Vision Statement Core Values
“Our vision is to share God’s love and make disciples of Jesus Christ by connecting people to God and one another wherever they are and across generations.”
Ben Hill UMC members revealed what they consider the following foremost core values to guide this community of faith. The core values were key foundational elements used in developing the Vision Statement. The scriptural support for these values is outlined below.
Love is a relational value that is to guide everything we do and say as Christians. Its source is God’s love for us and our love for God. The Christian church is a place and space where the expression of love is both sought and expected.
- The Great Commandment: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these” (Mk. 12:30-31).
- The Apostle Paul highlights the primacy of love by saying, “And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13).
- 1 John 3:18 reminds us that we must go beyond speech in our expression of love. We are to love “in truth and action.”
At the heart of the relational value of integrity is a way of being and doing that goes beyond skills. It centers on the very character of an individual that includes the qualities of honesty and trustworthiness.
- Credibility belongs to the leader and to the faith community. Credibility is all about taking responsibility for what is to happen and for what has or has not happened.
- Credibility and responsibility are reflected in consistency. Church leaders and congregations with integrity exist and carry out ministry as moral exemplars of the Christian faith after the model of Jesus Christ.
- Scriptures and stories that reveal the nature of integrity are: the story of Job; Proverbs 2:6-8; 1 Timothy 2:1-4; Daniel 6, and the story of Ruth (note Ruth 1:16-17).
Family is a relational value and the Christian church is the extended family of God! The extended family of God means living out the qualities of Jesus Christ in relation to one another.
- Those who receive Jesus and believe in His name are given “the right to become children of God—children not born of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God” (John 1:12-13 NIV).
- The familial identity of the Christian community is presented as the Body of Christ that is comprised of many members, each of whom is important, with varied gifts, and called by God to carry out different tasks and function interdependently (1 Corinthians 12:12-31).
- The responsibility of the church as family is to take seriously the task of promoting the ongoing spiritual growth and maturity of one another.
Faith is a theological value seeing and accepting God as trustworthy or the One on whom one can rely to help us. Scripture confirms the trustworthiness and reliability of God.
- “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who maintains covenant loyalty with those who love him and keep his commandments. . . .” (Deut. 7:9). God’s faithfulness requires a covenantal relationship—a mutual relationship between God’s people and God.
- Because of our faith in God, God’s faithfulness points us in the direction of hope (Isaiah 40:31, NRSV).
- God’s faithfulness is a reciprocal response to our faith in God (mutual faith in action). Mutual faith in action reflects the only definition of faith that appears in Hebrews 11:1. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” This definition reveals confidence in the power and love of God that is known through the actions of God.
Commitment is a value in the Christian practice of ministry and is a central expression of servants and in every position of servanthood.
- It is the servant’s “Yes” to God, love of Jesus Christ, and love of God’s people as declared in the Great Commandment.
- Love of God with the whole heart, mind, soul, and strength and others as self (Matthew 22:37-39) is the why that both undergirds and inspires commitment.
- Commitment is about seeking excellence in ministry. Love–inspired commitment joins with faith and hope that in tough times, means to keep on keeping on, despite challenges, blocks, or setbacks.
Compassion is a value in the Christian practice of ministry. It holds people together, strengthens the bonds of relationships, and motivates God’s servants to be available to and care for others along this journey called life.
- “The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The Lord is good to all, and his compassion is over all that he has made (Psalm 145:8-9 NRSV).
- “In everything, do to others as you would have them do to you, for this is the law and the prophets” (Matthew 7:12 NRSV). Jesus commands his disciples to “Be merciful (compassionate) as God is merciful (compassionate)” (Luke 6:36 NRSV).
- To show mercy is to express the kindness, thoughtfulness, helpfulness, generosity, and understanding to others as Jesus did. It is to care for God’s people.