ZZOld Our Ethos

ZZOld Our Ethos

We’ve discovered that in all our activity for God, it’s easy to lose sight of our lives in God. Over and over again, we’ve seen this simple truth played out in the lives of countless Christian leaders. Our Calling, as is every believer’s in Christ, is to know Him and reflect Him in our world. Our Creed declares the direction of our calling, while Our Values express the way we intend to live. These foundational truths fuel Our Passion: walking a God-ward life and cultivating worshiping communities.

Thus, Our Mission is to join Christian leaders in their journey of faith, challenge their assumptions about life and God, and inspire a fuller experience of Him. As a result, We Envision a paradigm shift in the way churches are planted, the Gospel is preached, and mission is viewed when leaders function out of an ever deepening passion for Christ.

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Our Calling

We are called to know Him and reflect Him in our world as unique individuals gifted by God through his Spirit.

This kind of “knowing,” expressed in Jesus’ high priestly prayer (Jn. 17:1-3) and by Paul (Phil. 3:10), has more to do with a continual experience of God than it does with knowing information about Him.  And the more we experience Him, the more we reflect Him in everything we say and do.

Our Creed

Creeds declare what we think we believe. Yet, declaring our faith without working it out in everyday life is irresponsible and dangerous. The way we live tells the real story revealing our core beliefs.  Therefore, these stated beliefs are only as important as they direct our living and thinking…

We believe in one God, Creator and Lord of the Universe, the co-eternal Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We assert the doctrine of the Trinity as foundational in understanding that the final reality is relational: there is no personhood apart from community, which is ultimately expressed in the godhead.

We believe that Jesus Christ, God’s Son, was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, lived a sinless life, died a substitutionary, atoning death on the cross, rose bodily from the dead, and ascended to heaven where, as truly God and truly man, He is the mediator between God and man.

We believe the Bible is God’s authoritative and inspired Word. It is without error in all its teachings, including creation, history, its own origins, and salvation. Christians must submit to its divine authority, both individually and corporately, in all matters of belief and conduct, which is demonstrated by true righteous living. True Christians desire to submit to the Bible and obey God.

We believe that all people are lost sinners and cannot enter the Kingdom of God except through new birth. Justification is by grace through faith in Christ alone. Good works have no place in justification. We are fully dependent on God for both justification and sanctification.

We believe in one holy, universal, and apostolic Church. It is called to worship and witness concerning its Head, Jesus Christ, preach the Gospel among all nations, live out its commitment through compassionate service to the needs of others, and promote righteousness and justice. Its central calling is to become a spiritual community where people connect deeply with God and each other.

We believe in the indispensable work of the Holy Spirit for an individual’s new birth and growth to maturity, as well as for the Church’s ongoing renewal in truth, wisdom, faith, holiness, love, power, and mission. The resources of the New Covenant provide salvation and empower personal growth.

We believe that Jesus Christ will personally and visibly return in glory to raise the dead and bring salvation and judgment to completion. God will fully manifest his kingdom when He establishes a new heaven and new earth, in which He will be glorified forever, and exclude all evil, suffering, and death.

Our Passion

We may be best described as a community of believers participating in the Spirit’s work of formation in others.  And we do this primarily in three ways:

  • Gathering community
    Guided retreats and seminars
  • Building community
    Developing resources for the journey of faith
  • Deepening community
    Soul care for teams, families and individuals

Our passion is to cultivate worshiping communities attentive to God in every way. And so, taking Jesus’ measure of discipleship seriously (Jn. 13:34-35), we want to learn to relate to our Trinitarian God and others in such a way that our appetite for Him becomes more and more obvious.  In this, we believe worshiping communities can truly be formed.

Our Mission

To join Christian leaders in their journey of faith, challenge their assumptions about God, and inspire a fuller experience of Him.

Joining the journey… Using various means we intend to come alongside leaders in the daily-ness of their lives. This may involve mentoring, training, crisis intervention, spiritual friendship, spiritual direction, worship events, or counseling.

Challenging assumptions… We all have them. When something goes wrong or things don’t go as planned, that’s when we bump into our own assumptions about God and the way life “should” work. Everyone needs someone with whom they can process these moments or crises of faith.

Inspiring fullness… Knowing God’s love for us somehow opens us to knowing or experiencing the fullness of God, thus bringing Him glory for the outworking of his power within us (Eph. 3:14–21).

We Envision

We envision a paradigm shift in the way churches are planted, the Gospel is preached, and mission is viewed when leaders function out of an ever deepening passion for Christ.

What would happen if the church (members of the body of Christ) were deeply awed by the greatness of God? Could we actually reflect something transcendent without ever opening our mouths? Is it possible to live in the energy of Christ so that worship (as a way of life) makes more sense than expertise and professionalism in ministry? If we were to focus primarily on connecting with God through worship (e.g., prayer, time in the Word, silence, solitude, meditation, study, community, etc.), how could the mission of the church become more a reflection of time with God rather than a distraction from Him?

This is our vision—to see men and women captivated by our Trinitarian God so that taking time to connect with Him makes more strategic sense than a well crafted sermon or a finely executed evangelistic strategy.

Our Values

Our values form and inform the way we live. They reflect our desire for God and express our intention of walking a God-ward life within community.  While some values may change over time, the deep, abiding passion to be centered in the presence of God remains constant. 

Attentiveness to God:

We seek God’s presence (even in the mundane), as we wait upon, seek direction from, and find satisfaction only in Him.

To cultivate an attitude of listening to God and to better hear his voice, we will engage in regular times of prayer, reflection, and interaction as we strive to hear God’s voice through his Spirit.

To further cultivate worship as a lifestyle, we will regularly engage in corporate worship, where celebrating the Lord’s Supper is one of the central elements. We believe in focusing our worship on the Triune God and on our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that our worship is intended to be a joyful celebration of God’s grace and provides a context for all of our community celebrations (e.g., birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, deaths, births, and other special days).

A Word-centered life:

We build our lives upon the living Word, the written Word, and the proclaimed Word of God.

We commit to personal and communal times of hearing the Word of God through the scriptures and in settings that challenge us to be doers as well as hearers. As we aim to “hold the truth in love,” we will strive for that godly balance of confidence and humility found in our Lord Jesus Christ.

A Spirit-empowered walk:

We strive to respond to and be animated by the rhythm of the Spirit, cooperating with Him as He forms Christ in us and others.

We long to see our naturally self-centered lives replaced with God-centered lives that no longer grieve or quench God’s Spirit within. As we develop an inner ear for God, we learn to respond to God’s movement through a disciplined life.

Compassion for others:

We strive to step out of our comfort zones on behalf of another.

We respect and celebrate unity within diversity. Therefore, we welcome people from various backgrounds, national and ethnic origins, linguistic groups, and Christian traditions into our community. We seek to learn from them and, when irritations arise due to different ways of doing or seeing things, we will seek to turn these frustrations into opportunities to grow in grace.

Through simple acts of kindness towards one another, sharing of our money or time, prayer, and bearing one another’s burdens, we will learn how to serve. Our service is motivated by our love for Jesus Christ poured out in our relationships. Apart from the Spirit’s grace, we will not bear his fruit.

Incarnational relationships:

We long to give others a taste of Christ, making the reality of God visible in every aspect of our lives.

We believe the foundation of our other-centered service is love, based upon Christ’s example and command. We will, therefore, seek to love those who come to us and those to whom we go with the self-giving love of Jesus Christ. Through God’s grace, we desire to be a witness to others and seek Spirit-led opportunities to share the reasons for the hope that is within us—the Good News of Jesus Christ.

We also strive to be a healing and redemptive people. Taking to heart Paul’s words in Col. 1:28, we are anxious to “present everyone perfect (mature) before God.” To that end, our community aims to bring the healing presence of Christ—spiritual, emotional, physical—to those in need, recognizing that pain and “desert experiences” are often God’s means of drawing us closer to Him.

A life of integrity:

We strive to live honest, trustworthy lives, where our actions and inner motivations are led by the Spirit.

In addition to our commitment to one another as embodied in our leadership structures, we commit to mutual accountability for our actions and attitudes, no matter what positions we may hold. When we offend others or divisions in the body arise, even in the most difficult of situations, we will confess our sins to one another and seek forgiveness. As much as possible, we will strive to live in peace with our brothers and sisters, as we create an atmosphere of honesty and safety where there is freedom to admit failure.

A life in community:

We join with others in our journey of faith.

Because “triune community” is fleshed out in a deepening experience of community among believers, we commit to listening to and respecting each person. As we listen we may not always agree, but we pledge to respect others when opinions differ. We also commit to developing a thankful attitude and sharing words that edify rather than nurturing a complaining and bitter spirit.

PO Box 4947 Wheaton, IL 60189-4947 USA

(630) 580-5750