We welcome the opportunity to live with the tension of integrating the proclamation of God’s love and truth in the person of Christ into the professional skills through which we are serving the community. On the one hand we pursue, with excellence, to be a blessing to the community in a holistic manner. Yet, we are not content to provide deeds of service that lack explanations of why we are willing to give our lives in such a way. Social service, moral reform and physical healing may all play an important part in improving the condition of communities, but apart from the message of Christ, as He speaks through the lips of the gospel messenger, any improvement is only external and temporary. Therefore, we actively seek opportunities to communicate the truths of Scripture in the most culturally-appropriate ways possible.
This flows quite naturally into the next stage, where living and proclaiming the truth of God, flowing from communion with God (John 15:4-7), bears fruit to the glory of God (John 15:8). Bearing fruit has numerous implications in the life of the believer. In this context, we trust God to produce specific fruit: men and women placing their faith in Christ for the forgiveness of their sins, and thus being born into the family of God (John 3:1-21). Using our skills and gifts does not stop at being a social blessing to the community. There is a faith goal: trusting God to see people born into the kingdom through the intentional proclamation of the gospel (Rom. 10:13-16).
As men and women place their faith and confidence in the redemptive sacrifice of Christ and His miraculous resurrection, they begin to gather together to worship God in their own language, in biblical and culturally-appropriate ways. This is the work of Christ, who promised that He would build His church (Matt 16:18). As the body of Christ, we are God’s co-workers in the fulfillment of the work of Christ. The establishment of communities of faith, called the “church” by Jesus, is not the work of man, but the work of Jesus. Gathering and worshiping Him corporately is the natural outflow of individuals who have placed their faith in Him.
As the local group of believers grows in their personal and collective faith in God, we trust God for another transformation to take place: believers embracing a biblical worldview (John 8:32; Rom. 12:1,2). As God’s Word is taught and understood, believers begin to perceive their attitudes, practices, rituals and life in general through the lens of biblical principles. In time, the truths of God’s Word produce unnatural responses to life and pain (1 Thess. 5:15; Matt. 5:39; 1 Peter. 3:9).