Our Nine Core Values

In January, 2000, the church adopted a basic statement of several principles of the church. Although we are not a "creedal" church, we did decide it was important to affirm the basics which shape our ideology as Christians in this Body of Christ. Many of these core values are still being developed into action and will take time to realize, but they are significant to the church.

  1. Our call is to be a church based on the revealed truth of God made manifest through the Scripture, illuminated by the Holy Spirit, and confirmed by the Body of Christ. Particular focus on the Early Church as revealed in the New Testament is regularly examined for its impact on our theology, methodology, missiology, and life together.
  2. Our call is to be church to the unchurched. Although we do not preach to the unchurched as our primary target on Sunday morning, we recognize their presence among us and recognize most of the congregation come from unchurched or "cultural Christian" background and not from a solid discipleship background. Our evangelism is intertwined in our "being" and is more emphasized outside the morning worship experience, though often provided through individual counseling after the worship service. Recognizing and targeting "unreached people groups" outside our own culture is part of the our call as a church.
  3. Our call is to the poor and marginalized. The church must continue to provide acceptance and access for those who often are exclude from mainstream churches. De-emphasizing dress up clothing (or emphasizing casual dress), playing celebrative music (vs. traditional church music), and creating an atmosphere of friendliness and concern are important. Providing basic needs, such as hot meals, used clothing, and some assistance are inherently a part of that compassion. Giving respect and dignity, verbally and non-verbally, to the mental ill, impoverished, addicted, unemployed, and otherwise struggling people is expected in all programs and church gatherings.
  4. Biblical justice will continue to be an overriding theme of the church. Based in the Old testament concept of "shalom" and the New Testament holism, a theology that embraces social action and evangelism as inseparable parts must be taught to help build a congregation that understands its role in the Kingdom of God. Fighting systemic injustice in the community is an outflow of this theology. Inter-agency and ecumenical efforts to provide information and referral for people in need to overcome life dilemmas will grow. As well, creating Christian -based programs and community development must grow alongside the proclaimed Word. Employment, recovery, counseling, support groups, literacy, discipleship, reconciliation and other opportunities must accompany the call of righteousness.
  5. Multi-Culturalism is a foundational pillar of the church. Embracing all racial and economic backgrounds in membership and leadership must be highlighted in a culture that knows mostly prejudice. The church is committed to a racially and economically diverse pastoral and leadership team. Through special efforts, leadership skills and empowerment will begin to raise up leaders in the church from racial and economic minorities who are capable of preaching, teaching, pastoring, leading worship, and other responsibilities. African American and Hispanic leaders must be affirmed, trained, and encouraged in leadership. Those coming from lower income backgrounds must likewise be affirmed and trained for leadership in all levels of the church.
  6. De-emphasizing attractive or "holy" buildings for congregational meeting seems to be a natural principle from our past. Although there is no intention for leaving the underpass, if conditions required us to, then the intent would be to find a simple, inexpensive, functional meeting space that would allow the marginalized "comfort zones" to be involved in the worship service without the pressure of uniformity.
  7. Discipleship through Small Groups. With a growing group of unchurched and "baby" Christians, many of whom are living in struggles of immorality and biblical ignorance, a commitment to small groups is the basic tool for discipleship adopted by the Church. Though not ignoring Bible Studies, Sunday sermons, and other forms of discipleship, continued emphasis by small group leaders to recruit church attendees for involvement in weekly or regular small groups is important. Due to the unique needs of people in poverty or marginalization, mature Christians should lead and guide new or young believers into responsible Christian lifestyles.
  8. Being an inter-denominational congregation is basic to our call. Thought theological basics must center the group, various doctrines which easily divide will become secondary to the call of unity of the Christian body of believers.
  9. Church Under the Bridge affirms the call of "life together." We recognize that in a culture of extreme privatization, individualism, and wealth, that the tendency of "cultural Christianity "is to adopt independence as a lifestyle. Yet we affirm biblical "interdependence" as the call of the church. Therefore, "being in the world, but not of the world" requires the Church to live a life of mutual accountability and encouragement.