In a way, all Christian churches share the same mission, but what are the characteristics that we’ve identified to be at the heart of Heritage?
Being kingdom-minded means that the higher priority is God’s kingdom, not our own kingdom. We believe that unity among Christians and churches is important to God, and that it signals to the world that Jesus is sent by God because He loves them. (John 17:21-23) We love other churches and “tribes” and work together with them, even if they have some different beliefs and practices than us. They are not our competition, but our brothers.
Heart for the Poor and Nations
God has called us to “remember the poor” (Gal. 2:10) and to be generous, so we are a people of compassion. We help those in need, locally and globally. The greatest need on earth is for the gospel, and so we are a missions-oriented church. We are intentional about finishing the task of reaching all people groups in the world with the gospel (Matt. 28:18-20). We start by giving away 15% of all our offering, called our First Fruits, toward this purpose. We ask every Community Group in our church to do at least one outreach in the community per quarter.
The Word and the Spirit
We treasure God’s Word and want to teach it well, learn it, and apply it in our lives (the evangelical tradition). In addition, we treasure the ministry of the Holy Spirit – His presence, His gifts, His signs, and wonders (the charismatic tradition). Many churches tend emphasize one while neglecting the other. However, both are essential and Biblical, so we want to be a church that pursues 100% of both.
Growing and Multiplying
The natural order of life is that healthy things grow and mature organisms reproduce. And so it is in the church. Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matt 28:19). We are called by God to grow and multiply – new disciples, new small groups, and new churches.
Love in Action
James 1:22 says, “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” It is our core belief that if you are a Christian, it will be evident by how you live your life. Actions show what you really believe. Your Christianity should be lived out in your day-to-day life, and the result is that together we change the spiritual climate in our city. We are an action-oriented church. We want to see everyone engaged in loving and serving and using their spiritual gifts sacrificially.
We believe it is critically important to build strong families and to pass our faith to the next generation (Psalm 78:4-7). We invest in building strong marriages, equipping parents, and reaching the next generation for Christ. We want to be a multi-generational church rather than segregated by age. We make room to mentor and raise up young leaders to pass the baton of faith and leadership to the next generation.
Jesus said that the single most distinguishing characteristic of Christians is the quality of our relationships with each other (John 13:34-35). Church is a family where people feel a sense of belonging and are welcomed and loved. We are a relational church that “does life together.” We want every member to be committed to a Community Group where we build deeper friendships. As family, we care for one another, sacrifice for one another and help meet each other’s needs. It’s not easy, but it’s beautiful when we get it right!
Going Deeper Together
Many churches in America are so eager to attract people that they aren’t calling people deeper in God. Hebrews 6:1 says, “Let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity.” As Christians, this is our calling. God is worthy of our complete devotion, so we are constantly seeking more of God and a deeper devotion to Christ.