Everything we endeavor to be as a community of God flows from our values. We group them in three sets of three - our theological values represent the story of faith we are immersed in, our communal values represent the fabric of “us” in daily practice, and our personal values are an invitation to each individual who calls our church “home” to inhabit for themselves. Each of our sermon series, events and workshops, and ministerial missions can be traced back to these nine values.
We believe it is through intimacy with God we learn to inhabit our identities as His sons and daughters, His image-bearers; and by living into our true identities our purpose takes shape.
For everything we do, these three words beg the right questions of us as we come alongside one another to grow. They help us focus on our piece of the larger picture of what God is doing in the world today. Not only are they ideals we believe in, but values we want to instill in every person who calls our church home.
INTIMACY with God: breathes life into our identities as sons and daughters. (1 John 3:1-3) gives definition and trajectory to, not only who we are, but what we’re designed to do. (Eph. 2:10)
IDENTITY in Christ: defines what our relationship to God looks like as the source of everything. (Col. 1:15-20) recognizes we are image-bearers, carrying His presence wherever we go. (Rom. 8:12-17)
PURPOSE as the Spirit-Led Church: leads others to intimacy with God, for His continued glory. (Eph. 3:10-12) explores the depths of what our identities really mean through practical living. (1 Peter 2:9)
Our communal values are the ways in which we seek to embody our identity as the Church. These cultural standards create a scaffolding that enables individuals whom God has drawn together to make up the fabric of this community and offer their stories, personalities, and gifts to the larger whole in a way that we can all grow together (Eph. 4:11-13).
UNITY As a community we fix our eyes on Jesus and his prayer for unity in order that we might come alongside our brothers and sisters in the faith to keep building His Kingdom, even if we disagree on certain theological issues or church practices. We recognize that where members of our church lack unity practically, we can still desire it and build it. We heed Paul’s instruction in his letters to the churches, pleading with them as much as possible to, “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3). We follow his invitation to the entire church to be “like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose” (Phil. 2:2).
DIVERSITY Religious tribalism can interfere with Christ’s emphatic call for unity in his Church. We recognize that our doctrinal differences do not give us permission to divide when we still share the foundation of Christ. Instead we have found that our differences in doctrine, when addressed in love, can serve as a point of sharpening, mutual challenge and edification. If we maintain this perspective, the diversity in our community actually becomes an asset to painting a larger, more beautiful picture of what God is like for all to experience.
CREATIVITY We believe we are made in the image of a creative God. His first call for us to “be fruitful and increase” carries with it a creative power to reveal His goodness through the work of our hands as a form of worship. Creativity enables us to be active participants in expressing the realities of the Kingdom, whether communally through experiences in our worship gatherings or how we individually meet the unfamiliar terrain of life in the 21st century with a sensitivity to the Spirit and desire to make the gospel come alive for all we encounter. Our desire is to champion the place of creativity in worship and to help unlock creativity in all our members.
Our three personal values find their context under the canopy our communal values. A healthy, thriving member of our community is connected to our identity by finding their unique niche in the following ways:
GIVE We believe the church should look like a potluck overflowing in abundance because everyone contributes, rather than a buffet of scarce spiritual goods and services offered for consumption by an elite few. We desire to be generous like God is generous – stewarding well our unique gifts, talents, resources and creativity by offering ourselves up as loving, ‘living sacrifices’ to our City Beautiful Church family, to Orlando, and to the world.
We believe it is actually in giving out of our intimacy with God that brings us to life, rather than draining us. The goal of the christian life is to be patterned after Christ, who gave everything for us, so we want to learn to do the same for one another (Eph. 5:2, Phil. 2:1-11).
RECEIVE As the body of Christ we encourage, challenge and equip one another for the journey of faith rather than force, coerce, or enable one another. The Church is a community of mutual encouragement and empowerment in the Spirit of God – who is our ultimate guide.
We also recognize that we will never cease learning and receiving new truths about God and the world around us. We endeavor to maintain a posture of open-handedness, always willing to receive whatever God may want to offer, however He may want to offer it. As His children, we all posture ourselves as life-long learners open to one another.
EXPLORE We believe exploration is written into our spiritual DNA. We are meant to grow, discover, test, experience, change and discover anew. In fact, when we stop exploring and discovering we die by spiritual stagnation. At City Beautiful Church, we cherish the perspective that life itself is a journey of exploration: of God, ourselves, each other, and the world around us. We want our community to be a place where searchers and sojourners who recognize at some level “there must be more” are welcomed in and equipped for the journey. We can step into the unknown with confidence, knowing we do so from a foundation of Love and with a trajectory of Truth.