Rooted in Scripture
In Acts 2, we read about the start of the church. This group grew rapidly and found themselves suddenly thrown together because of their common faith. They were a diverse community who “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers…and day by day attending the temple together” (verses 42 and 46). In this passage, we see the core values of the early church – the essential ideas that were the foundation for all that they did.
Their core values were: Truth (the Apostle’s teaching), Community (fellowship), Worship (the breaking of bread), Prayer, and Mission (met daily in temple).
Trailhead will seek to build all it does on these same core values. That means that our core values should be practice in core practices that are part of our church's regular daily life.
The early church was devoted to “the Apostle’s teaching.” The Apostles were God’s chosen leaders of the early church and were used by God to write the New Testament. We believe that God is the measure of all that is true and right and that he has revealed himself in the written message of the Bible.
- We will commit ourselves to studying God’s word individually as well as in community.
- We will expect to be led in our study by practical, systematic, exegetical preaching.
- We will look for God’s solutions for our personal and interpersonal problems.
- We will be a community of truth-tellers, but will always speak the truth to one another in love.
The early church was also devoted to “fellowship.” The Greek word for fellowship (koinonia) means “mutual sharing, generosity.” The early church was devoted to sharing life together – both its experiences as well as its material wealth. God himself exists as eternal community as the trinity – eternally sharing life as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He created us in his image to need this community as well. The heart of an authentic experience of community is generosity: with our lives, talents, time, and resources. We believe that the experience of true community is essential to experiencing all the other blessings of the gospel.
- We will share life with other people at Trailhead, even if they aren’t like us in age, race, interests, economic status, or politics.
- We will be generous with our time, abilities, and money.
- We will pursue authentic transparency and real transformation, refusing to put up a fake religious front in order to impress each other.
When the text says that the early believers were devoted to “breaking the bread” together, it is speaking of what is sometimes called “the Lord’s supper” or “communion.” They were worshiping together in the way Jesus had commanded at his last supper when he said, “Do this in remembrance of me.” Our hearts were created by God to continually pour out worship. This explains why people end up worshiping possessions, relationships, status, or life experiences – and why they are so dissatisfied in that worship. These things take our worship and drain us dry. God is the only one worthy of our hearts' continual outpouring of worship – the only one who will give us endless joy as we pour out endless praise to him.
- We will gather corporately with the express purpose of worshiping God in song, prayer, and by learning more about him in his Word.
- We will celebrate communion together on a regular basis.
- We will stop looking to things that aren’t God to give us the things that only God can give.
Like every good parent, God wants us to open our hearts to him as his children and come to him with our joys and sorrows, with our achievements and our requests. He wants us to talk through our problems and questions with him so that he can help us find the truth and his hand of grace in them. He wants to unleash his power in our lives and in the lives of others – and it is often the humility of prayer that prepares our hearts for his ongoing work in us. Prayer is not the exclusive domain of mystics and monks – it is the simple practice of every child who delights in talking with his or her father.
- We will develop daily habits of prayer.
- We will expect God to hear and answer our prayers.
- We will pray for those who are sick and hurt and expect God to bring healing.
- We will seek God’s face in our lives personally and for our church and expect him to give us clear guidance.
God is on mission to win back what has been lost to sin. He sent his Son to live the life we could not live and die the death we deserved to die in order to win us back. And when Jesus rose again, he entrusted the church with the message of hope that he purchased with his blood. So, we are on mission with God to share his message of love and hope so that other can come to have faith too.
- We will share the love of Christ in practical, sacrificial kindness and service to those outside our community.
- We will share the truth of Christ in simple and honest conversation so that those far from God can be brought near.
- We will serve with one another so that we can be a community on mission.