CORE VALUES OF MINISTRY
These principles are not isolated from each other, but work in conjunction together:
- Personal Prayer and Time in the Word – our first goal is that every person develops a strong spiritual life. This is essential to Christian growth, maturity, and ministry. Our own lives and ministries are dependent upon our abiding relationship with Christ; without Him we can do nothing (John 15:4-5).
- Corporate Prayer – an incredible, spiritual dynamic comes when believers unite together in consistent, fervent prayer (Acts 1:13-14; 2:1-4; 4:31). Our church and our ministries must be dependent upon God, not our abilities or programming.
- Evangelism, Missions, Making Disciples – The sole reason Christ came was to seek and save the lost. Each believer is to follow in His steps and pray for the lost, build relationships with the lost, share with the lost, invite the lost, and disciple the lost once they receive Christ. The purpose of the church is to reach the community and the world with the gospel. Discipleship should be seen as part of the evangelism process. People need to grow to spiritual maturity evidenced by living according to biblical principles. People also need to become “self feeders” who can help others learn how to feed themselves and others. Giving to and praying for missions are other important aspects of the Great Commission. Winning souls and building disciples is our “business”. We must keep “business” our business, not just having church or running programs.
- Ministry Best Flows Out of the Context of Relationship – Church must be structured to facilitate and support the development of relationships instead of the development and maintenance of programs and events. Jesus and the early church model that effective evangelism and discipleship take place when people have significant relational connections by: Meeting others needs – Acts 10:38; Acts 2:44-45. Spending casual time together – Mark 2:15-16; Acts 2:46. Teaching outside of a formal setting – Mark 4:1-2, 10, 33-34; Acts 20:20; Romans 16:13-15.
- Relevant Ministry that is done with Excellence – in previous generations, the church has had effective ministry when its methods were relevant to the existing culture and coupled with prevailing prayer. To impact the unchurched and this upcoming generation, we must engage them in their culture. As the apostle Paul said, “…I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some (1 Corinthians 9:22). While we do not change our message, we must change the methods by which we present the message. What we do should be done with excellence.
- Every Member is a Minister – each Christian is a participant, not a spectator. Each person has been gifted and commanded by the Lord to be involved in ministry (1 Peter 4:10). The body of Christ is to minister to each other; pastors are to equip the saints to do the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:11-12).
- Team Ministry/Leadership Development – a great team can do more than just one person can. Ministry leaders must develop others to lead and do ministry. Leadership is the “lid” of the church.
- Strong Families that are the Primary Disciplers of Their Children – God’s primary discipling unit is the family (Deuteronomy 6:6-7). Parents are the priests of their home. After God, a couple’s marriage is their first priority. Then it’s discipling their children. The church needs to build strong marriages and families, equipping parents for their spiritual responsibility.
- Intergenerational Church - spiritual maturity in young people stems from them developing a significant relationship with at least one spiritually mature, adult Christian within the church.
A youth ministry can sometimes become a separate “youth church” within the church. The teens are isolated from contact with adults. As a result, they never get connected with the church body. While in high school, a young person may be very active in the youth ministry (faithful church attendance, involved in ministry, and even become devoted student leaders), but when they graduate, get married, or get too old for the youth ministry they leave the church and their walk with God dwindles. This is especially true of teens whose parent(s) are not Christians or teens whose Christian parents have not established a solid relational connection with them.
To help teens and children to transition from successful Christian young people to successful Christian adults, interaction between the generations is a key component that cannot be disregarded. Simply put, teenagers need to make friends with solid Christian adults, parent-teen relationships need to be encouraged, and families need to be enabled as the primary disciplers of their children.