In a previous blog (“Can I Really Bless God?”), I made the point that we each bring something unique and powerful in our worship that can bless God. I added that we are created for good works and that when we are faithful to complete them, we will bless our Father in Heaven in a very unique and specific way.
If that is true for us individually, it is also true for us as a church. Every church, I believe, has unique purpose and calling. That specific purpose, when fulfilled, brings joy and glorifies Him in a specific and unique way.
In one sense the church is universal; that is, we are all one, as Christ's bride. But, we are also the church individual, particular, or local. That means that individually we also have an identity that is particular to who we are as a gathered group of people. The way we look, smell, act, and reflect His beauty to the world is very specific to River City Church and unique for us as a family.
This summer on my sabbatical, I was able to visit other churches in Jacksonville. They were really good, powerful, and God-centered churches.
The thing that stuck out to me as I visited these churches was how different they were from each other and how different we (RCC) were from them. Not only what we do as a church, but also how we do it is very different than any other church in Jacksonville. I am not saying we are better or worse than these churches, just very different.
As we started as a church, we asked, "God show us (the leadership and body) who you are calling us to be as a church." He answered us through an angel one night...sent a star...angels, we were in a field...oops, wrong story. Seriously, He answered us by assembling specific people with the same heart and same values together to worship and minister to the community around us.
We didn't choose our values; God established them in "us" as individuals through our common call and through our hearts that had been transformed by His Holy Spirit.
As a result, RCC was started, and very quickly we began to notice in the hearts and ministry of our people and leadership these common values. We call them our Four Pillars.
- Intimacy with the Father
- Ministry in the Power of the Holy Spirit
- Ministry to the Poor and Hurting
Over the next several blogs, I will be revisiting them and telling the story of how God is using us as a church to bless our community and each other.
You are the church, and the church you attend and are a part of should reflect your heart and the values God has placed there!