It is located in a certain corner of this world, and speaks to the existence of another world, with a message for the people of all the world. It is, at the same time, both the contemporary crossroad of the temporal and the eternal, and the visible intersection of the local and the global. As such, the church is the convergence of three distinct players (God, sinners and saints), operating in three distinct realms (eternity, time and space). The whole thing is simple in that time and space are segments of eternity, and sinners and saints are responsible to God. But the whole thing becomes muddled in that times and places continually change, and saved saints remain struggling sinners. The task: church ministry. The challenge: defining “ministry.”
Because the church is established for God’s glory (Eph. 3:10), it is decidedly doxological. But because it is also concerned with man’s need (2 Cor. 5:20), it is, at the same time, anthropological. A philosophy of ministry must reflect the tensions and balance of both the doxological and anthropological aspects of the church. Here is how we seek to do this at Valley View…
We exist as a church to glorify God by leading people to an individual passion to know God through His Word, and a corporate effort to make Him known in His world.
GLORIFY – Delighting in God’s Supremacy
Our purpose is to glorify God – increasingly finding ultimate pleasure in Him, consistently seeking to bring Him pleasure, and boldly proclaiming Him as supremely pleasant. Our mission, at its irreducible minimum, is this: we do what we do because God is who He is. Because our vision of God governs everything, the most important thing we can do is to worship well.
KNOW – Knowing God through His Word
In an age governed by existentialism, relativism, and pluralism, the conviction of absolute truth is, for us, both fundamental and non-negotiable. God creates and defines reality. But God is not created; nor can he be defined by experience. Instead, He must be revealed. The ultimate revelation of God is Christ. And the reality is that all will stand before Him to be judged in light of the truth as defined by Him.
LOVE – Inciting personal passion for God
Just as “faith without works is dead,” so religion without passion is detestable to God. Good doctrine is essential. But good doctrine will condemn all who hold it without love for God. Religious activity is a must. However, we are not called to redeem the time dutifully, but to redeem it passionately. “He first loved us” is the reality that transforms duty to delight.
BE –Embracing a corporate identity
Just as God has chosen to image Himself in man corporately, so the Church is called to corporately bear the image of His Son. The work of God is not meant to be carried out by maverick heroes of the faith, but by faithful members in union with the body of Christ. Internally (with regard to ourselves) this requires an atmosphere of humble transparency, patient expectation, gracious correction, and mutual edification. Externally (with regard to the world) we are called to intentional separation with redemptive intervention.
DO – Making God known in His world
Throughout the ages, the people of God have been consumed with making their God known. The redemption of God’s people has ever been for His glory. Our God is uniquely great, and uniquely good. And our marching-orders are to make Him known in everything we do.