To accomplish much for the cause of Christ, our church must have a common set of values and a common vision. If the leaders and members of our church cannot agree on the vision and values, we will struggle. Division and conflict crept into the church in Philippi, so Paul wrote these words:
Philippians 2:2 …make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.
“Being of the same mind” requires us to have a common understanding of scripture, a common understanding of the Christian life and a common understanding of how we minister. This is what we’re trying to address when we talk about “values.” “Having the same purpose” simply means we have a common vision.
Our prayer is that we be a unified, harmonious church moving together to fulfill our unique calling in God’s kingdom.
The Need for a Healthy Balance
God desires his church to be healthy and balanced by reflecting the whole counsel of God. Churches that over-emphasize or neglect certain truths will be limited in their ability to produce good fruit. At Potomac Baptist Church, our desire is not only to teach the lesions and doctrines of the Bible, but also to reflect the Bible’s emphasis as well.
Christ’s message to the seven churches in Asia Minor recorded in Revelation chapters 2 and 3 demonstrates Christ’s desire for a church that is representative of Him in all facets of life and ministry. Each church was commended in certain areas and chastised for not doing well in others.
Example: Ephesian Church – Through the Apostle John, Jesus admonished the Ephesian church about an over-emphasis on truth to the neglect of love.
Revelation 2:4-5 But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. ‘Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent.
In the book of Ephesians, the Apostle Paul also warned them that they should speak the truth in love to their fellow man.
Ephesians 4:15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ…
When God looked at the church in Ephesus, He saw a church that over-emphasized doctrine to the neglect of love. Ultimately, this affected their passion and devotion to Christ. God wants his church to be healthy and balanced by reflecting all of His truth and goodness.
Perhaps the best way to achieve balance is to understand how scriptural principles are meant to balance each other. The old adage says “Scripture interprets scripture.” To best reflect the balance we’re striving for, we’ve stated what we believe as “counter-balancing values”. The goal for doing this is not to move toward a “watered-down” version in the middle by compromising the importance of each individual value. Rather, we strive to blend each of the two values together to reflect the best and truest aspects of both.