our values:

deepening love

We believe that love is the redeeming activity. Yes, yes, of course, Jesus Christ and what he accomplished in life, through death and the resurrection is the redeeming activity. But another way of saying that is love redeems (John 3:16Romans 5:81 John 3:164:7-10).  And it is to this type of love--the laying down of one's life; the sacrificial and servant minded love--that we are called to pour out to God and to others with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.  If you could sum up everything we do and everything we are, love may not be a bad word for it (John 13:34-351 Corinthians 14:116:14Galatians 5:6Ephesians 5:1-21 Timothy 1:5). 


Deepening our love for God which we than learn to pour out onto our neighbors and see ourselves through is the foundation for our other values. In many ways, growing relationally and living generously are simply love in action.     

growing relationships

We are made in the image of a relational God who, because of His love, desired to draw us up into that relationship. We do this by mimicking God in community.  


God has called us to love Him with everything (Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:37-40) and likewise to love people.  For our purposes we have divided "people" in to those within the church and those outside the church. 


It is our goal to help foster these three primary relationships.


First, we are called to love God and know him intimately. This is our first priority and a greater knowledge of God and a deeper love for God should be the outcome of everything we do. 


Second, we are convinced that when this love grows it naturally overflows. We are learning to love God in the context of community, not isolation and we see this happen in community groups, various bible studies and other kitchen table environments. Our hope is that we are drawing one another into deeper love for God and others. 


Third, our hope is that we are able to relate well to the world and to cast a vision of our great God and his love to a not-yet-believing world. We do this through personal relationships with neighbors, co-workers, friends and family, invitation into the body of believers and through our foyer environments.  


It is our conviction that when we grow closer to God in intimate knowledge and love, we likewise will grow closer to others in service, kindness, respect and friendship.  


   

living generously

The other arm and application for us of deepening love is a life of generosity. Generosity can be defined as "stretching our love." 


It's the practical life application of a deeper love. 


And this goes so far beyond our money. Generosity is about learning to take what we have including our energy, our time, our giftedness, our various resources and yes, our money and stretching them around others. 


Growing relationships provide contexts for generous living.


Because generosity is about loving others and because we are striving to do this in increasing, deepening measure, generosity is by nature sacrificial. Generosity will always include giving away of what I possess and when it is gone I will no longer posses it but someone else now will be blessed.


The question we must ask, then, is, "is my love actually deepening if I am not actually becoming more generous?"


If we are hesitant to give, does this mean we are hesitant to love and if so, what does that say of us? 


When God showed the world He loved it, He gave (John 3:16). Love is who God is and it is what he does and therefore, by our definition, generous is who God is and it is what he does. 


And in a beautiful description of the Christian life, Paul told the Ephesians (and thereby us) that we are to "Mimic God...and walk in the way of love" (Ephesians 5:1-2). Or in other words: be generous. 



doctrine

You will find that our doctrinal statements are purposefully generic.  They get the basic point across regarding what we believe but you'll notice that we don't have publicized, church affirmed stances on many points (creation and the last things, for example).  This is not because we don't have convictions or that our pastors and elders don't hold particular viewpoints but rather because these are not hills we are willing to die on.  We love the diversity, under the authority of Jesus Christ, of various theological viewpoints and we recognize that we can come together in worship and community even if we disagree on various theological issues.  The cores must be the cores and we will not waver on them (the universality of humanities sinfulness; Jesus Christ being God incarnate; His life lived free from sin; His bodily resurrection from the dead, for example) but the periphery is up for conversation--and we love these conversations at Restoration Church.