We value being a gathering of people all on their own spiritual journey, a place where we can ask questions, debate, and in the end know that we are loved. We lament the things that divide Christians and desire conversations around difficult topics to be full of grace and truth.
We are, first of all, followers of Jesus, engaged in the adventure of modeling our lives after the one whose life and teachings are recorded in the New Testament. After all, we don’t get to choose who our brothers and sisters are, that’s up to our Father.
Yet theology is important to us. How we understand God’s Word shapes the way we understand God and the way we live our lives.
The 10 Core Values of our family of churches
We love this list of 10 core values that our family of churches, the Brethren in Christ, has identified:
Experiencing God’s Love and Grace
We value the free gift of salvation in Christ Jesus and the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.
Believing the Bible
We value the Bible as God’s authoritative Word, study it together, and build our lives on its truth.
We value heartfelt worship that is God-honoring, Spirit-directed, and life-changing.
We value whole-hearted obedience to Christ Jesus through the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit.
Belonging to the Community of Faith
We value integrity in relationships and mutual accountability in an atmosphere of grace, love, and acceptance.
Witnessing to the World
We value an active and loving witness for Christ to all people.
We value serving others at their point of need, following the example of our Lord Jesus.
We value all human life and promote forgiveness, understanding, reconciliation, and non-violent resolution of conflict.
We value uncluttered lives which free us to love boldly, give generously, and serve joyfully.
Relying on God
We confess our dependence on God for everything, and seek to deepen our intimacy with Him by living prayerfully.
The full belief statement of our family of churches, the Brethren in Christ, is here.
For the theologians among us
Historically, we have our roots in four movements of the Christian Church. Each of these groups of people, in their own times and places and differing situations were trying to move back closer to a Biblical understanding of the church:
- the Anabaptists, or “Radical Reformers,” who believed that the church ought to be different from the world and the Bible should guide all of life,
- the Pietists, who were desperate not to lose warm, personal, authentic relationship with God in the midst of forms and traditions,
- the Wesleyan Holiness movement, who understood that God didn’t just change our position with Him, but wanted to radically change our actual, where-the-rubber-meets-the-road, daily lives to reflect the beauty of His holiness.
- the Evangelicals who stressed two things above all others: the necessity of personal commitment to Jesus as Savior, and, the sufficiency of God’s Word, the Bible, for salvation.