The core values of Grace Baptist are taken from Matthew 22:37-40: “And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” They are: love God, love people, and serve others. We have further condensed them into three words: worship, connect, serve.
We believe that these core values not only speak to our mandate, which is to make disciples, but they also articulate how this mandate is to be carried out. We make disciples (Matthew 28:16-20) by encouraging people to worship God, connect with fellow believers, and serve those in our sphere of influence.
What does that look like in the life of our church? This is from the lead elder report for 2017:
“We are blessed to be able to clearly articulate our reason for existing- making disciples (Matthew 28:16-20). We look to do that by adhering to our core values- worship, connect, serve- (Matthew 22:37-40)."
We love God by obeying Him, learning more of Him, and growing in relationship with Him. In short, we worship God.
We do this by:
- Individually and corporately, we converse with God and grow in our love for Him as we pray. We are looking for ways to increase this reality across our church family in 2018.
- Actively participating in Sunday service. Our entire liturgy is carefully and prayerfully done to lead us to love God more as we recite the gospel weekly and encourage congregational participation throughout.
- Participate in the Grace Baptist Academy classes. These teach and instruct us in how to love God more deeply, intelligently and passionately.
- Be actively discipled. As this ministry continues to grow, we want every member of the Grace family to be discipled and to be discipling. This only increases our love for God our Father, His Son, and the Holy Spirit. Our discipleship ministry continued to grow in 2017 and we look to God to see that growth increase in 2018.
We love people by fellowshipping with them, learning more about them, doing life together with them, rejoicing and weeping with them, supporting them, gently speaking truth to them, and holding them accountable.
We connect by:
- Actively participating in Grace Groups. There are many groups already established, and more coming as we prayerfully train up leaders and look to move to a regional set up. We will also care for each other in a deeper way as we get to know those closest to us and support them as much as we can.
- Actively participating in the men’s breakfasts and ladies Bible studies. In 2017 we held a men’s breakfast each month, systematically working through the first two series of the 33: Authentic Manhood material: “A Man and His Design” and “A Man and His Story”. This continues in 2018 with the current series “A Man and His Traps”. We held one Bible study for the ladies in 2017, along with numerous fellowship opportunities, and are hosting monthly Bible studies on the third Tues of each month in 2018. The current study is “Fear and Faith” by Trillia Newbell and the ladies have been blessed already as we examine our different fears and how to combat them by faith in Jesus.
- Actively participating in the numerous fellowship opportunities we have together as a family. Bible studies, meals, showers, events- all of these are designed to help us grow deeper in our relationships with each other.
We serve others by giving, serving, sacrificing, in humility putting others before ourselves.
We serve by:
- Giving sacrificially. A ten percent tithe may be a starting point, but we should give enough that we notice it. If everyone was obedient in this way the ministry of the family of God at Grace would increase substantially. Nothing we have is ours, it is all God’s. We owe everything to Him, and if we understand that it will impact what we do with our money.
- Visiting those that are sick, hurting, and feeling marginalized. We need to look for those among us that need help and look for ways to meet those needs. We will all need help at some point.
- Ministering in the church. Nursery, children’s ministry, music, youth, tech, and many more areas of the church need a helping hand. We all have gifts from the Spirit if we are believers in Jesus, and we all need to be serving somewhere in the church.
- We must go or support those that do. The gospel needs to be heard wherever people are.
- In our community. We attempt to highlight many local ministries that are the hands and feet of the gospel right here on the Island, and we can give of our time and money to help in whatever way we can.
- Sharing the gospel with those that God brings across our path.
Further to this, we decided to highlight our core values starting in 2017 through 2020 through our annual church themes:
2017 - “Gospel Culture: Worship, Connect, Serve”; highlight what our core values are and the culture we hope God forms at Grace.
2018 - "Gospel Glory: Daily Displaying God’s Majesty"; highlight the worship part of our mission statement.
2019 - "Gospel Community: Forming Deep Bonds Through Jesus"; highlight the connect part of our mission statement.
2020 - "Gospel Sacrifice - Maintaining an Others Oriented Lifestyle"; highlight the serve part of our mission statement.