Discipline is a key ingredient for any type of growth, especially spiritual growth. Discipline is difficult to cultivate and even harder to maintain. However, there is one thing that makes the act of becoming disciplined easier. We are disciplined about the things that we are passionate about! As Christians, we should be passionate about reaching our full potential in Christ. How do we go about cultivating a life of spiritual passion? There are many areas of the Christian life that are keys to this pursuit. As a church, we have identified six areas that we believe are foundational to becoming more like Christ and living a healthy and balanced Christian life.
Below is a brief summary of the core values essential to the Christian life. The accompanying study guide provides scripture, narrative, and questions for personal growth, reflection and assessment. There are also sections regarding personal goals, application, and steps to take. We encourage you to take a look at these aspects of spiritual discipline and download the complete study guide for more in depth learning and exploration.
Prayer is the way in which we talk to God. It is honest, authentic communication with the God of this universe. Our prayer life is an indicator of our dependence on God. It is also a reflection of the intimate relationship between the Creator and his created people. Prayer can be planned and disciplined, spontaneous, or corporate. Although prayer may take different forms depending on our backgrounds, God is most concerned with our attitude in prayer as opposed to the method. Prayer gives us an opportunity to examine our hearts in humbling ourselves before God and realizing our need for Him in every aspect of our lives.
We believe Scripture should be the foundation for our lives as believers. This plays out through Bible-based teaching during our services; however, it is also important that, as believers, we study the Word individually and apply it to our lives daily. In our desire to know God more, we should dive into scripture, as it is God revealing himself to us through the Bible. However, simply reading the Bible will not change us. We will begin to learn and grow as our lives are changed and guided by the application that comes through the study of his Word.
Being connected to our brothers and sisters is an important part of our lives as believers. God does not want us to do life alone, but instead, to have authentic relationships with others in which we share both our struggles and joys. Being a part of a community provides both accountability and encouragement. Although living in community can at times be difficult, risky, and painful, it produces life change and growth. Grace Church helps to promote this value by encouraging all members to be involved in community groups.
Often times people think of ministry as a vocational job, however, all believers should have a ministry-focused life. One of the most significant ways this is played out is through serving in the local church. As a church, Grace has many needs that are filled by volunteers serving. Each member of the church has specific spiritual gifts that help the body to function in unity. It is helpful for us to identify our spiritual gifts and abilities to know how we can best serve the church. When we serve, we allow God to work through us and impact others as well as change ourselves. We look to Jesus as our example of serving, as he served us by freely giving his life.
As believers, we have a responsibility to share the gospel with those who do not know Jesus. Through engaging our neighbors locally, regionally, and globally, we can strategically create relationships that provide opportunities to do so. In loving, helping, and providing for these people, we are also showing God’s love as we care for those in need. We should seek out ways to build relationships and allow God to use us, and work through us, in sharing the good news of Jesus. The goal of outreach and missions is to make diciples of Jesus Christ through relationships that allow opportunities for the Gospel to be shared.
The world we live in today is consumed with money and materialism. As Christians, we must guard against getting caught up in this worldly pursuit. We must remember that we are simply managers of our resources, not owners. All we have was given to us by God and should be used to honor and give back to him. We must look for ways to strategically give our money and possessions away. Because money is such a powerful, gripping item, our hearts will follow where we put our money.
Pursuing Jesus through discipline in these areas helps to cultivate a life of spiritual passion. To learn more about our Core Values, download the Core Values Study and register to participate in the next Foundations class.