In our staff meetings we study a book chosen by a staff member. We are currently studying “Built to Last” by J.C. Collins and J.I. Porras. It examines companies that have been leaders in their respective fields for more than 100 years. The authors try to find principles that made these companies successful for such a long time.
One of the common factors for these companies is that they all have core values which are never sacrificed for the sake of profit. Competing companies that have not held values like these become successful for a short time but do not last.
Our church seems to be enjoying a golden age. An average of 3 people a week accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and are baptized. Our church is known as a leader of the house church movement and many pastors come from all over the world to our seminars or visit to learn more about our church. Why has God granted our church such privileges and blessings? I think that one of the reasons may be that we have tried to remain faithful to Bible-based core values.
Our most important core value has been making the Bible our sole authority. We strive to become Biblical Christians and Biblical leaders and try to build a Biblical church. We deem the Bible the only authority for our conduct and ministries. We use theology, ministerial methodologies and Baptist traditions, but never take them as authoritative.
From this primary core value, three other core values follow.
We make the Great Commission the main focus of our ministries. Instead of emphasizing church growth, we focus on helping non-believers accept Jesus Christ and become disciples. To focus on this ministry, we minimize meetings and reduce the number of activities unrelated to soul saving.
We try to make disciples not by teaching them but by being models. We don’t depend on Bible study for disciple making but encourage new believers to learn from their leaders by observing how they live and serve.
We hold as one of our top priorities helping our next generation inherit our spiritual heritage. We have fully supported financially our English speaking congregation, many of whom are second generation Korean-Americans, but allow them total autonomy. We try to minimize expenses for our adult ministries and maximize the investment for our children; we have hired pastors and constructed buildings only for our children, not for adults.
If we continue to stick to these four core values, I am sure that our church will continually be used for God’s glory and be a model church.
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