From the outside many churches look very similar; they run services, children and youth programmes, small groups and the like. LHFC is no exception - we are involved in running many of these activities and we seek to run them with excellence, encouraging all to strive to give their best for God. But we are also aware that while these are good things, these activities are simply the scaffolding around what God has called us to truly be. We read in 1 Sam 16 "whilst man looks on the outside, God looks at the heart." While we do seek to give excellence, in all we do, big or small, we are also fully aware that what God is seeking for are hearts that are after him, individuals and communities.
At the centre of all we do, underneath the scaffolding, we are seeking to be people who display an ever increasing likeness of Jesus. Our values set out the DNA that we believe God is both looking for and gives us. In short, this is what we want to see displayed and growing in all we do as a church, as small groups and as individuals.
THIS IS WHO WE ARE;
Expressing our love for and dependency on God through worship, prayer and lifestyle Being consistent, honest, creative and honouring - it's all about God not us! "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind." Luke 10:27a
Embracing one another with a God empowered love, accepting, caring, serving, journeying together with those who are like us, and not like us. ". and love your neighbour as yourself." Luke 10:27b
Extending the love of God to reach those beyond our walls and far from God. To listen, look and leap into God's plans to 'preach good news to the poor "go and make disciples of all nations " Matthew 28:19a
Engaging with the Bible and allowing it to impact and affect our everyday lives.
To study the Bible to deepen our understanding, share what we know and to be participators in God's unfolding plans. "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." Romans 12:2a
Enriching family life; children, teenagers, singles, married, parents, seniors and communities/neighbourhoods. Adding value to those around us. Jesus said, "I have come that they may have life and have it to the full." John 10:10b
Empowering others to be who God has created them to be, through self sacrifice and service To be givers and not takers. To in humility, consider others better than ourselves. We understand serving releases blessing. John 13:16-17
Building with scaffolding - churches use a variety of tools to help encourage godly growth in people; these tools include things like Sunday services, youth activities, music groups, etc. and many people sacrificially give to make these tools work for the glory of God. But what happens when these tools become ineffectual? The risk is that we merge the tool and the aims into one, and consider them both 'sacred and must not be changed.' This is such a dangerous trap for it can render whole sections of church life sterile, plus it sets the stage for incredible fallout; for in order to change things a stick of dynamite will be required to alter this 'concreted in' tool. The casualties will be high, people will be hurt, damaging things will be said.
Building with scaffolding is about understanding there is a difference between the "tools" churches use and the "core values" we are supposed to see grow. Sunday service styles, structures and times, senior's meeting places, youth clubs, leadership structures - are all scaffolding to help us grow. If the growing stops because a tool has become ineffectual, this is the time to simply unbolt the scaffolding and erect something different - no dynamite, fewer casualties, more growth. The flip side of this also means you can try new things and fail - it's only scaffolding! However we still need to build with excellence - we don't want the scaffolding falling down underneath us. Scaffolding reminds us, it's not about the programmes, tools, clubs and activities - it's about what's growing inside. Are we looking more like a Jesus shaped community as a result of what we are doing?