Our Vision & Values
Our Vision: As a church of Jesus Christ, Faith exists to glorify God by making disciples of all nations. To move us toward the realization of this vision, we have formulated five core values or priorities.
Gospel Centrality: The gospel is everything.
The gospel is the good news that God is redeeming his fallen creation through the person and work of Jesus Christ. Our foundational conviction is that we never outgrow our need for the gospel. The gospel is not grade-school theology that we replace with higher-level content as we mature. The gospel is not like training wheels on a bike; it’s not something we need for a while but eventually can make do without. Rather, the gospel is the core of everything we believe, and it impacts everything we do as a church.
To ensure that we remain truly gospel-centered, additional core values must be necessary implications of the gospel. We do not, for example, think of contemporary or traditional worship as a core value. These are matters of personal preference, not matters that flow from the gospel message itself. To be most effective, our core values have been formulated with our particular culture and historical moment in mind. This concept is often referred to as contextualization. Contextualization means adapting the communication and ministry of the gospel to a particular culture without altering the gospel itself. We believe there is but one gospel, but there are many ways of sharing this gospel, and that the methods used in the past probably will not be effective in contemporary culture.
Authentic Community: The gospel unites us.
We believe that the gospel unites people like no other power in the world. It brings together people of different genders, ethnicities, ages, classes, and life experiences. It brings deep-seated, not superficial, relationships that are characterized by truth and love.
We believe that the gospel must be explored; therefore, we are a community that welcomes doubters, skeptics, people struggling with life’s tough questions: Are all religions the same? Why would a good God allow so much suffering in the world? Is the Bible a reliable witness to the life and teaching of Jesus? Are science and Christian theology compatible? We refuse to respond to such questions with Christian clichés and platitudes; instead, we engage in intelligent yet humble conversations about faith and life.
Total Transformation: The gospel transforms us.
No sphere of life remains unaffected by the gospel. As we gather on Sundays for corporate worship, participate in small groups, lead our families in worship, and practice personal spiritual disciplines such as Bible study and prayer, the gospel changes our thinking, affections, and behaviors. It transforms our sexual practices, work life, parenting, friendships, recreation, sports, artistic expression, view of technology, money management, and much more.
Local Engagement: Through us, the gospel changes our community.
The gospel not only brings transformative power to us, but also through us to our neighborhoods, schools, places of work, and our city as a whole. We seek the welfare of Seminole and all of Pinellas County—feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, ministering to the marginalized—and we express unequivocally that the gospel is the motivation for our justice ministries.
Global Involvement: Through us, the gospel advances to the world.
Our mission, which begins here in our own city, extends to all nations. We give sacrificially of our time and resources to support the spread of the gospel and the planting of new gospel-centered churches throughout our region, our nation, and the world. We are not called to “make disciples of our own congregation” nor are we called to “make converts of all nations.” Our calling is the much more demanding work of “making disciples of all nations.”