of all God’s gifts. (Psalm 24:1; James 1:17; Matthew 25:21; Proverbs 3:9; Matthew 25:29; 1 Peter 4:10; 2 Corinthians 9:6-7)
We value a Missional Consciousness where every Member is Mobilized to serve.
Believing every member is an integral part of the Body of Christ; and further believing every follower of Christ plays a vital role in the witness and mission of the worldwide church, we value a missional consciousness within our church, where every member is truly empowered and fully equipped to mobilize his or her faith in practical ways for the cause of Christ. Further, we boldly affirm the reality that God calls both women and men into all areas of vocational ministry—with no limitations based on age, sex, race, or station in life. (Micah 6:8; Acts 2:17; Ephesians 4; 1 Corinthians 12; 2 Corinthians 4)