Core Values

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Scripture

 

We believe that the Bible is the infallible Word of God and that it is the Story of true life. “What exactly does that mean?” you might ask. Maybe we should start by saying this, the Bible has long been one of the most printed books in circulation, and one of the least read. When you think of the Bible, you may think of people fighting over what it says, as if it were God’s rule book. But that’s not what it was made for. The Bible is the witness to the unfolding Story of God in history, and as such it invites us into it to listen and hear how God has spoken in the past and is still speaking today. For us, the Bible is at the center of what do because it is the most compelling story we know. Its the story of how God CREATED everything we know; how evil, selfishness, and CHAOS came into the good world; how God began CONVERSATION with humanity on how to save them and His good creation (see OT characters like Abraham, Moses, Jacob); how the COMING OF CHRIST (which means “the anointed one”) in the person of Jesus made a way out of chaos, selfishness, fear, and brokenness; and how the world will one day be healed and made COMPLETE again. This is the story we love to tell in our gatherings. This is the story we are trying to live into. This is why Scripture is at the core of who we are and what we do at the GCSC.

 

Relationship

There is little doubt that we live in a world hungry for relationship. With the advent of social networking a person can pile up virtual friends in no time. The disturbing thing is, despite all our interconnectedness, how few healthy relationships actually exist. Scripture leaves little doubt that human beings were created for relationship, even stating from the very beginning that being alone was not a good thing (Gen. 2:18). Moreover, the reality of a God who is three (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) and creates humankind in that image helps further explain our hunger for community. We believe that Scripture tells the story of how humankind broke relationship with each other (see Cain and Abel in Genesis 4) and with God, and that this is the best definition of Sin. All Sin has to do with broken relationship. The good news is that God hasn’t given up on us, and so we can’t and won’t give up on each other. In fact, we may find that in each other, we actually see God. This is why the first Christians called each other “brothers” and”sisters.” They realized the deep truth that we are all connected in some profound way and that we really do need each other. It is for this reason that we desire to create, strengthen, and heal relationships in whatever we do. This is one of our core values because we here at the GCSC believe it is at the core of what God is doing and who He is. After all, Christianity is the religion that says Truth is not so much a relationship with an abstract set of principles, but with a person. We know Him as Jesus.

 

Discipleship

Disciple. Not a word we use very often. In fact, one could argue that most of us aren’t even sure what it actually means. And far be it for us to pretend like we have a grasp on the subject, but it would seem like the definition of being a disciple is pretty simple: someone learning to follow Jesus. But therein lies the problem, most of us aren’t sure what exactly THAT means. Or maybe we know what it means, but we’re really hoping we’ve misunderstood. The reality is this, Jesus calls those who believe in Him His friends (John 15:15), but what it means to be a friend to Jesus is to give up everything. Friendship with Jesus (or any real friendship for that matter) can’t be shallow or without sacrifice. Jesus goes as far as saying you have to “die” (Matthew 16:25). Yet, it’s here that Jesus says you actually start living. This only makes sense if you think Jesus actually knew what He was talking about. Is it better to live without anger, lust, fear, worry, selfishness, judgmentalism, and hate (Matthew 5-7)? Jesus thinks so. Here’s the thing, this is a process. No one becomes more like Jesus overnight (to learn more about the discipleship process we follow at the GCSC, click here). This is what the Apostle Paul is getting at when he says the signs of the Christian life are like fruit (Galatians 5:22-23). Fruit takes time to grow. But it also takes effort and intentionality. Becoming a follower of Jesus is a lifelong journey, but it’s the most important journey one can take. It’s a journey into real life, life as it was always meant to be, walking alongside others who are also trying to become friends of Jesus. This is THE thing Jesus calls us to do (Matthew 28:19-20).

 

Service

It is telling that in Jesus’ last hours one of the things he wanted to teach His followers more than anything was how to serve one another. To do this, He got up from the dinner table, took the place of the lowest servant in the household, and washed their feet (John 13:1-17). After he finished, He made it clear that this is what they were to do. A good argument could be made that he meant it literally, but Jesus was after more than just getting someone’s feet clean, Jesus was trying to cleanse the soul. Jesus knows that our default mode is selfishness. We mostly think of how WE feel, what WE want, and what WE need. But Jesus knows that a life focused inward will collapse on itself, and end in a place that is very much alone. Serving others is about saving ourselves as much as anyone. And in the end, this is how Jesus measures both greatness (Mark 9:35) and faithfulness (Matthew 25:31-46). At the GCSC, we take service VERY seriously, because its how Jesus says we save others and ourselves.