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.

What guides the mission of the church? With a seemingly infinite number of opportunities, how do we determine which ones are best for us to spend our time, energy and resources on? These are important questions for us as individuals, but equally important for us as a church.

As Jesus departed from His initial followers, He said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). This clear directive, known by many as the Great Commission, has served as the marching orders for the global Church since its inception nearly 2,000 years ago, and it continues to animate our efforts in following Christ today. Our mission statement clearly echoes the Great Commission when it says “Grace Polaris Church exists to honor God by multiplying devoted followers of Jesus through worship, community, training, and witness.” This is what we are all about and this desire is represented in this Core Value.

We prioritize the Gospel. We will bear witness of Jesus to our neighbors and the nations out of the overflow of our transformed lives. We commit to prioritizing ministries and initiatives that emphasize Gospel proclamation, relational contexts, and a “go and tell” pattern. In light of our culture’s abundant spiritual resources, we will aggressively pursue cross-cultural opportunities which further the Great Commission.

Again, the first line reads, “We prioritize the Gospel. We will bear witness of Jesus to our neighbors and the nations out of an overflow of our transformed lives.” Essentially, because we have been radically changed by God’s grace through the finished work of Christ on the cross, we will actively seek to tell others about Him, both locally and globally. This drives who we are and what we do!

However, there are still a tremendous number of opportunities that fit that general aim, so we must be discerning in the partnerships we focus upon and the things that we pursue as a church. That is where this core value is most helpful, as it reminds us of several important components to our Gospel outreach:

  1. Prioritizing Gospel proclamation
  2. Pursuing relational connections
  3. Practicing a “Go and Tell” pattern
  4. Pressing the Gospel forward in cross-cultural contexts

There are many things that can consume our energy and resources, but Paul reminds us of the urgency of verbally sharing the good news about Jesus:

Romans 10:14,15 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in Him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 

Praise the Lord that every follower of Jesus has “beautiful feet,” as we have all been given the call and opportunity to serve as ambassadors for Christ. We as a church want to seek partnerships and places that we can connect with people for the sake of the Gospel and furthering of the Great Commission—in our city, in our nation and throughout the globe. May we, together, put our beautiful feet into action and prioritize the Gospel for the multiplication of devoted followers of Jesus!

Dustin Speaks is the Mission Mobilization Pastor. He and his wife, Lauren, arrived in Columbus in the fall of 2012, after several initial ministry experiences. Dustin previously served as an associate pastor in South Dakota and as a missionary to university students in Berlin, Germany. Dustin studied history at Ohio University, where he met Lauren, and was involved in campus ministry with Cru. After graduation, the Speaks went to Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Chicago) to complete a degree in Intercultural Studies. He enjoys playing nearly all ball sports—basketball, golf, and soccer are his favorites. Dustin and Lauren have three young children.