What are the values and assumptions that shape our experience of church at Central? We are Presbyterian Church, we are also a Reformed body, and we are a church of biblical convictions. All of these shape our life together.
But this still doesn’t explain some of the dynamics of what it means to be at Central. Central values an entire approach to ministry that isn’t typical for many churches. We call it our Philosophy of Ministry. It was originally written down and accepted by the Session before I was called as Central’s Pastor. I’ve updated it a bit (changing #6), but these values still shape our life together:
- Leaders (staff and volunteer) are primarily equippers who give away ministry.
- All Christians should understand their spiritual gifts and passions as the foundation for their call to ministry inside and outside of Central.
- Christian growth, care, and fruitful ministry must happen in the context of an authentic community.
- Every ministry is accountable to Central’s mission, vision, values, and philosophy of ministry.
- Authority and responsibility are lodged as close to the actual ministry as possible.
- Lay-led mission communities are a primary means of outreach and discipleship.
- We value thoughtful experimentation, success and failure as learning opportunities, and change for the sake of fulfilling our mission.
After over 15 years of serving here, and consulting with countless other churches in our Presbytery and beyond, I believe that #7 is the most powerful value in our Philosophy of Ministry. We are willing to be flexible for the sake of fulfilling our mission from God. This willingness to make changes permeates every ministry of our church. Sometimes we make mistakes, but we pick ourselves up, learn from our mistakes, and carry-on!
Which value on our list of seven means the most to you?