Core Values: How we Make Ministry Decisions
The Bible speaks frequently about the unity of believers. David sings, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is? When brothers dwell in unity...” (Psalm 133:1). Amos asks “Do two walk together, unless they have agreed to meet” (Amos 3:3). Paul admonishes “I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10). Jesus prayed for the unity of believers asking the Father that believers would be “one” as He and the Father are “one” (John 17:18-21). To help us form a process for making decisions that will most effectively accomplish our mission, we hold to six Core Values. The core values of our church are the following:
Mission Priorities: We will make missions our number one priority.
We have an outward focus that is aimed at reaching others through sharing the gospel and demonstrating the power of the gospel through caring for the needy of our community and world. In Christ, believers are not only saved from God’s eternal judgment, but are also saved to engage in a life of ministry to others.
Clear Focus: We will assure decisions align with our core vision.
Solomon in his wisdom noted that without vision people perish (Proverbs 29:18). Much of the Old Testament looks forward to the realization of a vision being fulfilled (Isaiah 6:1, Daniel 7:13, Joel 2:28). God provided a clear vision for fulfilling His promises in Jesus Christ. In a similar manner, we seek to provide a clear focus or vision in achieving the mission God has given the church. Maintaining clarity of focus on the core ministries of our church will allow us to most efficiently achieve God’s mission.
Cultural Relevance: We will become all things to all people.
Jesus, the Son of God, is “the Word of God became flesh” (John 1:14). In the same incarnational manner Jesus came to us, we go to others. Refraining from sin but engaging in the uncomfortable as the Apostle Paul writes, “To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel” (1 Corinthians 9:22-23).
Wise Stewardship: We will effectively utilize God’s resources.
We desire to utilize all of the resources God has given us (time, treasure, talent, etc) to greatly and most successfully fulfill God’s mission. We also desire for others to faithfully believe that investing in the ministry of First Baptist Jackson is a fruitful endeavor. Thus, our finances will wisely be utilized to maximize ministry effectiveness and our ministry options will be scheduled to appropriately utilize the time of our members. Wise stewardship understands that “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace” (1 Peter 4:10).
Excelling Excellence: We will pursue excellence that is entrenched in God’s perfect nature. God is a God of excellence. “Praise him for His mighty deeds; praise Him according to His excellent greatness” (Psalm 15:2). God’s people should be people of excellence, and excellence should be a distinguishing mark of those who pursue Christ. The Bible describes Daniel as one who was highly respected “because an excellent spirit was in him” (Daniel 6:3). Therefore, as a church we are about Kingdom excellence in our pursuits of ministry instead of status-quo mediocrity. God’s work is of the highest priority, should be pursued with the greatest diligence, and seek the utmost excellence. Colossians 3:23 encourages “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.”