The first Core Value of Orchard Community Church is to be “Passionately God-Centered” which is further explained:
We are passionate about putting God at the center of everything we do as a church and as individuals. We strive to draw attention to the greatness of God and to glorify Him in what we do, say, think and plan. We will be bold in declaring our love for God, giving thanks for His many blessings and making known and remembering what He has done. (1 Chronicles 16: 8-12, 23-26; Psalm 115:1; 1 Corinthians 10:31)
The idea of “putting God at the center” might be best understood as keeping God at the center. He IS the center, the focus, the purpose, the reason for, and the ultimate goal of our lives and our church. To say that we want to put him in the center is to admit that we often put something else in His place and we are seeking to give Him his rightful place back in everything we do.
Keeping God first may seem like a no-brainer for a church, but it is actually very easy to mess this up. It is so easy to put people first instead of God. Putting people first seems like such a good thing. We want to help people. We want them to be loved. We want them to hear and accept the gospel through any means possible. We think that when we put people first we are helping them, but we are leaving unchallenged the main idol of our day – ourselves. We are a poor substitute for God’s glory and grace. Our culture teaches people to live their lives focused on themselves. The Church must teach people to take their focus off of themselves and place it squarely on God.
Have you ever seen someone on a street pointing up? What do you do as you walk by? You look where they are pointing! This is the importance of being God-centered as a church. It means that when people look at us they will see that we are pointing to Someone beyond ourselves – we are pointing to the Almighty God who sent His Son to die on the cross to save us from our sins.
This means that our ultimate goal is to display the glory of God in everything we do and that we will do this in God’s way, not ours. Jesus said that the “first and greatest commandment” is to “Love God” and the 2nd greatest is to “love others” (Matthew 22:37-39). The order is absolutely crucial because the truth is that when we do not keep God first in everything we do we will always love people less than we should.
As a church, we will be “Passionately God-Centered”. This is the first, and most important Core Value of Orchard Community Church.
photo by Flickr user dziner