Why we do what we do
“When action meets compassion, lives change” is an ideal we live by, because it mirrors what we see in scripture. God took action on his compassion and sent his son to love, serve, and die for us that we could find salvation from our sin. With that in mind, we believe that the world is changed through acting on the compassion we have for those around us…
Activate church is about doing things and creating environments that produce life change. We realize Jesus didn’t come to earth, live a sinless life, die on a cross just so we could have something to sing about. From the moment of salvation until the day we die our lives should be marked by change. All are welcome to discover who God is in a community of people who accept people for who they are. “You don’t have to believe like us to be with us.”
You can’t out give God
In God’s unbelievable generosity he gave us the talents and abilities we often think are our own. Those very talents and abilities allow us to gain friendships, cultivate love, earn money, gain wealth and provide for our families. God’s very nature is to give, from the creation of the universe, to sending his very Son to become sin and die on a cross for our eternal salvation, GOD GIVES out of his nature of Love (1 John 4:8). That is why we believe we cannot out give God. It is in that spirit that we give love, finances, time, friendship and service.
Found people find people
In Luke 15:1-7 (please read this, really) Jesus teaches the Pharisees/us an important lesson in compassion. He tells the story of a shepherd who has a flock of 100 sheep. When he realizes one is missing he leaves the 99 to search for the 1. This intersection of action and compassion is the reason we do the same as the good shepherd.
There are no more important words one can utter than the words in that moment just before a person slips into eternity. The most important thoughts, commands, instructions and feelings are communicated just before a long or final parting. Jesus was no different. His very last words are recorded in Matthew 28:16-20 known as The Great Co-Mission (God and you). Throughout the new testament we are continually called into relationship with Jesus and then sent out to “Find People”. We have been found, now it is time to find others. There is a powerful video below communicating the gospel and our relationship with Christ.
Saved people serve people
If we had a greatest core value this one would most likely be it. Jesus himself, in the New Testament, put a lot of emphasis on service to God and toward our neighbor. In Mark 9:33-34, we are told that the disciples were arguing about which of them was the greatest. In Mark 9:35, Jesus said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.”
A very pronounced personal act of service by Jesus is found In John 13. In this passage Jesus began washing his disciple’s feet and by doing this he gave a very literal example that being a Christ follower meant humbling yourself and serving others. Even though he was God he humbled himself and served us lowly humans…He even washed feet!
In Matthew 22:34-40 Jesus was asked by the Pharisees what the greatest commandment is, Jesus said that the Greatest commandment is to love God, and the second is to love your neighbor as yourself. I find it very interesting that Jesus didn’t answer with on commandment but rather two. These two commandments will forever be linked and cannot be separated.
The reason serving is so important to God is because it is his very nature and his ultimate goal is for us to live in his image and likeness. Throughout the bible we are told “God is love”. In 1 John 4:19-21 it says that “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.” When we become a Christian we invite God (Love) to live in our hearts and the tangible expression of love is service. Service is HOW we show WHAT is in our hearts. When you become a Christian, you allow God to dwell in your heart. Since God is love, we are to love others to show our love. The way that we show love is through service. In Galatians 5:13, we are told to “serve one another in love”. In Galatians 5:14 the reason is given, “The entire law is summed up in a single command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”
The reason that Christians serve is because God had such COMPASSION for us, his children, that he took ACTION and sent his only son, Jesus, that in his love Christ gave his life that we might be able to live with him. God wants us to share His love with everyone around us by serving in every way we can. One of my favorite quotes is this…”If you want to be a bridge of hope to the world, you have to be willing to be walked on”. It hardly ever feels right to be walked on, but we can rest assured, in Jesus’ own words, that when we are serving people, we love them, and when we love them, we are honoring God!
Growing things change
We have experienced growth in our own lives and have seen many things around us grow. One thing we know about growth is that it causes change. Sometimes growth is easy and sometimes it is painful. Spiritual lives are no different. From the moment we invite Jesus into our lives he is on a personal mission to clean house. Sometimes our growth seems slow and hard to see, and other times we feel as though we’re growing so quickly that it hurts. The fact remains that growing things change, and growth is natural and necessary.
You can’t do life alone
God never intended us to be alone. In the first book of the bible God says of Adam “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make for him a helper fit for him.” More than 40% of Americans struggle with bouts of anxiety and chronic depression. It is difficult to believe that so many Americans could be depressed with our densely populated cites and the rise of technology, communication and social networking but more and more people are finding themselves isolated and alone. We believe it isn’t healthy, fun, or at all enjoyable to live life alone. God designed us as communal beings to encourage, love and care for one another. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 explains the importance of “doing life together” .
We are for what we’re for
I’ve heard it said “The local church is the Hope of the World” and I believe that wholeheartedly. Sadly, the church is not known enough as the light and hope that it is to the world, but rather the fight that it is in the world. We are called to be Salt and Light (Matt. 5:13-16) to a lost world, but the very people who need the Church to be “the hope of the world” see the Church as negative and condemning, rather than loving and forgiving like our example, Jesus. (John 3:16-17) So again, we are for what we’re for: to be the hope of the world.