1 - Gospel
The gospel is our central value and guides us in all we do. The ‘gospel' is the good news that through Christ the power of God's kingdom has entered history to renew the whole world. When we believe and rely on Jesus' work and record (rather than ours) for our relationship to God, that kingdom power comes upon us and begins to work through us. The gospel is God's explosive power that changes everything.
Key Texts: Galatians 2:11-16, Romans 1:16-17; Colossians 1:6.
2 - Changed People
The gospel changes people, and it does so from the inside out. Christ gives us a radically new identity, freeing us both from pride and insecurity. He liberates us to love and accept people we once excluded, and also from our bondage to things that once drove us. The gospel ultimately transforms not only our actions, but our very motivations.
Key Texts: Acts 16:13-34; Luke 18:9-14; Galatians 5:16-25
3 - Christ-Centered Worship
The gospel leads us to worship God as we "taste and see" His goodness and glory. In our worship gatherings, we seek to lift Christ up as our only hope for help and happiness in this life and the next. We design our worship in order to create space for believers to be encouraged, instructed, and challenged and for seekers to hear and understand the invitation of the gospel.
Key Texts: 1 Corinthians 2:1-5; Luke 24:44-45; 1 Corinthians 14:24-25
4 - Authentic Community
The gospel teaches us that Jesus came not merely to save individuals but to create a people for himself. A gospel community is meant to function as an alternative community within our neighborhoods where kingdom values are taught, demonstrated, and cherished. We nurture one another's faith as we deepen our relationships, not just on Sundays, but as we "do life together" throughout the week. Thus we say that we are not a church that has small groups but a church of small groups.
Key Texts: Acts 2:42-47; Matthew 5:14-16, Ephesians 2:14-22; John 13:35
5 - City Positive
The gospel changes our attitude toward the city. The gospel leads us neither to despise the city (withdrawing like a turtle) nor to simply reflect the city (blending like a chameleon) but to love the city. We seek the welfare of the city as we proclaim the gospel, believing that nothing promotes the peace and health of the city like the spread of faith in Christ. We also seek to sacrificially serve our neighbors, displaying the gospel with our deeds.
Key Texts: Jeremiah 29:4-11; Proverbs 11:10-11; Acts 16:8-9, 12
6 - Kingdom Prayer
If the gospel teaches us anything, it teaches us dependence upon God. All of our hopes and plans, however good they may be, are doomed to failure without God's provision. We go to prayer to ask for God's help, and indeed even to learn what to ask for. We strive to make our prayers bold, constant, and focused on God's presence and kingdom.
Key Texts: Exodus 33:12-23; Nehemiah 1:4-11; Luke 11:1-13
7 - Church Multiplication
The gospel continually breaks out. The kingdom is gradually, but inevitably growing. We seek to develop and empower leaders to initiate new ministries and plant new churches in order to further the work of the gospel. We believe church planting is the most effective evangelistic method under heaven and thus are committed to providing training, people, and funding to start (and help others start) new churches in Cincinnati and around the world.
Key Texts: Acts 16:9-12; Titus 1:5; Luke 10:1-20; Romans 16:3-16; Matthew 28:18-20
8 - Kingdom Mindset
We have no illusions that our single church or our Presbyterian tradition is sufficient to renew the city of Cincinnati spiritually, socially, and culturally. Thus we are intentional about networking and partnering with a great variety of churches and ministries in the city and around the world to see the gospel spread. We are not "turf-conscious" but kingdom-conscious.
Key Texts: 1 Corinthians 3:1-9; John 17:20-23; Mark 9:38-41