Core values are principles or beliefs that a person or organization view as being of central importance. At Grace Polaris Church we have focused our attention on eight Core Values that underline and guide our mission of honoring God and multiplying devoted followers of Jesus. We hope this Core Values blog series will help you embrace and understand these values in a deeper way.
- A jar of peanut butter is a great snack, but eat too much of it and you’ll get bored and really, really thirsty.
- A bag of pretzels is an amazing snack, but rarely can one eat the whole bag, because after a while…eh.
- Caramel might be one of the single sweetest and mouthwatering sugar confections, but a few too many and your teeth feel like they’re wearing sweaters.
- Peanuts are one of the most popular and beloved nuts. It’s easy to get sucked in and eat too many because they are highly addictive.
- Milk Chocolate, plain and simple, is good.
Put those five amazing snacks together and you have, quite possibly, the greatest symphony of flavors the world has ever known. Thankfully for us, the Hershey Company has combined all of these tasty treats into one single work of perfection. Maybe you’ve heard of it, the Take 5 candy bar. Never before has such perfect diversity been combined to taste so amazing. Well, at least not the edible version of diversity.
After the resurrection of Jesus, “the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age’” (Matthew 28:16–20).
Jesus was setting into motion a movement that would change the world by commissioning His disciples and those who would follow (that’s us) to take the Good News to all nations. Not only was the challenge to share Jesus with the world but to share Him with a diverse world, creating a beautiful diversity of believers that could not be explained by the onlooking world.
As the church grew and salvation went out from the Jews to the Gentiles a perfect symphony of Christ followers were joined together. This unity was born through the work of the Spirit in spite of differences of race, gender, location, social status, or living situation (Galatians 3:26–28).
We are charged with the same task of taking the good news to the world that surrounds us. And as we look around our neighborhood, the local mall, our work places, and our sports teams we quickly realize that we live in a diverse world. However, as we look at the people who sit in our churches we quickly realize that we could be much more effective in reaching those “nations” that surround us as we “go.”
In fact, at Grace this idea of diversity matters to us so much that it is one of our Core Values:
We celebrate unity in diversity. The plan of God involves people of very different backgrounds, ethnicities, ages, and economic means. The people of God proclaim through their diversity the Gospel’s power to transform all kinds of people. We will welcome such variety within our church family and choose to view it as a benefit, even with its complexities. With such diversity, we are enriched and the radiance of Gospel reconciliation is highlighted.
When we can look beyond the people who are like us and care for those who are different, a watching world will take notice. This perfect blend of differences in our church will make a mockery of a simple candy bar. However, if we all remain apart, we might not be any better to the world than a simple candy bar.
We do know that God will accomplish His goals; He’s revealed that to us in the book of Revelation:
Revelation 7:9,10 …I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”
So go! Celebrate the unity that we can have in diversity and then work to see a church that represents the diversity that God has created and longs to reconcile to himself.
Dave Nicodemus is the Communications & Creative Arts Pastor and has served at Grace Polaris for over eight years, seven and a half of those as the High School Pastor. Dave joined the Grace staff after serving at a church in eastern Pennsylvania. Prior to that, he studied youth and family ministry, minoring in art at Grace College (2001) and completing a masters degree from Grace Theological Seminary (2003). He’s the husband of Carly and father to Jack, Henry, Emilia, and Charlie.