Core Values of the Awakening Church
1) AUTHENTIC FAMILY AND COMMUNITY OF BELIEVERS-We strive to be a real, authentic, transparent, humble, and vulnerable community at the Awakening Church. We hold to the saying, “no plastic smiles allowed.” None of us know it all nor have it all together, but rather we are all in the process of becoming more like Jesus day by day. We hold to the biblical tension that we are to seek to become more like Jesus but at the same time we acknowledge the reality that we all sin and struggle to be fully like Jesus. We are all a work in progress and we need community to help us achieve the goal of Christlikeness. Therefore, we put down our guards, fears, and pride, and relate to each other as a spiritual family, brothers and sisters in Jesus, rather than as an organization, business, social club, or institution. In our family are different races, personalities, cultures, spiritual gifts, levels of maturity, backgrounds, and ages. We have unity in the midst of diversity and mutual acceptance based upon the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom. We want to be characterized as one big loving family whose focus is healthy relationships, community, connection, and acceptance and where the fruit of the Holy Spirit is experienced. We want everyone to feel that they belong and we want to be a church where no one stands alone (John 17:20-23; Romans 12:15; 15:1-2; 1 Corinthians 13; Galatians 5:22-26; 6:10; Ephesians 2:19; 1 John 3:16-18; 4:7-8, 19-21).
2) SPIRIT-FILLED-We are a “Spirit-filled” church (or what some might call an “Empowered Evangelical,” “Pentecostal/Charismatic,” or “full Gospel” church-for what this means refer to the following article atwww.james-dave.com/fgchristian.html) in that we believe in the necessity of the continual filling of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life for power and service unto God, and that all of the spiritual gifts are for today and should be exercised in the church as the Spirit leads. We believe in all five of the ministry gifts of the church being for today (the ministry gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher) and the fact that the church should be founded upon and shaped by prophetic and apostolic ministry in the context of relationship. We believe in the priesthood of all believers and the leadership seeks to equip and release every member of the Awakening Church into a sphere of ministry based upon their gifts and calling. We fulfill our mission and vision as we all play our part and use the gifts the Holy Spirit has sovereignly given to us and fulfill our roles as ministers (or servants). We believe that the “whole counsel of God” must be taught and that “Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever” (see Acts 20:27 and Hebrews 13:8). We desire to see not only the truth of the Gospel go forth, but also the power of the Gospel as God empowers the believer to do signs and wonders (or miracles), such as healing the sick and casting out demons so that His kingdom advances on this earth (1 Cor. 12-14; Rom. 12:3-8; 1 Peter 4:10-11; 1 Thess. 5:19-20; 2 Tim. 1:7; Eph. 2:20; 3:5; 4:11-16; Acts 1:4-8; 2:1-4; 3:6-10; 4:30; 5:12; 8:14-17; 9:17-35; 10:44-46; 11:27-28; 13:1; 15:32; 19:1-7; Eph. 1:18-19, 5:18; Rom. 16:7; James 5:14-15; Prov. 30:6; John 14:12; Luke 6:17-19, 9:1, 10:19; Mark 16:17-18; Rev. 22:18-19).
3) MISSIONS-A passion for “the great commission” to be fulfilled and to see every tribe, tongue and nation hear of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We, as believers under the New Covenant, are all missionaries and are in need of the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to most effectively witness in power “in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8) outside of the 4 walls of the church building! Our aim is to never be ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and therefore we speak it boldly as the Holy Spirit leads, pray for the lost, and live the Gospel to a lost world. We seek to be relevant to our culture and community as we contextualize the Gospel in relevant and redeeming ways (to be in the world but not of the world). Like Jesus we want to be friends of sinners (not be sheltered or isolated from the world) as we reach out in love to the lost without compromising the Gospel of Jesus Christ and becoming worldly in the process. We are also passionate for church planting and seeing many local churches get started that are also experiencing spiritual awakenings all over the world (Matthew 11:19; 24:14; 28:18-20; Mark 7:1-23; John 17:18; Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 9:22; Ephesians 6:19-20; James 1:27; 4:4; 1 Peter 3:15; Revelation 5:9-10).
4) PURE DOCTRINE-To emphasize the importance of pure doctrine, theology and the interpretation of God’s word so that God’s church will be edified and equipped unto maturity. We aim to always grow in our knowledge and understanding of God’s holy, infallible, and inerrant word and most importantly, apply it to our hearts and lives in obedience to God’s commands so that we will be transformed into Jesus’ likeness. We desire to preach the whole counsel of God’s Word with the full Gospel, not cutting anything out to our own desires and preferences. We preach the “unadulterated” truth without watering down the message and without apology. We do humbly acknowledge that we do not know it all nor have it all figured out, so we allow room to agree to disagree on “secondary” issues. But on the essentials of the Gospel, we strive to be one and unite around the truth of God’s holy word. Through biblical/expository preaching and teaching, one on one discipleship, and connect groups, we seek to accomplish this by God’s grace (1 Tim. 4:16; 2 Tim. 3:14-17; 2 Peter 1:5-9; Acts 17:11; 1 Peter 2:2; Heb. 5:11-6:3; 1 John 2:3-6; Heb. 4:12; Rom. 12:1-2; Prov. 15:14; 19:2; Hos. 4:6).
5) HOLINESS-We emphasize the need for biblical holiness (a heart holiness not “legalism” – for an excellent article on biblical holiness read it at http://www.crivoice.org/creedholiness.html), true conviction of sin and repentance, and purity of living before God. We seek to love, obey, and fear (a reverential fear and awe) God as He works in us the character and image of Jesus Christ by the power of His Spirit, the strength of Christ, and His grace. This does not mean we are legalistic, self-righteous, or perfect, but that we try to obey all of Christ’s commandments as outlined in the New Covenant by God’s grace. Although holiness, the fear of God, hatred toward sin, and not being worldly are not popular messages in the church today, we believe, however, that we must seek to be holy in everything for God is holy. We seek to be countercultural as we live out the values of the Scriptures rather than the values of this world. We seek to have pure and blameless hearts before the Lord and mature in our sanctification before Him so that we become more and more like Jesus (Heb. 12:14; Matt. 28:18-20; John 18:36; 1 Peter 1:13-16; 2:9-12; Leviticus 19:2; Ps. 51:10; Ps. 101; 1 Thess. 5:23-24; 1 Cor. 1:3; 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1; Phil. 2:12-13; James 1:27, 4:4).
6) LOVE-We have a heart for the greatest commandment to always be obeyed and practiced in all of our relationships. We strive to first love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength and second to love our neighbors as we love ourselves with a bond of unity and peace. We seek to have God as the first love of our hearts and not to walk in lukewarmness, complacency, or apathy in our relationship with Him. We long to forever seek God with all of our heart and to worship Him in spirit and in truth. We strive to be led by the Holy Spirit so that the fruit of the Holy Spirit will be made manifest in our lives. (Mark 12:28-31; John 4:24; 1 John 2:5; 3:10, 16-18; 4:7-8, 12, 16-21; Rev. 2:4; Luke 14:26-27, 33; Ps. 34:14; 42:20; 63:1; 133:1; John 17:20-23; Heb. 12:14; Phil. 2:1-11; Gal. 5:22-23).
7) THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST AND THE KINGDOM-Everything we do is to point to the centrality of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Gospel of the kingdom of God, to proclaim Jesus and the kingdom of God, and to see the kingdom of God (God’s rule and reign) advance upon the earth so that all is done to the glory of God. The Gospel of Jesus and the Kingdom is not just the ABC’s of the Christian life, it is the A to Z and should characterize our entire Christian walk. It is also the “Gospel of grace” which stresses the fact that God saves and accepts or justifies us not based upon our own efforts, obedience, and works, but upon Jesus’ efforts, obedience, and works (what He has done for us). It is all grace from beginning to end in our Christian journey for His grace not only saves us, but also transforms us as it empowers and enables us to fulfill God’s will and obey His commands. The centrality of grace in our church keeps our eyes off of ourselves and onto Jesus to strengthen and help and keep us to the end. This glorious Gospel is our motive, heart, passion, and aim in all things (1 Cor. 2:2; 10:31; Col. 3:17; Phil. 3:7-11; Matt. 4:17, 23; 6:9-13, 33; Luke 4:43; 24:27; John 12:32; Acts 8:12; 19:8; 28:23, 30-31; Revelation 11:15; 21-22).
8) PRAYER-We believe that one of our greatest and primary weapons in our warfare as Christians is that of prayer. We depend on God ultimately and not methods to grow our church. We believe in the enormous power of prayer to revive one’s heart, to heal, to bring a nation back to God, to set one free from the bondage of sin, to restore joy to one’s life, to bring about a miracle, etc. We believe in the necessity of Holy Spirit led, faith filled, authoritative, and fervent prayer that moves mountains, changes people, nations, and circumstances, and releases God’s power and hand to move in a given situation. We long as a church to always be known as a “house of prayer,” and as a people of expectant faith in a big and faithful God (Matt. 17:14-21; 21:13,18-22; Mark 11:20-24; Acts 1:14; Ephesians 6:18; James 5:16-18; 1 John 5:14-15).
9) THE FAMILY-We aim at helping families who are hurting and struggling relationally. We seek to offer clear teaching, counsel, prayer, support, and guidance to marriages and families. We want to help out in any way we can with offering wisdom on parenting and having a successful and biblical marriage. We affirm the different roles and responsibilities of the husband and wife in the marriage that are meant to complement one another to the glory of God. We believe God puts a high value on marriages and families (although we do acknowledge that God has given some the gift of singleness). We long to see marriages that reflect the relationship Jesus has with His church and children that are raised in the discipline and instruction of the Lord(Gen. 2:18-24; Song of Solomon; Mal. 2:15-16; Eph. 5:22-33; 6:1-4; 1 Cor. 7; 1 Peter 3:1-7).
10) SPIRITUAL AWAKENING-We long to see God awaken and revive His church first in each individual’s heart and secondly corporately as the local church at large passionately and wholeheartedly seeks after God. We long as a church to experience a great and genuine (not hype) spiritual awakening and revival where the Holy Spirit will not only transform the church from the inside out, but also our city, the surrounding region, and the nations! We not only desire this within our own local church, but in local churches all over the world. We long to encounter and experience God and His manifest presence, power, and glory as the Holy Spirit pours Himself upon the church (Hos. 6:1-3; Ps. 19:7; 71:20; 80:18-19; 85:6; 119:25,40,88,149; 138:7; Ezra 9:8-9; Is. 57:15; Acts 2; Romans 13:11-14)!
11) COMPASSION-A passion to fulfill what we call “the great compassion.” We want to reach out to the hurting, the sick, the poor, orphans and widows, the downtrodden, those in prison, the homeless, the destitute, the wounded, those rejected by society, etc. who need Jesus’ healing and transforming love and grace. We long to have the heart of compassion that Jesus has, for as we reach out in love and minister and serve the “least of these,” we are really ministering and serving Jesus Himself! We must not only preach the Gospel of Jesus, but most importantly live it as we are both the hands and feet of Jesus Christ to a hurting and broken world that is desperately in need of Jesus’ healing power and salvation. We long for social reform and justice to take place (Isaiah 61:1-3; Matthew 25:34-43; Luke 4:18-19; James 1:27).
12) BOOK OF ACTS CHURCH-We desire to see authentic New Testament Christianity in our church as we aim to restore, in function (not necessarily form for that changes from culture to culture), the Godly characteristics of the early church as revealed specifically in the book of Acts and in the rest of the New Testament (we are in no way stating or implying that we in anyway reject the Old Testament, for we love the Old Testament and teach it as the inspired Word of God and we also acknowledge and appreciate the Jewish roots of our faith). As a result of being under the New Covenant, the law of Moses has been renewed and transformed and we are under what the New Testament calls “the law of Christ” (or “the royal or perfect law,” “the law of liberty,” and “the law of faith”). This law is not written on tablets of stone, but on the human heart and is completely fulfilled in he who loves his neighbor. As a New Covenant church, we are established and founded upon God’s grace and mercy, and we enjoy and live under all of the New Covenant benefits and promises. We always seek to passionately proclaim God’s love, forgiveness, freedom, and grace (not cheap grace, but biblical grace) loud and clear (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Romans 3:27; 6:1-14; 7:1-25; 10:4; 13:8; 1 Corinthians 9:21; 2 Corinthians 3; Galatians 3:1-14; 6:2; Ephesians 2:8-10; James 1:25; 2:8, 12; Romans 6:1-2, 14-15; Titus 2:11-14; and Jude 3-4)!
13) JEWISH ROOTS–We are passionate to see both Jews and Gentiles unite together under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and to understand, appreciate, and embrace the Jewish roots of our Christian faith. As Gentiles place their faith in the Messiah Jesus, they enjoy the promises given to Abraham along with natural Israel. And although the church and Israel remain distinct in the Scriptures, both believing Hebrews and Gentiles are united as one people of God through the redemption that is in Messiah Jesus. Due to God making an everlasting and irrevocable covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and unconditionally electing Israel as His chosen people along with the gift of the land of Israel, we have a great love for the Hebrew people and our Jewish roots. Ultimately the Messiah would come forth from Israel as a Jew and bless all the families of the earth. Therefore, based on such truths and promises, we are passionate to pray for, minister to, and witness to the Jewish people pointing them to their Jewish Messiah. We long to be a church that consists of both redeemed Jews and Gentiles in Jesus the Messiah (Genesis 12:1-3; 15:9-21; 17:1-8; 1 Samuel 12:22; 2 Samuel 7:6-16, 24; 1 Chronicles 17:22; Jeremiah 31:23-40; Ezekiel 16:59-60; 37:26; Amos 9:14-15; Matthew 23:39; Romans 9-11; Galatians 3:6-4:7).