The Crossing’s First Core Value

As I discussed last week, 11 years ago when The Crossing was nothing more than an idea, Keith and I wrote out what our Mission and Core Values were going to be as a new church in Columbia. It helped us define and focus on who and what we wanted to be and do as a new church, and it’s still the very same Mission and Core Values that shape who we continue to be today.

Our mission at The Crossing is to move the hearts and minds of more and more people to believe the gospel more and more by treasuring all that God is for us in Christ.

And that mission requires that we devote ourselves to Six Core Values that must shape who we are and what we do at The Crossing. We used to print one of these Core Values in our worship folder each Sunday, but after a few years we stopped doing that because of space limitations. So I’m taking some time these next few weeks to re-introduce them in my blog posts. You can read my previous post on our Mission here.

This week I’ll discuss our first Core Value.

Here’s what we originally wrote over a decade ago…

Core Value #1) The transforming power of Scripture

God’s Word, the Bible, is the Holy Spirit’s primary means to transform our lives (Eph 6:17). Our passion is to help people understand the Scriptures and develop a biblical life-view that shapes how they live real life in today’s world. We seek to take seriously our call to “make disciples” (Matt 28:18-19) by teaching them the truths of Scripture, as well as how to study Scripture for themselves. In this way, they “will be able to teach others also.”

We want the truths of the Bible to permeate all our teaching and all our worship (John 4:24 & 17:17). We value the faithful preaching of the Bible as one of the primary responsibilities of our pastoral leadership, and the principal means by which a pastor spiritually feeds believers in the church (2 Tim 3:16-4:4). This is why all the pastors on our pastoral team have a Master’s of Divinity degree from an academic-oriented seminary that upholds the authority of the Bible and belief in the gospel. In a spiritually healthy and growing church, the Word of God must be taught fully and accurately (2 Tim 2:15), with conviction, and with relevant and realistic application that comforts and encourages believers in their faith, but also confronts the many ways that unbelief replaces their belief in and desire for God. In this way those in the church will be able to mature in their faith.

That’s what we wrote 11 years ago, and it still shapes what we’re committed to do in the life of everyone at The Crossing today. Helping one another know and value God’s word more and more is one of Christ’s greatest assignments to us as a church.

The apostle Paul flatly says it this way to the younger pastor, Timothy…

“All Scripture is God–breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that all God’s people may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths” (2 Timothy 3:16–4:4 TNIV).

What this tells us is that we simply cannot truly move the hearts and minds of more and more people to believe the gospel more and more by treasuring all that God is for us in Christ without also being taught and rebuked and corrected and trained in righteousness by the sound doctrine of God’s Spirit-breathed word. Only God’s Spirit-breathed word truly transforms our hearts and minds into changed lives.

And what this also tells us is that, in reality, to seek God’s will is to seek God’s word. Unless we are seeking God’s word we are not really seeking God’s will. Not really. To believe otherwise is to turn aside to myths.

In other words, you cannot truly seek God’s will unless you’re seeking God himself—who reveals himself and his will to us through his Spirit-breathed Scripture. That means the desire to feed our souls upon God through his word is an acquired taste, so to speak (see Matt 4:4). And that taste is acquired more and more when a church is faithful to Christ’s calling to teach and preach the sound doctrine of God’s Spirit-breathed word on a continual basis.

That’s why a transformation needs to take place in our heart and mind regarding how we see and seek God’s word. We need to see and seek the Bible more and more as God’s authoritative word that must shape our view of God and our lives, rather than merely listening to our own cultural or intuitive beliefs about God and his will for us. And if that transformation does not occur, then we will not really want to hear the sound doctrine of God’s word preached so much as to hear a pastor merely entertain us with fun stories and pithy principles that suit our own desires and say what our itching ears want to hear.

That’s always a temptation for pastors because it’s always a temptation for congregations. That’s precisely why Paul wrote what he wrote above. But we must be committed to the ongoing process of allowing our wrong beliefs (which we all have) to be confronted, not just comforted, by the sound doctrine of God-breathed Scripture.

That’s why our first and foremost Core Value at The Crossing is the transforming power of Scripture. Next week we’ll discuss our second Core Value (which you can now read here).

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