Our Core Values
WE BELIEVE THIS GOOD NEWS SHAPES US IN THESE SEVEN WAYS.
1. THE GOSPEL CHANGES EVERYTHING
The Gospel is the “power of God” (Rom 1.16) that changes not only unbelievers but believers as well. The gospel is the solution not only for our spiritual problems but all personal problems (Col 1.16) and all societal problems (Gal 2.14). We are committed to bringing everything we do into line with the Gospel.
2. THE GOSPEL GIVES US PEACE
There are many ways that men and women pursue peace. However it is only the Gospel that brings full peace, satisfaction, and contentment to the heart of a person (Phil 4.11). Not only this, but once peace and contentment are brought to the heart, the heavy burdens of our idols which never gave us peace are displaced by the joy of the Gospel (Phil 3.7-8).
3. THE GOSPEL CREATES COMMUNITY
The Gospel takes a diverse group of individuals and forms them into a community of believers characterized by humility, gentleness, patience, love and unity (Matt. 10.1-4; Eph 4.1-4) amongst themselves and beneficial service to the world through works of love, kindness and mercy that bring glory to God (Matt 5.14-16). This community is experienced in two main venues. First, it is experienced in the home, and the home becomes the primary place of learning and living the Gospel. Second, it is in the Church through corporate worship , and through intentional discipling relationships in smaller gatherings (one-on-one and Life Groups).
The Local Church
The best environment for a Gospel-Centered Community in St. Thomas’ Church’s context is the small local church embedded in the area. A smaller church (ASA of 250 or less) provides more opportunities for relationships to form organically between church members and gives its members a deeper sense of “family belonging.” It also reduces the administrative demands on the Church staff and can release more resources for mission.
4. THE GOSPEL EMPOWERS
Scripture teaches that God gives apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers not to lord over the people, but rather to empower them for the work of ministry (Eph 4.11-16). We seek to be a community of empowered believers, where ever member is encouraged to minister through the gifts God has given them through the Spirit and the Word.
5. THE GOSPEL COMPELS EVANGELISM
Jesus commanded his disciples to go into the world making disciples and baptize them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matt 28.16-20). Jesus commanded us to go into the world, not hide from the world. Therefore we are called to be “Ambassadors of Jesus Christ”: endeavoring to be culturally engaged and relevant to where people are, trusting that the Gospel will take root in lives thus bringing transformation to the city. While Christ’s commanded His world-wide Church to proclaim the Gospel to every nation, St. Thomas’ Church is called to make our primary mission field where each member lives, plays, works, and learns.
6. THE GOSPEL PRODUCES SOCIAL HEALING
The Gospel is the “power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Rom 1.16). This Gospel not only saves us from hell to heaven, but it also saves us from greed to generosity, lust to fidelity, oppression to humble service, selfishness to selflessness, and so on and so on. Thus we expect as the Gospel saves individuals not just from sin, but from sins that social healing will be brought to the city.
7. THE GOSPEL PRODUCES CULTURAL RENEWAL
Sin causes us to “exchange the truth of God for a lie” (Rom 1.25) causing us to serve created things rather than the Creator God. The Gospel exchanges the lie for the truth, causing us to serve the Creator God rather than created things. Thus believers seek to serve the Creator in every aspect of their life. That is in the home, in the community and in the workplace. As this is being done, work becomes worship and the workplace becomes an environment of excellence, creativity, and integrity.