We want Baltimore to Flourish.
When God created the world, it was perfect; everything was as it should be. Unfortunately, sin entered the world shortly thereafter and ruined God's perfect creation. But immediately after the fall, God revealed his plan to redeem his fallen creation and return it to a state of perfect flourishing. Since that moment, God has been unfolding that plan, which was fully revealed in Jesus Christ. Through his life, death, and resurrection, Jesus has established the Kingdom of God on earth.
The Kingdom of God is life under the perfect rule of Jesus Christ where everything is the way it ought to be. As Jesus instructs us to pray in the Lord's Prayer, we want to see this become a reality in Baltimore as it is in heaven. So we long for an end to violence and drug abuse, the establishment of healthy families, equality and safety for all people, clean streets and air, and people reconciled to one another and to God. Although we know that these longings will only be fully satisfied when Jesus returns, we'll pursue these things by the power of the Holy Spirit until that day comes.
We will make disciples who proclaim the gospel in word and deed for the good of Baltimore.
We believe that the best way to pursue our vision is to make disciples or followers of Jesus Christ. A disciple of Jesus is someone who acknowledges that Jesus is Savior and Lord and follows in His footsteps by doing the things He did while He was on earth. This includes verbally sharing the good news of the Kingdom of God and demonstrating the characteristics of the Kingdom of God with their good deeds. Our proclamation of the gospel is meant to bless the entire world but the best way for us to do that is to focus primarily on blessing our city of Baltimore.
Love God. Love People. Love Baltimore.
In order to fulfill our mission, we will focus on a threefold love: Love for God, Love for People, and Love for Baltimore. In other words, we believe that true disciples of Jesus are people who embrace and practice His radical love for God, the people whom God has placed around them, and the world in which they live.
The gospel is the power for salvation for all who believe. So everything we teach and do, from Sermons to Bible studies and Sunday Worship to Community Clean Ups is rooted in the gospel. (Romans 1:16; Galatians 1:9)
Every Christian is called, gifted, and commissioned for ministry. It’s the responsibility of the church to equip every member of the church for this purpose. So we will equip and empower our members for ministry and create opportunities for them to do so in relation to their personal gifts. (1 Peter 2:9; Ephesians 4:11-12)
Just as God has loved us and invited us to know him, we will be a church that welcomes and loves. We will do this for visitors and guests and also for one another. This takes many different forms, but one of the primary ways that we do this is by sharing meals together and opening our homes up to one another. (Acts 2:44-47; 1 Peter 4:8-10)
The gospel unites us to Jesus regardless of our age, gender, ethnicity, or political affiliation (or anything else). As a result, the Universal Church is a rich mosaic of diverse people. So we desire to embody this reality by reflecting and celebrating the diversity of the community around us while emphasizing the power of the gospel to unite. (Colossians 3:11; Ephesians 2:13-16; Revelation 7:9)
The Church is made up of broken people trusting in a perfect savior. So we are honest with our shortcomings and look to Jesus and each other for help. We are a church of imperfect people trusting in a perfect God. (Acts 4:33-35; Philippians 3:12)
We believe that God loves cities and that he wants his people to love cities too. So we will love the city of Baltimore by seeking its flourishing. We want to do our part in helping Baltimore be the “The Greatest City in America.” (Genesis 1:28; Jeremiah 29:7)
Just as the human body has many different parts, there are many different local churches in the universal body of Christ. We are distinct from other churches because of things like time, location, culture, and theological convictions. Nevertheless, our commonality in Christ is greater than our differences. So we will celebrate our unity by serving the world together with other local churches and by occasionally joining together with them in corporate worship. (John 17:20-21; Acts 15)