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How We Respond

The Rising Tide | What We Believe | How We Respond  

Acts 2:42-47
And they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. And everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. And all those who had believed were together, and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions, and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. And day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.

 Learning the Truth
 We are passionately committed to the pursuit of truth
We understand the difference between teaching and training. Teaching that does not equip us to be the church in a lost world, is of little value to those in our world who are hurting and seeking answers. When we come together to learn about God, we are focused on more than just the truth we are learning. We know we are preparing for something that we are about to do and something we desperately want to be. We come together to train. We come together to prepare. We realize that we are here to love and serve those around us so that we can reason with those who are seeking answers to life’s deepest and most important questions. We know that Salvation by GRACE ALONE is the distinctive truth of the Christian Worldview. We've seen God work in our own lives and we've seen God work in the lives of others. We spend our time together trying our best to understand the truth and ways to communicate and defend this truth to a culture that often denies it.

 Striving for Unity
 We are connected by a common Father, truth, and a cause
We have become a new creation. Not just as new individuals, but as a new family of God; a new movement; an unstoppable rising tide. We meet regularly to affirm our love for God and for one another. We understand the power of a meal, so we don’t let a week go by without eating together. We understand the power of group prayer, so we share in the joy of communicating with God. And we take time to remember that our relationship is more than just a common understanding of God; it is also a love relationship with each other. We understand that loving each other means listening with compassion and asking the difficult questions. We are accountable to each other by name, just as we are accountable to our Lord.

 Living in Awe
 We are in awe of God’s handiwork and continuing involvement in our world
We are looking closely at our environment and at the biological diversity around us every time we meet. We are looking for evidence of the supernatural. We are in awe of God’s power as a result of this close examination. We examine God’s work in our own lives as we serve together. We share the stories of how God continues to use fallen and fragile humans such as ourselves to advance the cause of his Kingdom, and we are in awe as we see His ability to transform lives. We are careful to remember who He is and what he has done, and as a result we share the awe and respect felt by the earliest of believers.

 Serving in Love
 We live a surrendered life of sacrificial love for those in need
We use our resources to bless those who are less fortunate. For this reason, we are hesitant to spend our money on buildings or on staff. We understand that a movement of God can easily become an institution of man, and we are careful to dedicate our money to the care of the needy and to sharing the truth. We recognize that the earliest Christians were able to spend 100% of their contributions on the cause of those in need, and we too want to be able to give with this kind of unbounded love. We are looking for those in our community who are in need. We are sensitive to their situation and refuse to walk or drive past them any longer. Serving the needy has become an integral part of our lives and our faith. We know that we will be known by our love for one another and for those who are in need. For this reason, serving the needy is something we plan for, make time for and integrate into the fabric of our lives and the nature of our relationship with God.

 Sharing with Courage
 We live a bold and fearless life surrendered to the cause of Christ

We try to live with courage. We are prepared and ready to share our faith with people who hold differing views. We know that the first believers didn’t wait to be asked about their faith and their God; they entered into the most dangerous and hostile of territories and tactfully reasoned with non-believers, even before they were invited. We try to live with this kind of wisdom and courage. We look and plan for opportunities to engage people with the Gospel. We have the courage to talk to people who hold differing views. We understand what it is that they believe and where they are coming from. This passion and courage often leads us into hostile territory; into the heart of other faith systems, onto university campuses, into ideological communities. But we combine our time of training with a life of courage to advance the cause and mission of Jesus.

 Overflowing with Joy
 We are focused on God and all that He has done for us 
We are careful to resist our inclination to focus on ourselves. We are committed to a new life centered on God’s moral will and the gifts that He has already given us. We are committed to being wise stewards of these gifts and to making God the focus of our lives. Like the early believers, song is a huge part of our lives. We sing not so that we can be ‘ushered into God’s presence” (we know we are already there), but in spontaneous response to what he has done for us. Our songs aren’t the limit of our worship, but the spontaneous result of our focus. We sing, because we cannot help but sing.