These five words encapsulate the very life-blood of who we are, how we live, and the work that we are striving to accomplish in the world. Distinct from a "statement of faith" or a "doctrinal creed," we not only believe in our core values, but they also shape our very lives. They are, for us, the essence of what it means to be a follower (a disciple) of Jesus (Matthew 28:16-20).
LOVE God, LOVE people
We believe that love of God (Deuteronomy 6:4-9) and love of neighbor (Leviticus 19:18) summarizes all that is meant to be a follower of Jesus, and what it means to be fully human. We love because God first loved us (1 John 4:7-21), modeling for us what true, sacrificial love is. We strive to express the fullness of God's love to our communities (John 13:34-35), our neighbors (Romans 13:8-10), and even our enemies (Matthew 5:43-48).
Being Spark means you will be loved, be challenged to love, and be transformed by love.
REPUTATION of God
The central character in the story of our faith journey is God. Like Moses in Exodus 32, we care deeply what others think about God, and the repute that God has in our culture and community. We desire to elevate that reputation in our consciences and conversations, with all people, so that the world will know of God's love, grace, and redemption from the beginning all the way to the very end (Deuteronomy 7:7-9; Psalm 145; Micah 7:18-20; John 17:20-23). And as we heal and restore our image of God, we heal and restore the image we have of ourselves.
We believe God's Name (reputation/renown) really is great. We believe the world needs to hear of this greatness (Acts 20:24).
Being Spark means healing our image of God, discovering a God of great repute, and carrying that reputation to the world (Acts 1:8).
RECONCILIATION of all
Our existence consists of three main relationships: our connection with God, our community with one another, and our care of the Creation (Genesis 1-2). Therefore, in our attitudes and behaviors, we want to heal broken spirits (Psalm 51), mend broken relationships (Colossians 3:1-17), create harmony with those we have differences and distinctions, and reconnect the soul to the Creator. We embrace and work towards racial, and cultural reconciliation (Galatians 3:28). We also value religious and ideological education between Christians, Jews, and Muslims, with believers and non-believers alike. (Acts 10:28; 17:17-21).
God is drawing all people to God's self, and we are in partnership with that reconciliation in and through our very lives (Acts 26:29).
Being Spark means becoming both restored and a restorer, healed and a healer, mended and a mender, comforted and a comforter, all in being reconciled to God through Jesus Christ the ultimate reconciler.