The gospel is more than pathway to individual salvation; it is the good news of a new creation begun through Jesus of Nazareth. The gospel is personal, social, and global in scope. It mediates a personal transformation, a renewal of our relationships both near and far, and empowers us to face the most pressing and daunting global concerns of the day, whether the AIDS crisis in Africa, the loss of concern for the sacredness of all life, and the global environmental crisis.
A Personal, Social, Global Gospel
Our task is to bear the presence and message of Jesus into the heart of our city and our world. We believe the good news of Jesus is designed to fully engage the 21st Century with all its promise and pitfalls.
This good news (or gospel) is like a stone dropped in a pond that causes a ripple effect: the transformation begins in our hearts, affects our relationships and extends outward to our most pressing global concerns. It's a message with a personal, social and global reach.
Personal: The message of Jesus comes first to our hearts. It's a transforming message of forgiveness and peace. It opens a pathway of intimacy with God that allows us to know God as our "Abba, Father." Like the prodigal son and his older brother in the story Jesus told, we're invited to participate in a homecoming, an end to our exile from God.
Social: The message of Jesus planted in our hearts shapes our relationships: with God, ourselves, and others--family and friends, strangers and enemies. We seek to express the compassion we have received from God to others, especially the poor and oppressed of society. Mercy and justice are not just concepts but practical realities expressed locally through our care for single moms and their families, our outreach to the homeless and the prisoners, and our concern to promote racial reconciliation.
Global: Because God loves the world he opens our hearts to a global perspective. We express this through our commitment to global missions, doing our small part to bring the gospel wherever it is needed and wanted. Currently we lend a hand to this work in places like Guatemala, Kashmir, and Russia where we partner with local believers to love their local communities.
Jesus came to bring abundance of life and to extend God's realm of justice; on a global scale this includes participating with Him to bring an end to slavery and violence, especially as it affects vulnerable and precious human life. The gospel calls us to address the poverty, AIDS, and genocide afflicting our neighbors in Africa, and to become good stewards of God's creation in the face of the global environmental crisis, which is especially hard on the poor.
Summary: As a personal, social, and global homecoming story, the gospel is about making a home in our hearts for God, making a home in our relationships for God, extending God's welcome and care to the vulnerable among us, and teaming with Him to extend justice and mercy to the whole earth in the hopes of making it a home for God.