Every company, organization, school, church, and family has it’s own unique way of doing things. That’s called culture. Because we are a collection of many people from various places, backgrounds and stories, we believe culture-making is essential for unifying our Church family around a shared vision as we carry the message of Jesus to the world. We exist to Love God, Connect with Others, and Reach the World by creating a Culture where…
01. Jesus is our Lead Story
Philippians 2:5-11, Colossians 1:15-18, Hebrews 1:1-4
We believe Jesus is unrivaled in History and Eternity. He is glorious both now and forever and His name is the only name that saves. Our goal is to not just come to church for a production or service, our desire is for people to encounter Jesus. We don’t want to be identified by anything other than Jesus.
So no matter what is going on locally, globally, economically, or politically; no matter what our theme is or what current events are in our church’s life- Jesus is our lead Story and what we want people remembering during the week once they leave our gathering.
02. Scripture & Prayer are Prime
2 Timothy 2:15, 3:16-17, Matthew 6:5-15, James 5:16-18
God gives us His Word to bring about the Good News of Jesus and that Good News is not that our sin made us bad people and somehow, we might make ourselves better. The Gospel cries out that our sin has made us dead and that Jesus is our only hope of ever being made alive. To miss this truth is to miss the purpose of life and the purposes of Christ. Therefore, all we do and say is anchored in this Message of the Gospel.
So, when we gather our ultimate purpose is NOT to endorse the ideas, philosophies, or opinions of men, but to exchange them for the transforming truth of God’s Word.
When we pray, we are agreeing with the Holy Spirit of our desperate need for His presence and we are asking for His transforming power to consume and move in us personally and corporately. Ultimately, we believe the purpose of prayer is to align ourselves with His will, His ways, and His Word.
So, when we gather our ultimate purpose is NOT to fill empty time or transitions with empty words or phrases and call it “prayer”, but to invite the Holy Spirit to meet the deepest needs of those gathered for the advancement of His Kingdom and the Glory of His Name.
03. Worship is a Lifestyle
Acts 16:25, Isaiah 1:12-17, 6:1-8, Psalms 42:1-2, 63:1-11
Worship is more than a song or lyric- it’s more than what we do with our mouths. It's what we do with our hearts, heads, and hands as well. When we gather, the intention of our worship is to sing His praises, celebrate what He is doing (our Host Moments), hear and respond to His Word, and give to His compassions.
However, worship is not just an hour that we gather each week. Worship is a lifestyle in which the songs we are singing and the message we are hearing on Sunday echoes throughout the week. Worship is magnifying Jesus everywhere, all the time. It is literally expressing highest value to God through our lives in response to who He is and His love for us.
04. We > Me
Acts 1:14, 2:1, 2:44-47, 4:32-35, Ephesians 4:1-6, Philippians 2:1-4, Hebrews 10:23-25
We want to be organized for maximum impact, yet our Church is more than just an organization you join. It is a family to which you belong. It’s not about a building you go to, but a people you connect with. The emphasis is not on membership but on relationship. We don’t pay membership dues and then expect a certain return. Instead we give to our family and are rooted together in Christ as we “Do” Life together: belonging, partnering, sharing, and loving as Christ. We have many ministries, but one Local Body. So, no ministry seeks to elevate itself over another. Instead we use our gifts to build one another up and reach out to others for the Glory of His name.
We believe that as the Body of Christ, we are growing to be a part of something greater than ourselves. The “Me” mentality fragments and dilutes the story of Christ that we are privileged to tell. We believe that “we” is greater than “me”. We believe everyone has a role to play and a story to tell. And we don’t always have to get credit for everything we do because of the One who sees it all rewards us all.
For us, there is no they … as in, “I don’t know who decided that, but ‘they’ must not have thought about us when ‘they’ did.” In most organizations, “they” is simply code for the people we don’t know, can’t see, or don’t like.
We are just “we”- that’s why our first response is to assume the best of those who are leading and attempting to follow God’s direction for our Church family. We support. We trust. We unite. We squash gossip and encourage those around us. We don’t always get everything right, so when needed we talk to the proper people in the proper ways so that our “we” can become as strong as it can be.
Because Jesus is our lead story, we do not elevate ourselves above Him or one another. The truth is we are nothing apart from Christ, but because we are His, we also don’t cheat ourselves and live like we are nobodies. We are humbly confident in who God has made us to be. We believe humility and honor are the path to living out a culture of We > Me. It is God who rewards humility and honors people. Because He has honored us, we honor each other as we are becoming something greater than ourselves.
We believe the practical implications of “We>Me” are best lived and demonstrated through being involved in a small group (Connect Groups). These groups offer us the ability to do life together as we become all God desires us to be as a Church family, while creating a culture where “We>Me”.
05. We Get to Serve
Ephesians 2:1-10, Romans 12:1-21, James 2:26
We believe serving in the local Body of Christ is not optional for those who follow Jesus, because our service is worship when it's done in a way that brings honor to Him.
However, when it comes to serving God and people, obligation should NOT be our motivation. We were lost & dead when the love of God came and found us. Now we are alive & free. We don’t serve because we have to or “Got” to. We serve because we “Get” to.
We want to exceed expectations, while serving in the power of God’s Spirit and with the joy that He gives. We are followers of Jesus, therefore no “ask” is too big and no role is too small. Serving in His Kingdom is not a pain, it’s a privilege. We bring our best, we are proactive, and we take initiative.
Because Jesus brings change, we embrace flexibility. We may not be in control of every environment, but we want to inject positivity and life into every situation. We rise above feelings, choose joy, and lead from a source greater than ourselves.
06. Transformation > Tradition
Genesis 1:26-28, 2:19, Exodus 35:33, Proverbs 14:15, Romans 12:1-2, 1 Corinthians 9:19-23, Colossians 3:23
Our church had its beginning in 1949 when believers came together on County Home Road to plant a church. From those early days to the present we have endeavored to continue to follow the Holy Spirit as He leads. We have been blessed through the years to have leaders and laymen who appreciate our traditions but are not bound by them. We know that as the culture changes around us we are challenged to consider changing ourselves.
Under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, our methods, creativity, and presentation of the Gospel require us at times to reach beyond our traditions for the greater cause of lives being transformed by a never changing message. Therefore, the greater emphasis of our ministry is not placed on the restrictions of our traditions but on the unlimited possibilities of the transformation that can take place in an individual’s life. It is with this value in mind, that we are constantly striving for transformative intentionality.
We are intentional in our words…
We believe words matter- with them we create the culture in which we live. That’s why we try not to use clichés and do not feel bound by standard terminology. For instance, we call our times together on Sundays, “gatherings” instead of “services” realizing that when we are together it’s more like a family “get together”. We refer to those leading in worship as “Worship Leaders”- They are not a band performing a gig or a choir singing presentations of music- They are leading us to join them in glorifying Christ. Rather than “Sunday School”, we believe that “Connect Groups” better convey what we are trying to accomplish- a small group connected to the heart of God, while connecting with one another through, prayer, studying God’s Word and doing life together. We seek to create and shape our culture by using words and phrases that accurately reflect the people we want to be and the things we endeavor to do.
We are intentional in our planning…
Each ministry team here at Pleasant City Church takes time to plan and pray as we prepare. We realize that God’s Spirit is ultimately directing us. Therefore, our planning intentionally follows the vision He has given. Regular, ordinary, and usual are not on our list of values. We believe creativity and excellence are a big part of the process of engaging the hearts and minds of people. Excellence is defined for us, as “removing distractions so people can see Jesus.” From the words spoken from the stage to the smallest audio or lighting transition, we want to be excellent and give our best so that people can focus on Christ. We value creativity because it points people in a culturally relevant way to the Ultimate Creator. Whether we use a video, prop, song, event, or illustration- all is carefully planned and intentionally designed to bring people to Christ.
We are intentional in our environment…
Because the beauty of God outshines everything, beauty matters in all we do. When it comes to our environments, we want to reflect this beauty. Intentional design affirms that we are current, and helps us usher His unchanging message to a rapidly changing world. That’s why we put so much thought and energy into the spaces we invite people into. We are passionate about the physical and emotional safety of our church family during our time together. Therefore, we want to hope for the best and plan for the worst. We desire that people feel welcome and not threatened in our gatherings. We also have created age-appropriate spaces for our ministries. We have carefully crafted a Worship center, Children’s center, Student center, and Adult center with each generational mindset involved. Before most people hear us, they see us. We want what they see to be inviting, interesting, inspiring, excellent, and compelling.
07. Generosity is Common
Matthew 6:1-4, 2 Corinthians 9:7, Proverbs 11:25, Malachi 3:1
We are the recipients of the greatest gift the world has ever known, the gift of Jesus Christ that brings about life, grace, mercy, and freedom: at no cost to us- yet at the highest cost to Him. Because we have been freely given all of this, our only right response is to freely give. Therefore, giving out of obligation is the wrong response and unbiblical. We want people to understand that we don’t “take” the offering, we create an opportunity to “give” an offering.
Giving is a part of our worship. Our response is not to calculate how little we can return to Him, but to realize that we are mere managers of all that He has entrusted us. Generosity is not about our wealth as much as it is about our hearts and our confidence in God.
08. Multiplication > Addition
Matthew 28:16-20, Ephesians 4:11-16, Deuteronomy 6:5-7
When a Church adds a member, they are adding to their family but when that Church disciples a member they are multiplying the Kingdom of God. The result of true discipleship is when there is multiplication. When people are transformed by the gospel, then are discipled, then those who are discipled lead others to Christ--that is multiplication.
We desire to do more than just invite others to church so a pastor can share Christ with them. It is our call, command, and privilege to carry the name of Christ to our workplaces, our schools, our homes, and our communities. Making disciples is not a calling for a few but a command to all.
We also believe that discipleship does not originate in the church. Discipleship begins in the home. God created the family to be the primary center for discipleship--not the children’s ministry, the student ministry, or the church in general. In the context of discipleship, the Church and its ministries are in place to equip and enhance the discipleship in the home. When a family has a child, they are adding to their family but when a family disciples a child they are multiplying the Kingdom of God.
09. We are Kingdom Focused
Acts 1:8, Matthew 28:18-20, Isaiah 58:6-7, James 1:27
We realize that every Bible-believing church doesn’t look and feel the same, nor should it. We should celebrate not only our own accomplishments, but also the accomplishments of other Bible-believing churches in our community. Competition distracts and divides in a city where a hundred Gospel-centered churches could emerge tomorrow and there still would be a need for more. So, our desire is not to compete with these churches, but rather to complete one another as we share in this united vision to reach the world for the sake of His Kingdom.
We also believe in supporting Kingdom-focused causes like meeting the needs of the poor, the victimized, the unborn, the widow, the orphan, and the marginalized of society.
We love our Church family here at Pleasant City Church, but we also understand that we are just a small part of the Universal Church Jesus died for and is building in every nation of the earth and across our city. And because His Church will prevail, we will join Jesus in planting and building His Church among all people. As a church, we take seriously the command of Jesus to be on mission. Therefore, we not only pray and give, but strategically partner with those who the Holy Spirit has sovereignly led us to. We believe in empowering our church family through prayer, financial support, and “hands on training” as we send them on mission. As a church, we are not just focused on the local mission and vision of God, but we join Him in His global vision to reach the world.