Core: Mission Driven

Bible Text: Matthew 28:16-20 | Speaker: Sam Chacko | Series: Our Core | Core Value #4: Mission Driven

We believe that the church has been given one mission: make disciples of all nations. This means that we have been called out as missionaries, inviting people to be followers of Jesus wherever we are. Each of us has a “sphere of influence” where we live, serve, work, and play. We interact daily with neighbors and coworkers and we believe that Jesus has placed us in these spheres to be witnesses of who He is.

Whether we are accountants or teachers we are all called to be missionaries with a heartbeat of discipleship. A disciple is one who follows, learns from, and obeys someone who is greater than themself, seeking in everything to be like their master. Our desire is to make more disciples of Jesus. As disciples we seek to follow Jesus, learn to be like Him and obey what He is teaching us through His word. As disciple-makers we are calling others to follow Jesus, teaching them His Word, and exhorting them to obey His commandments.

As we intentionally inject the gospel into everyday life (where we live, serve, work, and play) we call those who do not know Jesus to follow Him and those who claim the name of Jesus to love and obey Him. In every situation we seek to help others find life, place, and meaning in Christ.

This is not simply a mission to make converts, as if relationships are merely a means to an end, but rather a welcoming of others to experience true life in communion with God and his people. We believe that evangelism is merely the first step in disciple-making and that helping walk someone into maturity with Jesus (teaching them to observe all that Jesus commanded) should always be a natural next step. One should not be separated from the other.

 

Core: Diverse Family

Bible Text: Ephesians 2:18-22 | Speaker: Sam Chacko | Series: Our Core | Core Value #2: Diverse Family

We are God’s people made in His image for the sole purpose of glorifying Him for all of eternity. We are called to be one body, who live not for ourselves but for one another and for Jesus.

Often, when the scriptures talk about the people of God they are referred to as the Children or Household of God (Rom. 8:16-17, 1 Tim. 3:15). We love this image because it paints a picture of what our spiritual family should be like. You don’t get to pick your family of origin – you’re born or adopted into it. If we get into a fight with one of our siblings, we don’t give up and find another family. We work through our problems and move forward. Likewise, if our sibling is about to do something that is foolish or harmful, we don’t stand by idly. We step in to gently bring them back from harm. Finally, not everything that happens in our family of origin is a trip to Disney. Most of our experiences with our families are mundane, everyday life. Most of our time is spent washing dishes or cleaning the house, and only every now and then do we get to experience these “mountaintop” moments like a family vacation. So it is with our spiritual family: we grow together, live life together, fight together, and stay together.

At LOFT, our family is ethnically, generationally and denominationally diverse. We make space for everyone, mourning together in our grief and celebrating together in our joy. We are authentic and transparent with one another as we journey together, seeking Jesus in everyday life.

As one body we seek to recognize our individual roles and responsibilities to one another. The growth of the body is not limited to one individual member or a few select members but rather to the entire body as a whole (Rom. 12:4-5, 1 Cor. 12:12-31). When we recognize our responsibility to shepherd one another we in turn live healthier and holier lives.

Core: Christ Centered

Bible Text: Acts 9:1-18 | Speaker: Sam Chacko | Series: Our Core | Acts 9:1-18:

1 Now Saul was still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord. He went to the high priest 2 and requested letters from him to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any men or women who belonged to the Way, he might bring them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3 As he traveled and was nearing Damascus, a light from heaven suddenly flashed around him. 4 Falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”
5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul said.
“I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting,” he replied. 6 “But get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
7 The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the sound but seeing no one. 8 Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing. So they took him by the hand and led him into Damascus. 9 He was unable to see for three days and did not eat or drink.
10 There was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias, and the Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.”
“Here I am, Lord,” he replied.
11 “Get up and go to the street called Straight,” the Lord said to him, “to the house of Judas, and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, since he is praying there. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and placing his hands on him so that he may regain his sight.”
13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard from many people about this man, how much harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. 14 And he has authority here from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”
15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for this man is my chosen instrument to take my name to Gentiles, kings, and Israelites. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”
17 Ananias went and entered the house. He placed his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road you were traveling, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
18 At once something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized. 19 And after taking some food, he regained his strength.

Core: Until Christ is Formed in You

Bible Text: Galatians 4:8-20 | Speaker: Sam Chacko | Series: Our Core | 8 But in the past, since you didn’t know God, you were enslaved to things[d] that by nature are not gods. 9 But now, since you know God, or rather have become known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elements? Do you want to be enslaved to them all over again? 10 You are observing special days, months, seasons, and years. 11 I am fearful for you, that perhaps my labor for you has been wasted.
12 I beg you, brothers and sisters: Become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You have not wronged me; 13 you know[e] that previously I preached the gospel to you because of a weakness of the flesh. 14 You did not despise or reject me though my physical condition was a trial for you.[f] On the contrary, you received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus himself.

15 Where, then, is your blessing? For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me. 16 So then, have I become your enemy because I told you the truth? 17 They court you eagerly, but not for good. They want to exclude you from me, so that you would pursue them. 18 But it is always good to be pursued[g] in a good manner—and not just when I am with you. 19 My children, I am again suffering labor pains for you until Christ is formed in you. 20 I would like to be with you right now and change my tone of voice, because I don’t know what to do about you.