How would you describe what is important to your family or your household? If you had to put a list on your living room wall of the key things which you value, what would that list look like? I must admit, my family isn’t as organized or artistic enough to display in some fashion the values we have and operate from. However, if you observed the culture in our home, you would notice a few things. For example, we value being together as a family. We value eating dinner together as a high priority. We value family movie nights (currently me, my wife, and our three kids are watching the entire “Lost” series on Hulu). If you were to notice these things in the culture of our home, you might say one of our core values is Togetherness.
Whether spoken or unspoken, each of us operate from a set of core values. These core values create a culture for our homes and drive what is important and how we do life. Our church family should operate similarly.
At White Oak, we have a fresh set of core values. These values are the things which we want to have soak into the hearts and lives of each person, here. We want these things to become so much a part of who we are that we don’t have to plan for them or think about them… they simply become our culture and how we do life. I believe these values will aim our White Oak ministry partners at a fuller experience of life with Jesus as we journey with him. I also believe these will help those on the outside looking in take notice of values which will drive them to connect on the path toward Jesus, as well. Here are those core values. These are character traits which will help you and me accomplish our mission of connecting people to full life in Jesus. GENEROSITY… Together, we pour ourselves out. Like the woman did to Jesus in Matthew 26 when she poured her expensive perfume on Jesus’s head and feet, we will pour ourselves out with ridiculous generosity for the cause of Jesus… holding nothing back… emptying the jar for the sake of connecting others to full life in Jesus! COMMUNITY… Together, we are more. In Acts 2 we see a picture of Jesus-followers coming together unified in their love for one another and in the love they shared with Jesus. We will live as a community of believers coming together to do life with one another and to accomplish more for God’s glory together than what’s possible alone. And, in doing that, draw others to Jesus. AUTHENTICITY… Together, we show up. In Luke 19 Jesus meets a man who was curious to know him even though his life was far from perfect. Still, he pursued Jesus and was met by him right where he was. But Jesus didn’t leave him there! We will show up, engage with patience and urgency, and accept one another for who we are while helping each other become who God is forming us to be. MULTIPLICATION… Together, we grow. Jesus’s directives to those who would follow him in John 12 was to go and die. We die to ourselves in order to find full and lasting life in Jesus. We will be the seed that Jesus talks about. Buried in the soil but springing up from the ground to produce life-giving impact for others. We will multiply disciples, leaders, and church communities to get Jesus into the lives of people. FUN… Together, we celebrate. In Luke 15 Jesus paints this incredible picture of the banquet God is preparing for us. Eternal life with Jesus is frequently referred to as a party in God’s Word. We celebrate what God has done and is doing in our lives. We believe knowing God should be fun! We won’t take ourselves seriously, but we will take his mission of inviting others to the party very seriously! We value many things at White Oak. The directives from Jesus and God’s Word are foundational to who we are and to the mission Jesus has given us. We believe these five core values will help us accomplish that mission by fueling our hearts and the ministry of White Oak Christian Church. Our next teaching series in June will approach each of these core values unpacking them so that each of us is better equipped to create this culture in our church family and trust God to cultivate it in our own hearts, as well. Yours in Jesus, Nathan