Why We Exist
We exist to call men and women to celebrate and be changed by the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and His Lordship over all of life, for the good of our city and the world.
In the Gospel we meet a God who has acted decisively in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus to redeem and restore people to Himself. Jesus lives the life we could not live, dies the death that we deserve to die, and is raised from the dead and revealed to be the King over all creation. This was no arbitrary event in history, it is the decisive moment.
OUR VISION FOR MINISTRY
We will hold a compelling vision of the Gospel as central to everything.
“I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God...” (Romans 1:16-17). We believe the gospel to be the most wonderful and powerful news in the world. We believe the gospel to be not merely our way into salvation, but the defining mark of the whole of the Christian life. The gospel tells the whole story of Biblical history and how God has acted decisively in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus to redeem the world for His glory. Preaching the gospel means showing how Jesus is the fulfillment and goal of every biblical text.
The gospel is the power of God. When it is declared compellingly from the Scriptures, amazing things happen. Lives are changed, hardened idolatries flee the human heart, families are restored, neighborhoods are renewed, and whole cities can be changed. So we will preach the gospel. We will counsel with the gospel. We will celebrate the gospel in song. We will remember the gospel with bread and cup. We will learn to live in light of the gospel in every sphere of life. From our personal lives, to our homes, to our neighborhoods, to the vocations we take in the city. The gospel not only saves us, it changes us, and its goal is not merely a saved people, but a redeemed creation (Romans 8). It is through this gospel that the sovereign Lord accomplishes His great work of salvation. Therefore the gospel will be central to all that we do as a people. Our desire is to see a people whose personal lives, families, and vocations are marked by the work of Christ on the Cross.
We will practice hospitality towards outsiders and live publicly in the midst of the city.
“Do not neglect to show hospitality towards strangers...” (Hebrews 13:2) We believe that the greatest evangelistic strategy in the world is the combination of a deep faith in the message of the gospel coupled with the practice of loving hospitality towards those who live around us. It is our prayer that the homes of Park Church’s people will be filled with the aroma of coffee and food and filled with our neighbors and co-workers. The lines between those inside the church and those outside will be intentionally blurred as we avoid the deadly temptation to lock our lives away. We will both practice hospitality and engage in the public life of our neighborhoods.
We will see the church as the household of God.
“...you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of truth.” (1 Timothy 3:15) The Church is to be marked by a deep love for her Lord, and a deep love for one another. This isn’t a mere sentimentality but rather a love rooted in the gospel itself that knits us together as brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers. Just as the gospel reconciles believers to God, so it also calls us to be reconciled to one another. And it calls us to live with a deep unity that must find tangible expression in our day to day lives. This will involve not only serving one another in times of need, but also learning, in a culture that worships autonomy, to share our very lives with one another. So we will seek to practice this love by integrating our lives with one another. We will share meals, help raise one another’s children, and bear one another’s burdens.
We will emphasize everyday Christian discipleship.
“...that we may live a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior...” (1 Timothy 2:2-3). The everyday language of the bible in describing the life lived in line with the gospel is sometimes shockingly mundane. The glorious weight of the gospel is embodied in everyday lives. Lives spent at work and play. A father taking care of his family, a mother loving her children, and children respecting their parents. Paul describes it as a peaceful and quiet life. It involves quietly and patiently enduring hardship and suffering, as well as deep contentment in all circumstances. Contentment rooted in the knowledge of Christ’s great work on our behalf. Becoming a disciple of Jesus has far too often been held up as something beyond the mundane, when it is precisely in the mundane that the gospel changes everything. It is our desire to see all of our lives transformed by the gospel.
We will love the city and seek its welfare.
“..seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” (Jeremiah 29:1-9). The cities of the United States have become one of the most neglected mission fields in the world. While the world is becoming increasingly urban, Christians have largely avoided the urban heart of U.S. cities for numerous reasons. We believe God has called us into the heart of the city to work for its good and to love it well. We believe that a church committed to the gospel can be more effective than any social program imaginable. We will buy homes, take jobs, and invest our lives in the good of the city. Working professionally not simply for our own profit, but for the good of those around us, raising families in neighborhoods with a visible concern for all those who live there, and seeking earnestly to see the gospel touch every part of life in the city.