Whether you’re a muscle-head, a Crossfitter, or someone who just occasionally goes to the gym, you know that some of the most important exercises you can do are those that strengthen your “core.” The core is a collection of muscles in the abdomen and pelvic area which stabilize and move the spine, and are a key to strength and health for your whole body.
In the same way, we at Shelby Crossings want to strengthen the core of our church body. In fact, our “core values” are posted on the walls of our worship center and are printed on our worship guide every week, to remind us of what we believe and why we’re here. They are biblically grounded and help us to stay “on mission.” That’s one of the reasons we teach them to new members at our Connection Point class, as we did last Sunday night.
In case you don’t know or remember those core values, they are:
- People matter to God.
- Every member a minister.
- Everything belongs to God.
- God is honored in excellence
- What we do, we do together.
I would point out a couple of those values in particular as keys to the overall philosophy of how we want to do church. For one, it is so very important that everyone who is a part of our church body grasps the truth that “every member is a minister.” That is, we all have a calling to serve in ministry and be engaged in the mission of the church. The long-held distinction in many churches between the so-called “clergy” and “laity” is in no way a biblical concept, and we sure don’t want to encourage that line of thought here. All of us who name the name of Christ at Shelby Crossings are ministers, whether we are on the church staff or not.
Accordingly, we understand that “what we do, we all do…together.” It is vital to the life of the church that we operate with unity, even with our diversity. We have many different gifts, and bring so many different experiences and passions and skills to the table, but we come together to serve the Lord. This was so indicative of the church in Acts, which was “together in one accord” and thus was so effective in its ministry. Likewise, we desire to serve together, with everyone doing his or her part, so what we will operate like a well-tuned machine.
With that in mind, we seek to follow the apostle Paul’s instructions in Ephesians 4:11-13 to “equip God’s people to do the work of ministry, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” This. is the motivation behind our Training Day, coming up this Saturday at Shelby Crossings. We desire to train and equip and enable all the “ministers” in our church family so that each of us can serve effectively and fruitfully together in the different ministries to which we have been called.
Which brings up a third “core value”: “God is honored in excellence.” To heed a few more admonitions from Paul: “…whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31); and, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” (Colossians 3:23) In other words, God deserves our best. And that is why we have Training Day.
I hope you can join us this Saturday for some “core training.” You’ll be glad you did, the Lord will be honored by your commitment, and our church will be healthier because of it.
I am praying for you, and I look forward to seeing you on Saturday…and Sunday too.