Life-Giving vs Life-Taking

John 10:10 tell us “I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of”

Several years ago I was introduced to a term describing a certain attitude or philosophy of ministry.   Through the ministry of Billy Hornsby, the ARC, Church of the Highlands & Healing Place Church I saw this modeled.  The term LIFE-GIVING was used to describe a positive, non-threatening, no-strings-attached, relational-based approach to ministry. I would even say that it can describe how we “do life” as individuals too.

As I watch the world around me, my heart is often saddened. My fear is that we miss the heart of simply being life-giving.  It seems that our words & attitudes are laced with anger/frustration rather than with life.  We use our opinions and feelings as an excuse to behave in “life-taking” ways rather than behaving as givers of life.  Bottom line: as people who have been transformed by the good news of Jesus…there’s just no excuse for this. Before you give an excuse…remember…there is no excuse.

So, I thought I’d post some of the Life-Giving Church Values & Characteristics here for us to chew on. These come from Billy Hornsby & the ARC, the church planting organization that Stevens Creek is a part of.

Life-giving Church Values

  1. Relational. Life-giving churches prioritize authentic friendships.
  2. Relevant. Their message is relevant-It connects to the needs of everyday people… every day.
  3. Generous. Life-giving churches strive to “go the extra mile,” equally sacrificing together.
  4. Risk-taking. Life-giving churches and pastors are willing to do something new. They are not unwilling to fail.
  5. Inclusive. Life-giving churches believe that every believer can be in ministry and they encourage God’s gifts in each individual.
  6. Inspired. Their source is inspired by the truth of the Bible. God’s Word is the foundation for all they do.
  7. Focused. Their focus is edification of the believer and evangelism of the un-churched – the lost, the absent and the unfulfilled.
  8. Contemporary. Life-giving churches believe in engaging with our culture, embracing media & technology.
  9. Ancient. Their practice is ancient. They pray, study God’s word, serve, share Christ.
  10. Authentic. Pastors are authentic, real and transparent. No hierarchy, just servants in different capacities.
  11. Fun. Pastors of life-giving churches understand that experiencing joy in the journey and laughing together is a key ingredient to a healthy, life-giving church.
  12. Accepting. Their arms and hearts are open and accepting. They focus on the needs of people not on just “having church.”
  13. Powerful. Their lives are pure and powerful. There is a sense that the Holy Spirit is real and active in their services…something bigger than man.
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4 responses to “Life-Giving vs Life-Taking

  1. I believe Stevens Creek hits a homerun on all of these values, and feel I’m so blessed to be a part of the journey with so many wonderful friends there.

  2. Great wisdom! Thanks for being and modeling what “life-giving” ministry is all about.

  3. Patricia Yonce

    Kevin,

    I wish I had you about 8 years ago when I was serving full time in a church that was life taking. I sure could have used your wisdom then.

    GREAT STUFF!!!

    Pat

  4. Thanks for the comments & kind words.

    Dave…dude you are what “Life-Giving” is all about! Praying for you & your church. Remember, you will lead a church to be “Healthy & Huge”! Keep it up.

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