February Sermon Series:
"Family Values: The Core of Who We Are as a Church”
by Nathan Parker, Senior Pastor
Feb. 2 – Worship & Prayer: Majoring on the Majors (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Feb. 9 – Truth: A Firm Foundation (John 14:6)
Feb. 16 – Family: Blessed Be The Tie That Binds (Philippians 1:3-11)
Feb. 23 – Mission: Abraham’s Offspring (Genesis 12:1-3; Galatians 3:7-9, 23-29)
What kind of family is yours? Are they the “outdoorsy” type that goes camping several times a year? Are they the “artsy” family that engages in artistic endeavors inside the home and goes to concerts and movies together? Are they “bookish” type that plays intricate board games and discusses current affairs at supper?
My family was always a “churchy” family. My parents both worked for LifeWay Christian Resources before my dad went back into pastoring. Many of our longest “vacations” were to Baptist conference centers in North Carolina and New Mexico for three-week stretches. My sister ended up going into the ministry as well, serving as youth and children’s pastor for many years before marrying another youth minister. I went straight to seminary after college, convinced of God’s call on my own life. Church was definitely a big part of my family’s culture, history, and identity.
So now the question comes to us, “What kind of family will Woodmont be? What are the values that we uphold in our church that help shape us and define us?” In the corporate world, these sorts of traits are often referred to as “core values.” We have a mission (to love God, love people, and make disciples). We have a vision (to bring hope and healing to the world). Now what are our core values?
Every individual church body has its own unique set of values. If we are to be effective in our mission and vision, we must know who we are and what is most important. Knowing our values will:
- Help align our membership
- Communicate what is most important to us
- Call people to action
- Inform our direction
- Serve as a framework to make decisions
Our staff has prayerfully sat with this question for over a year now, and we believe these are the five values that should be our core:
Woodmont seeks to honor God as God. We want to value and cherish God above all. We believe that God is the greatest good, that He alone is supremely glorious, and therefore all other contenders for our worship fall short. Worship is not just what we do on Sundays, but is a lifestyle of knowing and savoring God through our relationship with Jesus Christ.
Sunday morning worship, however, is the most important thing we do as a church. The worship service is the central component of our strategy to fulfill our purpose. Worship is the fuel that drives our evangelism, fellowship, discipleship, and ministry. In worship we sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs that lift high the name of God. We hear the Word of God proclaimed and respond. We observe the sacraments of baptism and communion.
Woodmont is a praying church. We believe that prayer is powerful and effective, and while prayer does not change God, it drastically changes us and the world around us. Prayer is our connection to God, and therefore the source of spiritual power in our church. We undergird all that we do with prayer – before, during, and after any endeavor we undertake. Our prayers should be bold, constant, and fervent as we praise God, confess our need for Him, express our gratitude, and seek the things that only He can bring to us and our world.
Woodmont stands on the truth of God’s revelation to us. In a world of competing truth claims, we believe that the Bible holds truth that is always relevant and leads to flourishing as God intended. We have the opportunity and the mission to lovingly speak the truth into the world around us. We hold to truth in grace and humility, but also with deep conviction.
Woodmont is a family of faith. Just as a family has many generations represented, Woodmont values each age and stage of life and what they contribute to our family. We support, love, and encourage one another through victories and through trials. We gladly welcome others into our family, and celebrate when we add to our family. We grieve together when we lose a family member.
We also value the family as God’s creation for human nurturing and discipleship. We seek to strengthen families by building holistic ministries to preschoolers, children, youth, and adults. Marriage and singleness are both valued and appropriate resources are given to those who are navigating each of those paths.
Woodmont is a church on mission. We actively seek to play our part in God’s redemptive purposes for the world, not just through mission trips, but also through our daily lives. Every Christian is called to be a part of the mission of God to restore and redeem this fallen world back unto Himself. After discerning where and how God is working, we seek to join Him in that work in our neighborhood, our city, our nation and the world.
I pray that we will begin to embrace and understand these core values on a deeper level this year. May they guide us in the way that the LORD would have us to go!
Grace and peace,