Instead of a single corporate vision, we have eighteen values that reflect our theological convictions.
These values bind us together as a diverse and creative network.
JESUS. THE POOR. THE LOST.
THE WHOLE WORLD. EMPOWERMENT.
KINGDOM MISSION. MICROCHURCHES.
SIMPLICITY. CULTURE + ETHNICITY.
BIBLICAL JUSTICE. EACH OTHER.
PASSION. ZEAL + CONTEMPLATION.
THE BIBLE. SHARING + GIVING.
The way of Jesus is our way. Before and in all things we value Jesus as the image of the invisible God. We long to worship Jesus by imitating his life and ministry. Both our theology and praxis is relentlessly Christological. He is our model, mentor, hero, mediator, savior, judge, king and ruler of all. All of our values flow from what we understand about his character, concerns, and the practices of his ministry.
(Matt 28:19, Jn 1:3, Jn 13:15, Jn 14:6, Jn 17:18, Rom 5:10, Eph 1:22-23, Phil 2:5, Col 1:15-20, Col 2:9, Col 3:17, Heb 1:3, Heb 12:2, Eph 5:1-2, Jn 13:14-15, Acts 26:16, Rom 1:4, 1 Tim 2:5, Heb 7:25, Acts 4:12, Ti 3:6, Rom 2:16, Jn 9:39, 2 Tim 4:1, Rev 1:5, Rev 19:16, Col 1:18, Rev 17:14).
Watch our Crucible talk on Jesus to learn more about this value.
We will remember the poor because we believe that God does. We believe that they are central to his mission in the world. It is our conviction that God is always on the side of those who have no one on their side. For that reason we believe the church should also stand on the side of the poor, and in so doing stand in solidarity with the heart and work of God. Jesus’ own ministry is our model. We welcome all people but prioritize the poor in our ministry concern, allocation of resources and advocacy. We do this, not because the rich and middle class are less important to God, but because they already have access to resources and are able to advocate their own cause. It is our belief that the church should therefore prioritize and remember those who have less, and access to less, so that in all things there might be equality.
(Deut 15:7, Deut 15:11, Ps 82:3, Ps 140:12, Prov 14:31, Is 61:1, Jer 8:21, Jer 22:16, Matt 11:5, Matt 25:40, Mk 2:17, Lk 4:18, Lk 6:20, Lk 7:22, Lk 14:23, Lk 18:22, 2 Cor 8:9, 13, Gal 2:10).
Watch our Crucible talk on The Poor to learn more about this value.
We value lost people because they are spiritually poor. We believe the good news of the kingdom is the most important commodity with which the church and the people of God have been entrusted. For this reason we will engage the lost. We believe that the church should not expect lost people to come and find them, but that we are called and sent to “seek and save that which was lost”. Again, we will emphasize the life and ministry of Jesus by prioritizing those who have not yet heard and believed the good news. This is our first and most important task, even in our ministry to the poor and the lost (who could be considered the spiritually poor). They are our first concern.
(Gen 22:17-18, Matt 4:23, Matt 10:7, Matt 18:14, Matt 28:19, Mk 13:10, Lk 15:4, 6, Lk 19:10, Lk 24:46-47, Acts 1:8, Acts 10:42, Rom 10:14-15 and 15:20, Gal 2:10).
Watch our Crucible talk on The Lost to learn more about this value.
THE WHOLE WORLD
While we understand that our most transforming ministry will take place where we are planted and in our own city, we commit ourselves to the mission of God to reach the whole world. We believe that Jesus came as the savior, not of one people, but of the whole world. We value the world because we believe that God is a global God. We assume responsibility for the world, not because we believe we can reach it alone, but because we accept the mandate of the great commission and the heart of God to love and sacrifice for the discipleship of the whole world. We accept this apostolic mandate to send and be sent into every part of the world and our place in partnership with the global church.
(Ps 22:27, Ps 24:1, Is 41:9, Matt 24:14, Mk 16:15, Jn 1:29, Jn 3:16-17, Jn 4:42, Jn 6:33, Jn 6:51 Jn 8:12, Jn 12:46-47, Jn 17:21, Rom 5:18, 2 Cor 5:19, 1 Jn 2:2, 1 Jn 4:14, Rev 14:6).
Watch our Crucible talk on The Whole World to learn more about this value.
CULTURE AND ETHNICITY
Similarly, we affirm that every culture and ethnicity, while imperfect, reflects the mosaic of God’s own image and together we better glorify and serve the God of creation. We value every people, language and culture in our city and in the world. We believe that the church of Jesus Christ was meant to demonstrate the power of the gospel through reconciliation, unity, and the beauty of a multi-ethnic community. For that reason we do not just admire multi-ethnic communities, but purpose to become one. We do not believe in being color blind. Rather, we hope to accept and include the beauty and wisdom of every culture in our city and in our communities.
(Gen 1:27, Ps 67:2-3, Is 56:7, Dan 7:13-14, Jl 2:28, Hag 2:7, Mal 1:11, Jn 17:20-22, Acts 10:34-35, Acts 17:26-27, Rom 14:11, Rom 15:5,6, 1 Cor 12:12-14, Eph 2:14-22, Phil 2:10-11, Rev 5:9-10, Rev 7:9, Rev 14:6).
Watch our Crucible talk on Culture and Ethnicity to learn more about this value.
We will not trust in franchising or empire building through paradigm propagation. Rather we will value the empowerment of every microchurch community to contextualize the proclamation and demonstration of the gospel to the people they hope to reach. Our paradigm is that there is no one paradigm. We believe in contextualized structures with revolutionary content. Learning from the ministry of Jesus we will not try to bring surface transformation (to culture or structures) but rather contextualize our structures to what people can and will understand, so that the revolutionary message of the kingdom and the liberating work of the Holy Spirit will be received.
(Jn 1:14, Acts 16:3, Acts 17:22-23, Rom 12:2, 1 Cor 3:5-9, 1 Cor 9:19-23, 1 Cor 10:32-33, Phil 2: 5-8, [the passages of the ministry of Jesus and his parables are all examples of contextualization]).
Watch our Crucible talk on Contextualization to learn more about this value.
ZEAL + CONTEMPLATION
We will value the paradox of exuberance and zeal in worship, community life, and evangelism while at the same time whole heartedly pursuing the rhythm and profound importance of silence and solitude for personal contemplation and rest. We affirm seasons of zeal and charismatic expression of the greatness and majesty of God along with seasons of silence and stillness before God. We value each and both together. We hope for a fusion of the two in a life of zeal, lived ablaze and unashamed for God, and contemplation, lived in deep awareness and quiet appreciation for God.
(Zeal: Ps 47:5, Ps 98:4, Is 42:13, Matt 11:28-28, Matt 17:5, Mk 6:31, Jn 10:27, Rom 12:11, Ti 2:14)
(Contemplation: Ps 46:10, Ps 48:9, Ps 95:6, 2 Cor 3:18, Col 3:2, 1 Pet 1:13).
Watch our Crucible talk on Zeal and Contemplation to learn more about this value.
We commit to live a life free from clutter and the allure of materialism. We affirm that every believer and every community of believers has a responsibility to renounce the sins of its own people. As North Americans we renounce the slavery and idolatry of materialism by embracing a simple lifestyle. We do not believe that money or things are in themselves evil or to be avoided, but that the love of money and things is one of the greatest perils facing western Christianity in our time. We willingly use material things and wealth for the service of the kingdom, but not for personal fulfillment or inappropriate luxury. In so doing we again value the poor who have less, justice in living for equality and personal holiness in pursuing a whole hearted devotion to God.
(Ecc 5:10, Matt 6:19, 24, 26, Matt 10:10, Mk 4:19, Mk 12:43, Lk 9:3, Lk 12:15, 33, 1 Tim 6:7, Heb 13:5).
Watch our Crucible talk on Simplicity to learn more about this value.
SHARING + GIVING
Because we value community and simplicity, we commit ourselves to both sharing and giving. We will share because it promotes relationship and breaks the bondage of possessiveness. We believe the western doctrine of personal property is imperfect and needs to be tempered with the more biblical value of generosity and sacrifice. In sharing what we have with others we confess that God is the true owner and that we are only stewards in his vineyard. We will also give, because in giving we destroy the grip of materialism over our hearts because we release the resource, wealth, or possession completely into the control of another. For that reason we will pursue relentless generosity and the holding of all things in common. For this reason we encourage our people to give as often and as generously as they can, and to consider themselves stewards of the rest. Likewise, the collective finances of the church and ministries should set an example in this regard.
(Mal 3:10, Matt 25:40, Lk 3:11, Acts 2:43, Acts 4:32, Acts 20:35, 2 Cor 8:7, 2 Cor 9:10-13, 2 Cor 8:13, Eph 4:28, 1 Thess 2:8, 1 Tim 6:18, 1 Jn 3:17).
Watch our Crucible talk on Sharing and Giving to learn more about this value.
We commit ourselves to each other. We believe that God calls us into his mission together, never alone. We value mission and ministry done in community. We believe that God did not intend for us to be alone, and that isolation, fear of each other, and spiritual competition are cancers in the church. We believe that moral and theological failures, controlling leadership, and many of our emotional struggles stem from a lack of community. We value free, committed and loving friendship. Whenever possible we will lead through teams and the sharing of life at every level with trusted friends who are an extension of the grace and presence of God in our lives.
(Ecc 4:9-10, Matt 18:20, Jn 15:13, Acts 2:44, Rom 12:4-8 and 10, Rom 13:8, Rom 15:7, 1 Cor 10:24, Gal 6:2, Eph 4:11-13, Eph 5:21, Phil 2:3-4, Heb 3:15 and 10:24-25, Heb 6:10-11, 1 Pet 3:8, 1 Jn 3:16, 7-12, Rev 4:4,10).
Watch our Crucible talk on Each Other to learn more about this value.
We will do mission because we are sent people. We believe that the church is not the church until it is engaged in the mission for which God has called it into His marvelous light. We crave healing, discipleship and intimacy with God. But we believe that all of these things come in large part through obedience to the mission. We believe that healing comes through offering healing to others, that discipleship does not primarily take place in a lecture but through doing. We believe that intimacy with God comes from being in his presence and through submission to His will, by doing what He is doing. Since we believe that the life of Jesus and the early church demonstrate that God himself is with the lost and the poor of the earth, proclaiming the good news of His kingdom, we also believe that when we co-labor with Him as workers in that harvest field, we not only bring the kingdom into that place, but that we also experience the deepest and truest intimacy with God.
(Ps 51:10-13, Is 58:6-8, Matt 9:35-38, Matt 25:40, Matt 28:18-20, Mk 1:14-15, 38, Lk 4:18-21, Jn 4:34, 35, Jn 6:27, Jn 9:4, Jn 12:26, Jn 15:9-10, Jn 17:18, Acts 1:8, Rom 15:20, 1 Cor 15:58, 2 Cor 5:18-19, Eph 2:10, Phil 2:3, Col 3:17, 23, 1 Jn 3:18, 1 Pet 2:9).
Watch our Crucible talk on Kingdom Mission to learn more about this value.
We commit to pursue humility as one of the chief virtues. We expect it in leadership, in community and relationships, in our theology, in the contextualization of our mission, in our prayer, and even in our appraisal of ourselves and others. We are convinced that humility is necessary for following Jesus as an individual and as an organization. In individuals we hope for humility in all our relationships and leadership roles. As an organization we hope to be a flexible learning organization, looking always to refine our commitments and expand our understanding and revelation of God and His call upon us. We believe in the living prophetic word of God, that it can be heard and obeyed, yet we also believe that we are flawed listeners and should always listen and follow with humility.
(Ps 25:9, Ps 51:17, Ps 147:6, Ps 149:4, Prov 11:2, Prov 18:12, Prov 22:4, Ecc 5:2, Is 29:19, Is 57:15, Is 66:2, Mic 6:8, Matt 5:3, Matt 11:29, Matt 18:3-4, Matt 20:26, Matt 23:12, Lk 1:52, Lk 6:20, Lk 10:21, Lk 14:10, Lk 17:10, Lk 18:13-14, Lk 22:26-27, Jn 13:14, Rom 10, Rom 11:20, Rom 12:3, Rom 16, 1 Cor 1:28, 1 Cor 3:18, 1 Cor 10:12, 1 Cor 13:4, 2 Cor 11:30, 2 Cor 12:6, 2 Cor 10, Gal 5:26, Gal 6:14, Eph 4:2, Phil 2:3-11, Col 3:12, Jam 1:9, Jam 3:1, Jam 4:6, 1 Pet 3:8, 1 Pet 5:5-6).
Watch our Crucible talk on Humility to learn more about this value.
We will live for the biblical concept of justice. We have to take a prophetic stand against all kinds of evil, not only spiritual, but also societal. All sin and injustice is the enemy of the church and the kingdom of God. The search for the kingdom of God is also a search for justice. They are the same longing. In the kingdom we find ultimate justice, and biblical justice is more than just punishment for wrongdoing and oppression, it is also the restoration of wholeness, equality, and peace between people and with God. Our value of justice is a call to seek the welfare of every person in our city and in the world that we can influence. It is to hope and work for the kingdom of God to come to bear on the place where we are. For that reason, our value of justice will mean action in the places where we have power, as well as the pursuit of justice in the proclamation of the kingdom wherever we have voice.
(Ps 9:8, Ps 96:10, Prov 31:9, Is 1:15-17, Is 56:1, Jer 29:7, Ez 34:16, Hos 12:6, Am 5:15 and 24, Mic 6:8, Matt 5:6, 6:10, Matt 6:33, Matt 12:18, Matt 18:5, Matt 25:40, Lk 11:42, Lk 18:7-8, Lk 19:8-10, Jn 2:14-17, Acts 6:1-6, Eph 6:12, Jam 1:27, 1 Jn 3:17,18).
Watch our Crucible talk on Biblical Justice to learn more about this value.
With Jesus as our model, we want our lives to be characterized by passion. In the most surface sense it means that we should be moved by our relationship with God, and maintain a high level of dedication in all we do for Him. In a deeper sense it means that we value suffering and sacrifice. We see Jesus’ willingness to suffer for the lost and the hopeless as a model for all who would come after Him, and that we likewise are to take up our cross and to walk the way of suffering. Not seeking pain or persecution, but not shrinking back from it either. We are convinced that the clearest expression of the gospel is love, and that love is forever re-defined by Jesus in His death for us. We value the kind of radical faith that expects every believer to be ready and willing to suffer and sacrifice for Jesus, His name and His kingdom. We realize that this value is not mainstream, and that it contradicts the cultural current of prosperity and the idea that in all things God wants to give us personal success. We denounce this idea and affirm that the kingdom will not be built through selfish ambition, but through passionate, sacrificial love.
(Ps 63:1, Matt 10:22, Matt 16:24-25, Matt 26:38-39, Rom 5:3 and 8:18, Lk 9:61-62, Lk 14:27, Rom 12:1-2, 2 Cor 1:5, Eph 5:1-2, Phil 2:3, Phil 3:10, Col 1:24, Col 3:17, 23, 2 Tim 2:3, 2 Tim 3:12-15, 1 Pet 3:17, 1 Jn 3:16).
Watch our Crucible talk on Passion to learn more about this value.
PRAYER + DEPENDENCE ON GOD
We commit ourselves to live a life of prayer because we believe that only God can accomplish what He calls us to do and that God should receive the glory. For this reason, we believe the church should be committed to night and day pray for the world, the coming of the kingdom and a deeper revelation of God. Without prayer and dependence on God for all things we are destined to either fail or become conceited in our success. We value constant prayer because we desire to know God, to deepen our understanding and revelation of his love for us and the world. We value prayer because we believe we are all called to the ministry of intercession and we want to see his kingdom come. We believe that can only happen if we ask the Lord of the harvest to send us and other laborers in to the harvest field.
(2 Chr 7:14, Ezra 8:23, Ps 17:6, Ps 91:1-2, Is 26:9, Jer 29:12, Matt 6:9-13, Matt 6:33, Matt 9:38, Mk 1:35, Lk 11: 9-13, Lk 18:1,7, Acts 2:42, Acts 6:4, 2 Cor 3:5-6, Eph 6:18, Phil 4:6, Col 4:2, I Thess 5:17, 1 Tim 2:1-2, Heb 5:7, Jam 5:13-16, 1 Pet 4:7, Jude 20).
Watch our Crucible talk on Prayer and Dependence on God to learn more about this value.
We affirm microchurch as the most basic expression of the church and therefore, our ecclesiology is simple. When believers work together in sincere worship, and genuine community to accomplish a part of the mission of God, they are the church. Worship, community and mission then are the ecclesial minimum. We encourage biblically appointed leadership, sacramental worship, the pursuit of the gifts of the Spirit and giving, but these are desired and not required to be considered a microchurch. We believe that these churches also need the larger network, leadership and resources of a city wide church to strengthen, empower and help direct the microchurch expression. We gather for worship, training, and as leadership primarily to strengthen and supply the microchurches in their labor to obey Jesus and proclaim the good news of the Kingdom to their mission field. We believe the larger church expression exists to serve the smaller and not the other way around.
(Matt 28: 19-20, Lk 10:1, Jn 4:23, Acts 2:42-47, Acts 4:24, 31, Acts 6:3-4 and 6, Acts 14:23, Acts 16:4-5, Acts 20:20, Rom 15:5-6, Rom 16:3-5, 1 Cor 3:16, 2 Cor 5:18-20, 1 Cor 14:26, 1 Cor 16:19, 2 Cor 3:5-61, Eph 2:22, Eph 4:16, Col 3:16, Col 4:15, Tim 3: 2-7, Heb 6:10-11, Heb 10:24-25, 1 Pet 2:5,9, Rev 1:6).
Watch our Crucible talk on Microchurches to learn more about this value.
We trust the authority, reliability and truth of all Scripture. In humility, we acknowledge we do not fully understand God and the world he made. For that reason we rely on the bible to be the rule of our faith, teaching us what we do not know, challenging and leading us away from our misconceptions, self deceptions, and convenient ideas about life and God. We don’t choose the parts of the bible we prefer or want to believe, obey or understand; instead we submit to all of Scripture believing it reveals the truth that is beyond us. We believe that Jesus is the word of God and for that reason we don’t just obey Scripture, we love it. Because, like a mirror it shows us who we really are, and like a window it opens our lives to the beauty, wonder, and love of the God we long to know.
(Deut 4:10, 2 Sam 7:28, 22:31, Neh 8, Ps 18:30, Proverb 30:5, Is 40:8, Jer 15:16, Matt 4:4, Matt 22:29, Lk 8:21, Lk 11:28, Lk 24:32, Jn 1:1-17, Jn 5:24, Jn 5:39, Jn 8:51, Acts 8:35, Acts 18:11, Rom 3:2, 1 Tim 4:13, 2 Tim 3:16, Col 1:25, Col 3:16, 1 Thess 2:13, Heb 4:12-13, 1 Pet 4:11, 2 Pet 3:16, 1 Jn 2:5, Rev 3:8, Rev 19:9).
Watch our Crucible talk on The Bible to learn more about this value.
We affirm the priesthood of all believers. We affirm that each person who has given their life in surrender to Jesus and his cause has a unique calling from Jesus to fulfill in mission and in the church. We believe that this is only possible by the Spirit of God living in and working through each and every believer. It is the Spirit of God that empowers. Therefore we work towards empowering each and every believer to hear and fulfill the calling of Jesus on their life. This value of empowerment is expressed in all spiritual gifts and callings for all people regardless of race, gender or age for the sake of Jesus’ mission and for the equipping of all believers towards their maturity.
(Matt 4:18-20, Matt 10:1-15, Mk 6:7-13, Lk 4:18-19, Lk 6:12-16, Lk 11:13, Jn 14:26-27, Jn 15:1-4, Jn 15:26-27, Jn 20:22, Acts 2:1-4, Acts 4:29-31, Acts 6:3, Rom 8:9-11, Rom 8:15-17, Rom 12:3-8, 1 Cor 2:4-5, 1 Cor 2:9-16, 1 Cor 12, 1 Cor 14:1, 1 Cor 16:19, Gal 5:22-26, Eph 4:11-13, Eph 4:10, 1 Tim 1:18-19, 2 Tim 1:7, 2 Tim 4:19, Jam 4:10, 1 Pet 2:9-10, Jude 20-21, Rev 1:5-6).
Watch our Crucible talk on Empowerment to learn more about this value.
The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.
Core Team Covenant
As a leader, or representative of the UNDERGROUND Network I acknowledge and accept the role of a servant. First, to God, his kingdom and his cause, second as a servant to my fellow community and to my local movement as a whole, and third, to the people under the care of the micro-church I will lead or am associated with. I, therefore, willingly commit myself to the following things. I realize that I may fail at times to fully keep these commitments, but I think it is important that I purpose in my heart and confirm publicly my desire to keep these covenant commitments as God enables me.
TO MY GOD
I will continue to cultivate a vital spiritual life by: Maintaining a daily prayer life, spending regular time in God’s Word, maintaining active involvement in Christian community, including regular participation in my micro-church, responding obediently to God’s discipline in my life, and purposing to discover, develop, and use my spiritual gifts for the kingdom.
As a Core Team member, I will lead a moral life consistent with the character standards for Elders set out in scripture (1 Timothy 3:1-13, Titus 1:5-9). I commit to seek to embody the values of the Manifesto in my everyday life. If I have a serious moral lapse, I will promptly bring this to the attention of someone on the Core Team who I am in community with and/or the leadership. I will cooperate with their counsel about how to address the need and how this also may affect my ministry role.
I will maintain a healthy family life, and if single, a healthy relational life. If my family or relational life is experiencing serious problems, I will promptly bring this to the attention of someone I’m in community with and/or the leadership. I will cooperate with their counsel about how to address the need and how this also may affect my ministry role.
TO MY CHURCH
I will be a faithful financial supporter of the Kingdom of God, not under compulsion, but willingly. I will seek to model biblical attitudes about giving, including giving generously and joyfully.
I agree to never exploit or use the Underground, the Core Group, my micro-church or its members for my own personal, financial, or emotional gain. I agree to serve them as best I can, placing their needs above my own.
I will forgive those who wrong me, and I will not tolerate an attitude of bitterness or strife in my own heart. I purpose to conduct myself with humility, compassion, and forbearance toward my brothers and sisters in Christ. As God convicts me to do so, I will seek forgiveness from those whom I have wronged.
I will consistently attend my micro-church and seek to worship with other micro-churches whenever I can. Looking to grow closer to the great kingdom community in my city and not isolating myself or my ministry.
As a Core Team member, I understand that I am accountable to the other leaders in the Core Team, my micro-church and to the Leadership Circle of the Underground. I am willing to humbly receive the challenge and counsel of each of those. I also agree, if necessary, to resign from this commitment, if I am unwilling or generally unable to fulfill the responsibilities and commitments of a leader within the Core Group.
TO MY CORE GROUP (The Core Group Season is from February – August. The first Hub will launch in West Shawnee September 2019).
I seek to become not a just a disciple, but a disciple-maker. I seek not just to be coached, but to become a coach for others. I seek not just my own equipping, but to become an equipper for others.
I will engage the following in the Core Group season:
The weekly gathering of the Core Team February-August 2019.
The GPS Personal Calling Discovery Assessment to gain further clarity on my personal calling.
I will live like a missionary where I live, work, learn and play and pick a primary of those 4 in which I will invest time for the Kingdom. I will embrace the BLESS rhythms in all areas of my life.
I will seek to plant or join a micro-church.
I will explore engaging one of the following four discipleship experiences, as a leader or participant, unless it will interfere with my faithful presence in my micro-church, my family or those I am called to reach. We will launch new groups for all interested Core Group Members:
BLESS Learning Community
Simple Church Learning Community
I will be open to supporting the equipping services of the Hub by exploring participation in the following equipping teams.
The Start-Up Coaching Team will help launch new micro-churches and Kingdom initiatives in the KC Underground.
The Calling Discovery Team will help people discover and get deployed into their personal calling.
The Coaching Team will help optimize the impact of micro-churches and Kingdom initiatives that are already launched.
The Media Team will help the micro-churches and kingdom initiatives with media support (video, logos, website, etc.) and support the media needs of the gathered church.
The Financial Services Team will maintain financial systems, accounting and financial integrity for the KC Underground.
The Worship Team that will both create worship experiences for the gathered church in weekend services and empower micro-churches to meaningfully engage worship as a community in homes, workplaces and third spaces.
The Children’s Ministry Team that will create both high-quality experiences for children during weekend services and empower micro-churches to meaningfully engage children in those settings.
The First Impressions Team that will help create a culture of hospitality when the church gathers at the Hub.
TO THE MOVEMENT IN KANSAS CITY
I will be a loyal supporter of the leadership of my local movement, and I will be an active advocate of our corporate vision to plant and resource micro-churches. I will do my best to help those whom I influence to hold the network up with honor and love. If my conscience forbids me to do these things, I will exercise appropriate positive dissent (Matthew 18:15-17) and strive to reach agreement. I will not spread disunity or dissension by talking irresponsibly about these matters.
I will accept my responsibility of serving and consistently attending training and engaging coaching. I agree also, when called upon, to offer my voice in helping to make decisions, guiding the UNDERGROUND with wisdom and fairness.
Above all I will love. Remembering that this characteristic should mark us as Jesus’ disciples and remind the world of his message and his cross.
As the Lord Jesus guides me, by His grace, with humility and full commitment, I covenant to be a member of the Underground for one year.
(This will be signed on the brochure at the covenant gathering)
We, members of the Church of Jesus Christ, from more than 150 nations, participants in the International Congress on World Evangelization at Lausanne, praise God for his great salvation and rejoice in the fellowship he has given us with himself and with each other. We are deeply stirred by what God is doing in our day, moved to penitence by our failures and challenged by the unfinished task of evangelization. We believe the gospel is God’s good news for the whole world, and we are determined by his grace to obey Christ’s commission to proclaim it to all mankind and to make disciples of every nation. We desire, therefore, to affirm our faith and our resolve, and to make public our covenant.
1. THE PURPOSE OF GOD
We affirm our belief in the one eternal God, Creator and Lord of the world, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who governs all things according to the purpose of his will. He has been calling out from the world a people for himself, and sending his people back into the world to be his servants and his witnesses, for the extension of his kingdom, the building up of Christ’s body, and the glory of his name. We confess with shame that we have often denied our calling and failed in our mission, by becoming conformed to the world or by withdrawing from it. Yet we rejoice that, even when borne by earthen vessels, the gospel is still a precious treasure. To the task of making that treasure known in the power of the Holy Spirit we desire to dedicate ourselves anew.
(Isaiah 40:28; Matthew 28:19; Ephesians 1:11; Acts 15:14; John 17:6,18; Ephesians 4:12; 1 Corinthians 5:10; Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 4:7)
2. THE AUTHORITY AND POWER OF THE BIBLE
We affirm the divine inspiration, truthfulness and authority of both Old and New Testament Scriptures in their entirety as the only written word of God, without error in all that it affirms, and the only infallible rule of faith and practice. We also affirm the power of God’s word to accomplish his purpose of salvation. The message of the Bible is addressed to all men and women. For God’s revelation in Christ and in Scripture is unchangeable. Through it the Holy Spirit still speaks today. He illumines the minds of God’s people in every culture to perceive its truth freshly through their own eyes and thus discloses to the whole Church ever more of the many-colored wisdom of God.
(2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21; John 10:35; Isaiah 55:11; 1 Corinthians 1:21; Romans 1:16, Matthew 5:17,18; Jude 3; Ephesians 1:17,18; 3:10,18)
3. THE UNIQUENESS AND UNIVERSALITY OF CHRIST
We affirm that there is only one Saviour and only one gospel, although there is a wide diversity of evangelistic approaches. We recognize that everyone has some knowledge of God through his general revelation in nature. But we deny that this can save, for people suppress the truth by their unrighteousness. We also reject as derogatory to Christ and the gospel every kind of syncretism and dialogue which implies that Christ speaks equally through all religions and ideologies. Jesus Christ, being himself the only God-Man, who gave himself as the only ransom for sinners, is the only mediator between God and people. There is no other name by which we must be saved. All men and women are perishing because of sin, but God loves everyone, not wishing that any should perish but that all should repent. Yet those who reject Christ repudiate the joy of salvation and condemn themselves to eternal separation from God. To proclaim Jesus as ‘the Saviour of the world’ is not to affirm that all people are either automatically or ultimately saved, still less to affirm that all religions offer salvation in Christ. Rather it is to proclaim God’s love for a world of sinners and to invite everyone to respond to him as Saviour and Lord in the wholehearted personal commitment of repentance and faith. Jesus Christ has been exalted above every other name; we long for the day when every knee shall bow to him and every tongue shall confess him Lord.
(Galatians 1:6-9; Romans 1:18-32; l Timothy 2:5,6; Acts 4:12; John 3:16-19; 2 Peter 3:9; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; John 4:42; Matthew 11:28; Ephesians 1:20,21; Philippians 2:9-11)
4. THE NATURE OF EVANGELISM
To evangelize is to spread the good news that Jesus Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead according to the Scriptures, and that, as the reigning Lord, he now offers the forgiveness of sins and the liberating gifts of the Spirit to all who repent and believe. Our Christian presence in the world is indispensable to evangelism, and so is that kind of dialogue whose purpose is to listen sensitively in order to understand. But evangelism itself is the proclamation of the historical, biblical Christ as Saviour and Lord, with a view to persuading people to come to him personally and so be reconciled to God. In issuing the gospel invitation we have no liberty to conceal the cost of discipleship. Jesus still calls all who would follow him to deny themselves, take up their cross, and identify themselves with his new community. The results of evangelism include obedience to Christ, incorporation into his Church and responsible service in the world.
(1 Corinthians 15:3,4; Acts 2:32-39; John 20:21; 1 Corinthians 1:23; 2 Corinthians 4:5; 5:11,20; Luke 14:25-33; Mark 8:34; Acts 2:40,47; Mark 10:43-45)
5. CHRISTIAN SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
We affirm that God is both the Creator and the Judge of all men. We therefore should share his concern for justice and reconciliation throughout human society and for the liberation of men and women from every kind of oppression. Because men and women are made in the image of God, every person, regardless of race, religion, colour, culture, class, sex or age, has an intrinsic dignity because of which he or she should be respected and served, not exploited. Here too we express penitence both for our neglect and for having sometimes regarded evangelism and social concern as mutually exclusive. Although reconciliation with other people is not reconciliation with God, nor is social action evangelism, nor is political liberation salvation, nevertheless we affirm that evangelism and socio-political involvement are both part of our Christian duty. For both are necessary expressions of our doctrines of God and Man, our love for our neighbour and our obedience to Jesus Christ. The message of salvation implies also a message of judgment upon every form of alienation, oppression and discrimination, and we should not be afraid to denounce evil and injustice wherever they exist. When people receive Christ they are born again into his kingdom and must seek not only to exhibit but also to spread its righteousness in the midst of an unrighteous world. The salvation we claim should be transforming us in the totality of our personal and social responsibilities. Faith without works is dead.
(Acts 17:26,31; Genesis 18:25; Isaiah 1:17; Psalm 45:7; Genesis 1:26,27; James 3:9; Leviticus 19:18; Luke 6:27,35; James 2:14-26; John 3:3,5; Matthew 5:20; 6:33; 2 Corinthians 3:18; James 2:20)
6. THE CHURCH AND EVANGELISM
We affirm that Christ sends his redeemed people into the world as the Father sent him, and that this calls for a similar deep and costly penetration of the world. We need to break out of our ecclesiastical ghettos and permeate non-Christian society. In the Church’s mission of sacrificial service, evangelism is primary. World evangelization requires the whole Church to take the whole gospel to the whole world. The Church is at the very centre of God’s cosmic purpose and is his appointed means of spreading the gospel. But a church which preaches the cross must itself be marked by the cross. It becomes a stumbling block to evangelism when it betrays the gospel or lacks a living faith in God, a genuine love for people, or scrupulous honesty in all things including promotion and finance. The church is the community of God’s people rather than an institution, and must not be identified with any particular culture, social or political system, or human ideology.
(John 17:18; 20:21; Matthew 28:19,20; Acts 1:8; 20:27; Ephesians 1:9,10; 3:9-11; Galatians 6:14,17; 2 Corinthians 6:3,4; 2 Timothy 2:19-21; Philippians 1:27)
7. COOPERATION IN EVANGELISM
We affirm that the Church’s visible unity in truth is God’s purpose. Evangelism also summons us to unity, because our oneness strengthens our witness, just as our disunity undermines our gospel of reconciliation. We recognize, however, that organizational unity may take many forms and does not necessarily advance evangelism. Yet we who share the same biblical faith should be closely united in fellowship, work and witness. We confess that our testimony has sometimes been marred by a sinful individualism and needless duplication. We pledge ourselves to seek a deeper unity in truth, worship, holiness and mission. We urge the development of regional and functional cooperation for the furtherance of the Church’s mission, for strategic planning, for mutual encouragement, and for the sharing of resources and experience.
(John 17:21,23; Ephesians 4:3,4; John 13:35; Philippians 1:27; John 17:11-23)
8. CHURCHES IN EVANGELISTIC PARTNERSHIP
We rejoice that a new missionary era has dawned. The dominant role of western missions is fast disappearing. God is raising up from the younger churches a great new resource for world evangelization, and is thus demonstrating that the responsibility to evangelize belongs to the whole body of Christ. All churches should therefore be asking God and themselves what they should be doing both to reach their own area and to send missionaries to other parts of the world. A re-evaluation of our missionary responsibility and role should be continuous. Thus a growing partnership of churches will develop and the universal character of Christ’s Church will be more clearly exhibited. We also thank God for agencies which labor in Bible translation, theological education, the mass media, Christian literature, evangelism, missions, church renewal and other specialist fields. They too should engage in constant self-examination to evaluate their effectiveness as part of the Church’s mission.
(Romans 1:8; Philippians 1:5; 4:15; Acts 13:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 1:6-8)
9. THE URGENCY OF THE EVANGELISTIC TASK
More than 2,700 million people, which is more than two-thirds of all humanity, have yet to be evangelized. We are ashamed that so many have been neglected; it is a standing rebuke to us and to the whole Church. There is now, however, in many parts of the world, an unprecedented receptivity to the Lord Jesus Christ. We are convinced that this is the time for churches and para-church agencies to pray earnestly for the salvation of the unreached and to launch new efforts to achieve world evangelization. A reduction of foreign missionaries and money in an evangelized country may sometimes be necessary to facilitate the national church’s growth in self-reliance and to release resources for unevangelized areas. Missionaries should flow ever more freely from and to all six continents in a spirit of humble service. The goal should be, by all available means and at the earliest possible time, that every person will have the opportunity to hear, to understand, and to receive the good news. We cannot hope to attain this goal without sacrifice. All of us are shocked by the poverty of millions and disturbed by the injustices which cause it. Those of us who live in affluent circumstances accept our duty to develop a simple life-style in order to contribute more generously to both relief and evangelism.
(John 9:4; Matthew 9:35-38; Romans 9:1-3; 1 Corinthians 9:19-23; Mark 16:15; Isaiah 58:6,7; James 1:27; 2:1-9; Matthew 25:31-46; Acts 2:44,45; 4:34,35)
10. EVANGELISM AND CULTURE
The development of strategies for world evangelization calls for imaginative pioneering methods. Under God, the result will be the rise of churches deeply rooted in Christ and closely related to their culture. Culture must always be tested and judged by Scripture. Because men and women are God’s creatures, some of their culture is rich in beauty and goodness. Because they are fallen, all of it is tainted with sin and some of it is demonic. The gospel does not presuppose the superiority of any culture to another, but evaluates all cultures according to its own criteria of truth and righteousness, and insists on moral absolutes in every culture. Missions have, all too frequently, exported with the gospel an alien culture, and churches have sometimes been in bondage to culture rather than to Scripture. Christ’s evangelists must humbly seek to empty themselves of all but their personal authenticity in order to become the servants of others, and churches must seek to transform and enrich culture, all for the glory of God.
(Mark 7:8,9,13; Genesis 4:21,22; 1 Corinthians 9:19-23; Philippians 2:5-7; 2 Corinthians 4:5)
11. EDUCATION AND LEADERSHIP
We confess that we have sometimes pursued church growth at the expense of church depth, and divorced evangelism from Christian nurture. We also acknowledge that some of our missions have been too slow to equip and encourage national leaders to assume their rightful responsibilities. Yet we are committed to indigenous principles, and long that every church will have national leaders who manifest a Christian style of leadership in terms not of domination but of service. We recognize that there is a great need to improve theological education, especially for church leaders. In every nation and culture there should be an effective training programme for pastors and laity in doctrine, discipleship, evangelism, nurture and service. Such training programmes should not rely on any stereotyped methodology but should be developed by creative local initiatives according to biblical standards.
(Colossians 1:27,28; Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5,9; Mark 10:42-45; Ephesians 4:11,12)
12. SPIRITUAL CONFLICT
We believe that we are engaged in constant spiritual warfare with the principalities and powers of evil, who are seeking to overthrow the Church and frustrate its task of world evangelization. We know our need to equip ourselves with God’s armour and to fight this battle with the spiritual weapons of truth and prayer. For we detect the activity of our enemy, not only in false ideologies outside the Church, but also inside it in false gospels which twist Scripture and put people in the place of God. We need both watchfulness and discernment to safeguard the biblical gospel. We acknowledge that we ourselves are not immune to worldliness of thought and action, that is, to a surrender to secularism. For example, although careful studies of church growth, both numerical and spiritual, are right and valuable, we have sometimes neglected them. At other times, desirous to ensure a response to the gospel, we have compromised our message, manipulated our hearers through pressure techniques, and become unduly preoccupied with statistics or even dishonest in our use of them. All this is worldly. The Church must be in the world; the world must not be in the Church.
(Ephesians 6:12; 2 Corinthians 4:3,4; Ephesians 6:11,13-18; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; 1 John 2:18-26; 4:1-3; Galatians 1:6-9; 2 Corinthians 2:17; 4:2; John 17:15)
13. FREEDOM AND PERSECUTION
It is the God-appointed duty of every government to secure conditions of peace, justice and liberty in which the Church may obey God, serve the Lord Jesus Christ, and preach the gospel without interference. We therefore pray for the leaders of nations and call upon them to guarantee freedom of thought and conscience, and freedom to practise and propagate religion in accordance with the will of God and as set out in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We also express our deep concern for all who have been unjustly imprisoned, and especially for those who are suffering for their testimony to the Lord Jesus. We promise to pray and work for their freedom. At the same time we refuse to be intimidated by their fate. God helping us, we too will seek to stand against injustice and to remain faithful to the gospel, whatever the cost. We do not forget the warnings of Jesus that persecution is inevitable.
(1 Timothy 1:1-4; Acts 4:19; 5:29; Colossians 3:24; Hebrews 13:1-3; Luke 4:18; Galatians 5:11; 6:12; Matthew 5:10-12; John 15:18-21)
14. THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe in the power of the Holy Spirit. The Father sent his Spirit to bear witness to his Son; without his witness ours is futile. Conviction of sin, faith in Christ, new birth and Christian growth are all his work. Further, the Holy Spirit is a missionary spirit; thus evangelism should arise spontaneously from a Spirit-filled church. A church that is not a missionary church is contradicting itself and quenching the Spirit. Worldwide evangelization will become a realistic possibility only when the Spirit renews the Church in truth and wisdom, faith, holiness, love and power. We therefore call upon all Christians to pray for such a visitation of the sovereign Spirit of God that all his fruit may appear in all his people and that all his gifts may enrich the body of Christ. Only then will the whole Church become a fit instrument in his hands, that the whole earth may hear his voice.
(1 Corinthians 2:4; John 15:26;27; 16:8-11; 1 Corinthians 12:3; John 3:6-8; 2 Corinthians 3:18; John 7:37-39; 1 Thessalonians 5:19; Acts 1:8; Psalm 85:4-7; 67:1-3; Galatians 5:22,23; 1 Corinthians 12:4-31; Romans 12:3-8)
15. THE RETURN OF CHRIST
We believe that Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly, in power and glory, to consummate his salvation and his judgment. This promise of his coming is a further spur to our evangelism, for we remember his words that the gospel must first be preached to all nations. We believe that the interim period between Christ’s ascension and return is to be filled with the mission of the people of God, who have no liberty to stop before the end. We also remember his warning that false Christs and false prophets will arise as precursors of the final Antichrist. We therefore reject as a proud, self-confident dream the notion that people can ever build a utopia on earth. Our Christian confidence is that God will perfect his kingdom, and we look forward with eager anticipation to that day, and to the new heaven and earth in which righteousness will dwell and God will reign forever. Meanwhile, we re-dedicate ourselves to the service of Christ and of people in joyful submission to his authority over the whole of our lives.
(Mark 14:62; Hebrews 9:28; Mark 13:10; Acts 1:8-11; Matthew 28:20; Mark 13:21-23; 1 John 2:18; 4:1-3; Luke 12:32; Revelation 21:1-5; 2 Peter 3:13; Matthew 28:18)
Therefore, in the light of this our faith and our resolve, we enter into a solemn covenant with God and with each other, to pray, to plan and to work together for the evangelization of the whole world. We call upon others to join us. May God help us by his grace, and for his glory, to be faithful to this our covenant! Amen, Alleluia!