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Every time I come back to work after a semi-long break (like the one I just enjoyed celebrating the birth of our daughter Claire!), I always need reminders about what it is I’m / we’re doing with the whole business called “church.” I confess that one of the questions I most often ask myself is, So what the heck are we doing anyway? So I usually revisit some list about aims or purposes of the church. No list is perfect or complete, but I spent about half of 2009 working on this and I figured it was finally time to share…
  1. To celebrate, embody, and proclaim the gospel of God’s saving reign inaugurated in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord.
  2. To exclusively worship the God who is faithfully revealed in the story of Scripture as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  3. To form new creation communities of mutual care and sharing, friendship and hospitality, accountability and reconciliation.
  4. To teach and train one another to take up our cross and follow Jesus in the way of cruciform faith, hope, love, joy, and peace.
  5. To share the joys and burdens of ministry by exercising our Spiritual gifts under the guidance of consultative leadership.
  6. To resist the forces of evil and death by exposing idolatrous lies and refusing conformity to the patterns of this world.
  7. To suffer with and seek justice and healing for the physically, socially, economically, politically, and emotionally vulnerable and poor.
  8. To reflect God’s image by cultivating creation’s fruitfulness in family, work, rest, play, art, poetry, and care for earth.
  9. To honor but not idolize our children and to intentionally raise them to be radically faithful disciples of Jesus.
  10. To practice the historic disciplines of prayer, fasting, meditation, study, simplicity, service, confession, submission, & direction.

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