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
- Relational. Life-giving churches prioritize authentic friendships.
- Relevant. Their message is relevant-It connects to the needs of everyday people… every day.
- Generous. Life-giving churches strive to “go the extra mile,” equally sacrificing together.
- Risk-taking. Life-giving churches and pastors are willing to do something new. They are not unwilling to fail.
- Inclusive. Life-giving churches believe that every believer can be in ministry and they encourage God’s gifts in each individual.
- Inspired. Their source is inspired by the truth of the Bible. God’s Word is the foundation for all they do.
- Focused. Their focus is edification of the believer and evangelism of the un-churched – the lost, the absent and the unfulfilled.
- Contemporary. Life-giving churches believe in engaging with our culture, embracing media & technology.
- Ancient. Their practice is ancient. They pray, study God’s word, serve, share Christ.
- Authentic. Pastors are authentic, real and transparent. No hierarchy, just servants in different capacities.
- 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.
- Accepting. Their arms and hearts are open and accepting. They focus on the needs of people not on just “having church.”
- 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.