Our purpose: To glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.
Our vision: To bring the kingdom of God to bear in Scottsdale, the Valley, and around the world.
Our mission: Transforming lives through the Gospel to change the world.
As a church, a gathered family of believers in Christ, what do we want to do in this world? This our question of Vision. We want the world around us to reflect the rule, reign, and love of the Lord Jesus Christ. We want righteousness to be found in our own lives, in our families, in the business place and the government, the marketplace, and in health care. We are trying to bring the perfect light of Christ into the world around us. We want to see the peace of Christ triumph in our community. Wherever we are in this world, we want to see Christ performing His work there. This is bringing the kingdom of God to bear.
Where do we want this to happen? The short answer is everywhere. We want the corners of the earth to reflect the perfect rule and reign of our loving Father in heaven. Yet, as members of this community, we can affect our immediate world here, and as we are sent, the rest of the world.
This vision is big, as big as the whole church itself. Our vision unites us to the rest of God’s people around the world; we all work for a common vision. Yet, how will we, as Covenant Community Church work toward this vision? What is our particular contribution toward this magnificient work of God? The answer to this is our Mission: transforming lives through the Gospel to change the world.
OUR MISSION There are many ways that the vision stated above could determine how we do what we do as a church. Yet, for Covenant Community Church, we will rally around a specific mission, a specific means to accomplish bringing the kingdom of God to bear. We will do this by sending people who are being transformed by the Gospel out into the world, in order to reflect the character of Christ in our culture. We hope to bring change to the world, in a sense, from the inside out. As we live in a transformed fashion in the world around us, this world will be different. We are not waiting until God completes His work in us before we go out to live in this world. We are being transformed through the Gospel; it is a process. And we will labor for the Lord in the midst of that process.
This calls us to recognize several things about ourselves. First, we are not, nor will we ever be on this side of heaven, perfect people. We are all messy with sin in our lives, yet God is doing His work of transforming us. We will walk together in this process patiently with one another, recognizing our flawed, sinful, broken hearts along the way. Since we are not perfect people, our influence on those around us will not be perceived as perfect either. Yet fundamentally, we must recognize that it is God who is doing the transforming work through the Gospel, not ourselves constructing the types of persons we would like to be. We must live in relationship with others who also are in the process of transformation, walking together in brokenness.
Second, we are going to influence the world around us. This means wherever we are, we are sent to work for change through the Gospel in that place. Wherever we are, in our workplace or at home, in Scottsdale or in other parts of the world, we will labor for the kingdom of God in that place.
Third, the transformation we look for comes through the Gospel. Covenant Community Church is not fundamentally seeking a moral conversion of a place, although moral purity is part of the kingdom of God. We do not seek simply an outward appearance of righteousness projected into the world; we seek its deep change from the heart! The work that God does in our hearts to change us takes time, and gets very messy. Our goal is not to produce pretty or respectable people; we long for people to be transformed in the depths of their hearts through the power of the Gospel.
What does this mission statement mean for how we will do ministry at Covenant Community Church?
Covenant Community Church will be intentional about relationships in the Body. We are committed to pursuing a life that grows into reflection of the life of Christ, motivated by His mercy and grace. This process is called discipleship, and we all journey on this pathway. This journey of discipleship is not an aimless walk, however. All of our life is spent in pursuit of the transformed life, from our worship, work, relationships, and our personal walk with Christ. Covenant Community will seek to provide opportunity for growth into the “transformed life.”
What does a “transformed life” look like? Someone who is a…
1. CAPTIVE to the love of God in Christ and His Word.
2. STEWARD of their possessions: relationally, materially and physically, and growing in the use of them for Kingdom Priorities.
3. SERVANT of the Body, manifesting that service in the knowledge and use of one’s Spiritual gifts to build up the Body.
4. MEMBER of the church who demonstrates love and concern for other members of the family of God.
5. MISSIONARY to the least and the lost who actively pursues relationships with non-kingdom people with the intention of bringing the love of Christ to bear on any situation in which he is found, both in word and deed.
Through the Gospel… What really has power to change lives? Paul is very clear that it is not the law that can change the human heart. He says that the “gospel is the power of God.” It is not like the power of God, or part of the power of God, but rather, it is the power of God.
What, then, is the Gospel? As humans made in the image of God, we are glorious creatures. We have been made in the image of God in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness. Yet, we all know that is only the beginning part of the story. That image was broken and marred by man’s fall into sin in the Garden of Eden.
What has happened is that our situation is worse than we ever could have imagined. We inherited the sinful nature of Adam such that all that we are has been tainted with sin: our body and soul. There is not one part of us that is righteous on its own. And because of the nature of sin we inherited, we continue to sin in thought, word, and deed each and every day…each and every hour…each and every minute! This problem with sin is deeply ingrained in our hearts, in the dark corners of our souls we let no one else see. We sin because we are sinners!
And the really bad news is that the character of God demands perfection from His creatures. His holiness demands that sin is paid for by someone. In His perfection, He can’t simply overlook our sinful nature, nor the actual sin we commit. He must punish for it; His holy nature demands it! Yet, in His perfect love, He can’t stand to see us punished. The Holiness of God and the Love of God meet in the Gospel.
Although our situation is worse than we ever could have imagined, in Christ, we are more loved than we ever dared hope! The truth of the Gospel is of a Great Exchange. Jesus died the death I should have died; he was given all that a sinful person deserved, exhausting God’s wrath for the sinner. Jesus also lived the life I should have lived, and now we are given all a perfectly righteous person deserves. He did everything to perfection required of a human in the sight of God, then has given over to His children that record of perfect righteousness. The Great Exchange is that all that was mine in sin, he took, and all that is His in righteousness, I received! We have been adopted into His family, becoming His beloved children. We have the power of God at work in us, renewing us in the image of Christ, enabling us to live more like Him. The resurrection power of God that defeated death now is alive in us, and we will one day follow behind the Lord’s conquering of death, and be raised to life, perfected in body and soul!
What difference does all this make? How does the Gospel have power to change us? In the Gospel, the Holy Spirit unites us to Christ, joining us to Him in a very real sense. In Him, we possess all the righteousness, holiness, approval of God, eternal life, etc. that we will ever need. We appear perfect before God!
All sin is proper desire perverted. Each sin we commit is in some sense trying to grasp for ourselves or create for ourselves a counterfeit of some blessing that comes as a benefit of being a child of God. The power of the Gospel enables us to look squarely at the enticement and entanglement of sin in our hearts, yet look to Jesus to provide in perfection all we need. For the desires in our hearts that sin arouses, the Lord Jesus truly is the ultimate and only righteous satisfaction.
How does the Gospel change us? It changes us as the source of power, holiness and motivation in our lives. It enables us to grow up into the new man or woman He has made us to be without fear of judgment or punishment. It assures us of the eternally secure and powerfully present love of Christ. As our vision statement makes clear, it is through the Gospel that lives are transformed, AND, it is through the Gospel that we change the world around us.
To change the world around us.
We believe that sending transformed lives out into the world around us will change it, as a fruit of the Gospel. This conviction is not a triumphalistic idealism expecting total change by our efforts; however, the world around us will be different as we send out transformed people into our spheres of influence. Our base conviction is this: When we are transformed by and live the Gospel, the world around us will be different simply because we are there! We believe that we can bring change to the world that we touch, whether in Scottsdale or on a mission project. Wherever we are, the people around us will be different because of the Gospel lived out in our lives as we are transformed.
How are we committed to change the world around us?
1. Living the Gospel: As we are personally changed by the truth of God’s Word, we bring the sweet aroma of Christ with us wherever we go. If we are business people, we will live out the truth of God in that business arena, thereby changing that environment for the better. We will seek to live a transformed life before our neighbors, thus bringing Christ to bear in the lives of our neighbors. Wherever we are, we will seek to change the world around us through the Gospel.
2. Sending the Gospel: We are committed to God’s ordained means of bringing His kingdom into the world, the church. As such, CCC will seek to plant and assist in planting relationally focused churches in the Valley and the world.
3. Giving the Gospel: The heart of God throughout the Scriptures reveals His care and concern for the needy. Although in Scottsdale, “the needy” appear differently than in other places. We will define the needy as anyone with whom we would not like to trade places, often the most broken and hurting people around us. This will also involve serving the needy stricken with poverty in other parts of our city and the world.
As a community of believers, what will it take to get there?
1. WORSHIP: We must continually use the means of grace that God has ordained in order be transformed into the image of Christ.
a. Corporate: To make Sunday worship a priority in order to grow through the preaching of the Word and administration of the sacraments.
b. Private: To engage in the personal disciplines such as Prayer, Reading, Meditation and Memory of Scripture.
c. Family: To lead and nurture those whom God has placed under your authority in the ways of the Lord.
2. COMMUNITY: We must engage in the life of the Body by using gifts to serve and exercising concern and love and compassion for your brothers and sisters.
3. MISSION: We must reach out to the least and the lost both relationally and materially in order to communicate the fragrance of Christ in every situation. Mission is not simply a separate program of the church; rather, our lives are spent in mission, pursuing the lost all around us!
4. EQUIPPING: We must actively seek and take advantage of opportunities to grow in our knowledge of Christ, and exercise that growth in serving.
What can you expect from the leadership of Covenant Community Church? As you make use of the means listed above to pursue completion in Christ, what can you expect from the leadership of CCC in this journey?
1. We will provide a corporate worship service on Sunday that will be focused in excellence on the Majesty of God in Christ through the Holy Spirit, and relevant to the culture around us.
2. We will offer teaching opportunities in a venue that will accommodate your stage of your Spiritual Pilgrimage and, as best as we can, your competing time demands. Currently this is being offered in Sunday School.
3. We will offer community groups built around various areas of interest. The primary purpose of these groups will be to facilitate the building of deeper relationships within the body as we grow together in Christ.
4. We will provide equipping opportunities in a condensed format, such as weekend conferences, that will accomplish the purpose in a venue that is easily accessible and conducive to accomplishing this objective.
5. We will offer mission opportunities, both locally and globally, through periodic outreaches and trips.
6. We will plan for and promote discipleship throughout the Body. Discipleship will be done in small groups as well as in one-on-one settings using a multi-stage approach for people in differing places in spiritual maturity.