Granite Etching vs. Sand Writing

April 9, 2010

Buffer

Dear Family & Friends,

One of the hardest thing for people to grasp and to understand is the difference between “never change” and “must change.”  This is not a new issue facing Christians. Jesus had this same issue with the religious leaders of His day. He came along and messed with items that “must change” but the religious leaders considered “must change” items as “never change” items. To use Will Mancini’s language we must write some things in granite (never change core) and some things in sand (must change methods). The problem is that people get too attached to the things wirtten in sand.   

At Eastside, we have always understood what our never change core items are. Plus we have also understood that methods are always changing. Allow me to give you a little historical background. Eastside has 8 primary core items that never change. We refer to them as our core values. Here they are: 

Biblical Authority: God speaks to us through the Bible, and we recognize His Word as the final authority for our lives and ministry.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV) – All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

People’s Eternity: People matter to God; so we engage individuals where they are and share with them the good news about Christ.

Mark 10: 24 (NIV) – “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

The Next Generation: Starting with our families, through leadership and discipleship, we provide a nurturing and safe environment for preparing the next generation to share the Gospel and lead.

2 Timothy 2:2 (NLT) – “You have heard me teach many things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Teach these great truths to trustworthy people who are able to pass them on to others.” (2 Timothy 1:5)

People’s Giftedness: God has given each believer gifts and it is our responsibility to invest these gifts in helping others to be fully devoted followers of Christ.

1 Peter 4:10(NLT) – “God has given gifts to each of you from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Manage them well so that God’s generosity can flow through you.” (Ephesians 4:11-12; Romans 12:6-8)

Campus & Community Small Groups: Accountability, belonging, care, and spiritual growth happen best with an authentic community of relationally-connected believers, where the Holy Spirit is allowed to work.

Acts 2:46-47 (NIV) – Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Cultural Relevancy: The church should use the current culture as a means to communicate the timeless principles of God’s Word.

1 Corinthians 9:20-23 (NLT) – “When I am with the Jews, I become one of them so that I can bring them to Christ. When I am with those who follow the Jewish laws, I do the same, even though I am not subject to the law, so that I can bring them to Christ. When I am with the Gentiles who do not have the Jewish law, I fit in with them as much as I can. In this way, I gain their confidence and bring them to Christ. But I do not discard the law of God; I obey the law of Christ. When I am with those who are oppressed, I share their oppression so that I might bring them to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone so that I might bring them to Christ. I do all this to spread the Good News, and in doing so I enjoy its blessings.”

Creativity and Innovation: The reach of the Gospel is deeper and wider by strategically leveraging non-traditional approaches to ministry and by continuous improvement of these unique approaches.

Proverbs 18:15 (NLT) – “Intelligent people are always open to new ideas. In fact, they look for them.” (Genesis 1:1)

Full Devotion: God’s desire for every believer is to grow toward full devotion in Christ. Full devotion is evident by the way the believer uses their time, talent, treasure, and testimony for the glory of God.

Matthew 22:37-39 (NLT) – “Jesus replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: `Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

At Eastside, these are the things etched in granite for us. Everything else is a method.

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