Ephesians 4:4-15 (NLT)
For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all, in all, and living through all. However, he has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ. That is why the Scriptures say, “When he ascended to the heights, he led a crowd of captives and gave gifts to his people.” Notice that it says “he ascended.” This clearly means that Christ also descended to our lowly world. And the same one who descended is the one who ascended higher than all the heavens, so that he might fill the entire universe with himself. Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
We look to our future hope, not human traditions when making decisions. This means that an eternal perspective is vital because we care about where people are going to spend their eternity. As a church, we will question the norms in order to innovate and help people discover who Jesus is.
We are intentional with the time, talents, treasures, and influence that God has given to us. These things should benefit the people around us, not just ourselves. As a church, we desire to be outward focused and generous towards others.
We seek to help those without a voice. God cares deeply about those who are outcast, marginalized, hurting, or forgotten. As a church, we actively care about those who are the most vulnerable.
We care about having healthy relationships with each other. Unity can be accomplished only when we make it a priority. As a church, we create opportunities for healthy relationships with each other just as Jesus creates the opportunity for us to have a healthy relationship with God.
We stand for the truth of God’s word, speaking the truth in love not judgement. Loving kindness is what draws people to change, not hate. As a church, we will stand for truth and choose to love people who may not agree with those truths.
We celebrate the uniqueness that makes up the body of Christ. Differences are a strength that should be leveraged, not quenched. As a church, we desire to help people develop into the best version of the unique person that God has created them be.
We participate in doing God’s work instead of just observing. Every christian is a leader who does God’s work and builds up the church. As a church, we actively teach our people to be leaders.
We create environments for people from all walks to grow closer to God. Growth happens naturally when the environment allows for it. As a church, we create growth environments through intentional teachings, mentorship, and relationships.