Create Your Own Manifesto
"Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ," (Romans 15:5-6, NKJV).
Many people have a personal code of conduct. Most organizations have a set of core values by which they live. Some groups have a declaration or manifesto, the public declaration of their policy or aims. Many sports teams have a code of ethics. Our country has the Constitution, defined as our nation’s body of fundamental principles or established precedents by which we are governed.
At VFC, we have adopted a Code; that is, twelve core values we embrace. This is our declaration, our manifesto and our “constitution.” For the first twenty years, we lived by this unwritten code. But, to help us for the next twenty, we have put it in writing. (Once again, a big thank you to Elevation Church; seeing their Code inspired us to put our Code to ink.)
As we approached our 20th Anniversary as a church, we had been seeking the Lord on His plan for the next twenty years! As a result, the Lord has given us what we are calling the VFC Upgrade 2.0. The Upgrade includes three things—One Vision, Three Actions and The Code!
Our One Vision is this: We exist, so people get it.
The Three Actions are simple: Love. Serve. Give.
The Code is powerful: It's described below.
Sharing the VFC Upgrade 2.0 with our church family has helped our entire church to get on the same page. The vision helps everyone see what we see. The actions help everyone do what we do. The code helps everyone say what we say. We hope our Code will inspire you to develop a set of core values, a declaration or a manifesto for your own life and ministry.
THE VFC CODE:
#1 – We All Scream Green: We get that Church is not about our personal preferences. So, we all wear the VFC green jersey and are unified under the one vision God has given to our Pastors. In order to be effective as a church, we cannot cater to personal preferences, but instead we must cater to the preferences the Lord puts in the hearts of those that lead His Church.
#2 – Life is Short, Church Should Be Fun: We get that Jesus loves His Church. So, this is a place where learning God’s Word is a joy and where laughter, love, hope, acceptance and forgiveness abound! The kingdom of God is supposed to be a place where righteousness, joy and peace abound and we are intentional about making church that kind of place.
#3 – We Live By Faith: We get that faith pleases God and all things are possible for everyone who believes. So, we believe God for big things and we take Him at His Word. We love faith adventures when God leads us to do things beyond our own ability or human resources. This gives us a great opportunity to watch Him show Himself strong as He does supernatural things in our midst.
#4 – Generosity Defines Us: We get that God loves a cheerful giver. So, we are known for generosity in our personal giving, in caring for one another, in giving to our community and those in need around the world. We are generous people that look for ways to be generous and our generosity will make us stand out in a world that is often stingy and selfish.
#5 – We Don’t Trash Talk: We get that the power of life and death is in our tongue. So, we speak words of faith and we say good things about others. We are believers; so we believe God and we speak in accordance with our beliefs. We believe the best and we speak the best about others.
#6 – This Is Not A Spectator Sport: We get that people connect with their God-given gifts and divine purpose through the local church. So, no one is allowed to be a full-time bench warmer, consumer or spectator; instead, everyone is expected to get in the game!
#7 – We Reach Youth, We Honor Age: We get that age brings wisdom and deserves respect; we also recognize that God is pouring out His Spirit on our sons and daughters! So, our style is youthful and our ministries are multi-generational.
#8 – This Is Not Church As Usual: We get that a lot of people feel like church is irrelevant. So, we are intentional on being a place where the word of faith is taught and the spirit of faith is caught in practical, culturally relevant ways.
#9 – We Don’t Know Everything: We get that dependence on God, prayer and learning from others in a spirit of humility is foundational to all we do. So, we seek the Lord and glean from others.
#10 – The Queen of Sheba Inspires Us: We get that a spirit of excellence glorifies God and leaves people breathless. So, we give God our best in all that we do. We love it when people come to church and say, “Wow!” We don’t give God our leftovers or sloppiness; instead, we do our best to honor the Lord by exceeding people’s expectations.
#11 – We Are Building A Movement Not a Monument: We get that eternity is a long time. So, we are focused on constant change, continual growth, reaching people for Christ and expanding our influence for the gospel. We are not interested in having a Christian “bless me” club or a pretty building that becomes a museum; instead, we are focused on maximizing our resources in every way to mobilize the church to reach more and more people for Christ.
#12 – The Lost Get Saved, The Saved Get Victory: We get that our job is to help the lost get saved and help the saved get victory! It’s simple—people are either lost and on their way to hell and it’s our job to use every possible means to lead them to Jesus; or people are saved and living defeated, unproductive lives and it’s our job to help them discover who they are in Christ so they can live the victorious, fruitful life Jesus has called them to fulfill.
That’s our Code. What’s yours?
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! For there the LORD commanded the blessing—Life forevermore.” (Psalm 133:1, 3, NKJV)
Say It: “Father, help me to identify the Code—the core values, the declaration, the manifesto and the ‘constitution’ that defines the way You want me to live in my own personal life. I also pray You help me to define the needed Code in my business, vocation or ministry—so I can be effective in mobilizing those You have called me to lead. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
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