OUR HOPE IS THAT WE WILL BE DISCIPLES MAKING DISCIPLES AND CHURCHES PLANTING CHURCHES.
We do this by living out these six core values.
WORSHIP JESUS WITH ALL OF LIFE
The “worship wars” of the last thirty years taught us many things. Just one lesson was worship actually isn’t about the music. It’s about the music and more. The tenor of Scripture is that we were made for worship. And some of that includes what we sing together. In fact, we are commanded to encourage others with song. But, Scripture widens the lens to present a dynamic view of what a creature in relationship with the Creator looks like. In the garden, Adam and Eve were to be in a worshipful relationship with their Creator. The Psalms mapped out the thought world for how the people of Israel to were worship God. The husband and wife of the Song of Songs show the marital communion in view of worshiping God. Jesus said that because God is spirit, so true worshipers worship in spirit and truth. And Scripture culminates with all the saints praising the Lamb around the throne.
Worship, then, includes not only what we do when we are together, but what we do individually in obedience to the preached Word. Thinking of yourself more lowly than highly in your workplace is worship. Letting love cover a multitude of sins against you by your spouse is pleasing to God. Forgiving your neighbor for his unkind words is worship. Praying for the nations to come to repentance is worship. And the list goes on, and on.
We value worshiping Jesus with all of life at The District Church, not because it’s unique to this gathering Christians, but because it marks every obedient Christian. Our aim and motivation is to please Christ by worshiping him corporately and individually as we form our lives around the Word of God. Every moment we breath means we depend on him, and so we worship him in all things.
(Gen. 1:26-31; Ps. 1; Jn. 4:23; Rev. 19)
GIVE GENEROUSLY AND GLADLY
Imagine a group of poor and severely afflicted people who regularly meet together and even consider themselves family. What would we expect of this group? Probably, to care for their own and to hunker down and guard the money bag. The churches in Macedonia were not this way. They gave joyfully out of their poverty and in their affliction. What made the difference? Grace.
Giving up of our money and resources is the natural expression of this truth: what we have, we have received. In reality, we don’t own anything. We know that God is the giver of all things and all good things come from above. And as a community of disciples, like the Macedonians, we aim to generously give of our money for the furthering of gospel work.
And while we give generously, we do it gladly! We are free to “sow bountifully” because our giving comes from having been changed by the gospel. And the continuing freedom we find in this comes from the grace of God who “is able to make all grace about to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work” (2 Cor. 9:8). It’s because of God’s grace that we gladly and joyfully give of our money and resources.
(2 Cor. 8-9; Matt. 7:11; Jam. 1:17)
LIVE ON MISSION INTENTIONALLY
We believe the church has been sent on a specific mission. This mission is given to us in Matthew 28:19-20 and called the Great Commission. Jesus calls us to go and make disciples and baptize until he comes back. This is so much a part of our identity because it’s at the very heart of what it means to be a church. And if Jesus maps out for us what we should be doing, we should listen.
Anything we do as a church that qualifies as living on mission has the intention of furthering our gospel witness. With that, your mission in life is to be part of a disciple-making church as a disciple-maker. Gather other Christians around you for them to imitate. Invite unbelievers into your lives in order to have gospel conversations someday. Think creatively on how to be a part of your local community that reflects the character of God and the person of Jesus, sharing the gospel as you go. Living on mission intentionally will have the goal of gospel faithfulness.
We as The District Church takes this value seriously because it’s essential to our existence. We exist to make disciples by interrupting peoples’ lives with love because the gospel changes everything. The good news is our message and we are sent by the King himself.
(Matt. 28:18-20; 1 Cor. 15:3-5)
TRAIN FOR MINISTRY
We firmly believe that training for the work of ministry is not only a formal venture for pastors. It is a role given to leadership “to equip the saints for the work of ministry” (Eph. 4:11-12). This means that we sit under the preaching and teaching of the word in order to be trained to minister to others. This ministry takes the form of one-on-one discipleship, evangelism, leading group discussions and more. As believers, we all are being trained for the work of ministry.
This training has the goal of the “prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3: 14). We train to run the race with endurance until the end when Christ returns. Paul had the mindset of attaining the resurrection of the dead, knowing that Jesus made him his own (v. 11-12). So, the training for ministry we aim for at The District Church is gospel-centered because all of it has the end view of becoming more like Jesus and dwelling with him forever.
Importantly, training for ministry falls within the larger scope of our mission as a church. Jesus said discipleship includes “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded” (Matt. 28:20). So, training for ministry is fueled by the Great Commission, providing us the endurance needed for the Christian life by the promise of Jesus to be “with [us] always, to the end of the age” (v. 20). Raising up others to do the work of the ministry is a priority as we seek to send others out for the glory of God.
(Eph. 4:11-12; Phil. 3:12-14; 1 Tim. 3:1-7)
LEAD OTHERS FAITHFULLY
The elders of The District Church are called to lead the church with all the qualities given about them, including leading a holy life and guarding the good news of Jesus Christ. To faithfully lead our church, our elders are to exemplify a life that accords with their teaching. And this becomes a model for others to imitate.
Further, all of us our to lead each other faithfully, too. The writer to the Hebrews connected keeping a faithful gospel message to leading others. He said, “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God” (3:12). He goes on to call us to “exhort one another every day” that we will not be “hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (v. 13). Part of our duties as church members together is to lead others to better know God in his Son. We become more like him when we lead others faithfully, proclaiming the good news.
So, as we are led by our elders, we seek to lead others in discipleship and evangelism for God’s glory. And we trust God to continue to raise up more and more people to lead.
(1 Tim. 3:1-7; Heb. 3:12-14; Gal. 6:1)
The true heart of a servant never pursues recognition for what they do. They don’t do what they do to climb the ladder of appreciation. Their acceptance and joy comes from the one who created us all. By definition, serving selflessly is caring about the needs of others before your own. We believe serving is a fundamental and vital part of being a believer, as it was so often demonstrated by Jesus.
We may naturally want to put our own needs and ambitions before others or God. There is nothing wrong with going after personal life and family goals. The problem is when it becomes all about you and only you. There must be a balance of Christ centered servanthood and personal needs and wants. An easy way to get started with serving selflessly is through the local church, getting plugged in to a family of people with a servant heart to accomplish these things together.
Phil 2:3-4, 1 Jhn 4:10, Acts 20:35,1 Pet 4:10