The staff of Real Life was sitting around the table this week talking about the core behaviors we do and ought to do to reflect the spirit of the church. We wanted to identify core behaviors rather than the “core values” with which businesses traditionally define themselves, because values can be nebulous and intangible, but behaviors are things you can see. We thought about what a community of Jesus apprentices do and should be known for. Here’s what we came up with. This is what we think is true of Real Life Church and what we want to stay true to.
After the 1
Apprentices of Jesus follow after the One who is always chasing after lost ones. We are here to lead lost people to Jesus, and that is the primary mission of the church (see Luke 15:7). This stands in contrast with churches that exist to serve already Christian insiders who are looking for churches to make them comfortable with the familiar.
The church should be passed from generation to generation (Deuteronomy 6:1-12). We’re responsible for raising the next generation to follow Jesus. It’s not ok for the church to age out of existence.
Leaders of leaders
Everyone in ministry should be training someone else to do that ministry (Matthew 28:19). The purpose of ministry isn’t just to enjoy it or to find our purpose; we’re always looking to share it with someone else, mentor someone else, and make disciples who are making disciples.
We favor forgiveness to judgement, love to legalism (Romans 8:38-39). This is a major change in direction from the reputation that lots of churches have.
All things new
Always be willing to wipe the slate clean, try it a new way, or kill a sacred pig - we realize that normally you kill sacred cows, but if you kill a pig, you can have bacon! (Isaiah 43:19). Churches should be known as the most creative, innovative, and out-of-the box communities in our society. Are they?
All for the best
Whatever you do, do it with excellence and with all your heart, because you’re doing it for Jesus (Col. 3:23).
On an interpersonal level, we deal with issues directly with the goal of peace and growth (Matthew. 18:15). We don’t gossip, triangulate, undermine, or act passive-aggressively.
This is fun!
If it's not, you're doing it wrong. (John 10:10)