As important as it is to have something to live for, we can’t overlook the need to have something to live by. We live for a purpose, a calling, an ultimate goal. We live by some kind of guiding principle, set of values, and convictions that shape not only what we do but how we do it.
Christians and congregations have purpose (what we live for) and guidance (what we live by). We live for the glory of God; we live by the word of God.
Writing down our purpose on paper is an important thing to do, but that doesn’t mean we have accomplished it. We need to think long and hard about how to achieve our purpose and what path we will take to get there. We need what we often call a set of Guiding Principles.
At Grace Community Church, our Ministry Statement clearly and concisely states that our purpose is to glorify God by making disciples of Jesus Christ who live for him in the world. The Ministry Statement also lays out the values of Grace that form the basis for making decisions about what we will do and how we will do it. These are the Guiding Principles by which we pursue our purpose.
If you have made it this far reading this Words of Grace, you are to be commended. Talking about Guiding Principles is as exciting as sitting beside a construction site for the weeks it takes to dig the holes and pour the footings that form the foundation of a building. In the foundation phase it doesn’t look like much is happening. But without it, we all know that there would be no walls, no roof, and no building.
Guiding Principles are footings. They form the foundation. They support the main goal by guiding what we do to achieve it.
This Sunday at Grace, we will begin a series of messages called Foundations of Grace. We will look at the core values of our church and the practices that flow from them. This is an important series of messages because it is necessary to revisit these things, pray over them, think through them, and make practical decisions based on them. This is what it means to be a deliberate and intentional congregation.
Don’t think this series will be just “church talk”, without personal encouragement for your life. These messages will apply to each of us as Christians, and they will show us how to personally be a part of the work of the Spirit in our congregation.
Would you take time this weekend to pray for Grace? Remember, when you pray for our congregation you are praying for people. We are the redeemed people of Christ gathered together in a location and living together for the glory of God.