These are the principles that guide our actions:
- Jesus as leader, focus and message
This ensures our unity in diversity, and keeps us from becoming a group of so-and-so's opinion. It also ensures that we never become a group that is just social or just humanitarian or just religious about "God." Jesus is the Truth beyond ourselves, the Person we are to live our lives for and after, the One that truly shows us God. He is the center of our lives, not us.
- Love, relationship and community as the context for all things
This spiritual life is not meant to be experienced through a program, building or "service," and it's not meant to be lived alone; it is essentially experienced in relationship and community. Thus, all that we seek to do is set in the context of relationship, whether it be our growth in godliness or our witness to Jesus amongst the people around us. Furthermore, because growth towards God and godliness is a lifelong process, love, grace and forgiveness are necessary and demanded. In fact, anything done without a Jesus-like love is useless. (1 Cor. 13)
- Intentional cultural and socioeconomic diversity
This is a necessity, not because it is politically correct or vogue, but because it is truly what God wants. Many groups say that they would accept people of any and every background if the person walked through their doors. Reality is, though, many times groups are unaware to the many cultural barriers that exist and do nothing about them. We not only talk about it, we actively train each member in cross-cultural skills and try our best to make corporate changes so our group becomes a place for all peoples. (Eph 2:11-22)
- An accurate and relevant understanding of Scripture, lived out in all of life
In a world where everyone has a right to an interpretation, we believe that some are better than others, especially when it comes to Scripture. Proper interpretation involves an accurate and thoughtful inquiry into the historical-linguistic issues found in the diverse portions of the Text. But as we confront the Text, we realize that we are not above the Text but it is above us; it has the authority over our lives. Not only that, we find that it is ultimately relevant and applicable to our life today. And so we strive to understand and live out the Scriptures in an accurate and relevant manner, thinking through the pressing ideas and issues of both Scripture and current culture. (2 Tim 3:16-17)
- Every member an integral part of body life and mission
The church is not a mere institution, building, or event. It is a movement, an organic and dynamic "body" where everyone counts and is crucial to the ultimate fulfillment of God's plan. Because we believe this so much, we structure our group in such a way where everyone has to live the mission in order to truly feel a part. We also actively help people understand and use their God given gifts, passions, and talents for His work.
- The reality of the supernatural in personal and corporate life
The Christian faith is not a human system of personal management lived out in a friendly social gathering. It is a radical, new life begun and lived by God's Spirit in a supernaturally formed and empowered community with a supernatural goal and task. As such, we believe that ultimately only supernatural means will accomplish the supernatural ends God asks of us. Prayer, a desperate dependence on God to work, and a willingness to be filled with His Spirit are keys to true growth.
- Holistic ministry, from social justice to a personal encounter with Christ
The Scriptures clearly portray God as being the God of all the universe, concerned and involved with the real world of today in all its chaos. Scripture asks us to play a part, caring for the environment, protecting the oppressed, fighting injustice. Yet it is clear that ultimately all evils will only be solved when Jesus comes again; He is the real answer, both for the present and future. As such, we maintain a need for true holistic ministry, touching the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual dimensions of life.
- Uncluttered, simple and focused group life
Sometimes being involved in a Christian group can occupy every weeknight, taking you away from life where it matters: life with the people in the natural spheres of life that God wants to touch through you. We plan our group life so that this does not happen. We also make sure everything we do as a group has a purpose, fitting in with our larger mission of love, growth, service, and witness.
- Dialogue, bridge-building and friendship with those of different beliefs and values
We believe that friendship and conversation can and should be built with those of different beliefs from us. Not that we would alter any of our core doctrines or beliefs. Yet too many times people of faith fail to realize how crucial this is to personal growth and mission. This is an offshoot of our value of love and relationship as the context of all things.