Southside Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Mission Statement
As individuals involved in the life of Southside Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), we seek to live lives fashioned by the way of Jesus, who is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.
Our understanding of what it means to be the church encompasses four primary concepts—Community, Leadership, Mission, and Spirituality. We seek to embody these concepts as individuals and as a community as we grow in our faith journey.
As a group of diverse individuals committed to a common life we are guided by the following principles:
- The community embraces and affirms all people, regardless of differences, recognizing that God calls the church to reflect God’s inclusive love in the world.
- The community celebrates the gifts of risk and growth, understanding that without the dignity of risk, transformation cannot occur. As such, the community honors all experiences, no matter the outcome, recognizing that faith calls us, as individuals and as a community, to learn and grow with and from each other.
- The community acknowledges our covenant with God and each other. This covenant embodies commitment, integrity and flexibility.
- Commitment – We commit to our individual journey of faith and to the faith journey of this community by giving generously and consistently of our selves — our time, our talents and our resources.
- Integrity – We tell the truth about our lives, our ideas and our feelings, trusting that we are an integral part of the process and that our own voice is important as together we seek the answers to our questions.
- Flexibility – We seek to understand perspectives different than our own, recognizing the necessity of all voices being heard. We are accountable for creating a place of safety and trust where all voices, including ours, will be heard.
We demonstrate community in many ways, including worship, music, affinity groups, classes, and social activities.
We are a community dependent upon and guided by the sharing of each others’ gifts. By sharing leadership we both lead and are led, as Christ calls us.
We strive for consensus in our decisions, recognizing that the community is strengthened when the structure supports the process of faithful discernment. It is through this process that the decisions belong to the entire community.
We accept the responsibility to continually evaluate our community’s decision making structure and processes in order to insure their effectiveness in promoting a cohesive community.
We acknowledge that the gift of leadership takes many forms. We affirm all the various expressions of leadership. We celebrate those who take the initiative and do what needs to be done, often working diligently behind the scenes to strengthen the life of our community. We recognize those who take on the more visible or formal roles outlined in Southside Christian Church’s Constitution.
We lead and are led by
- serving as officers, elders, or deacons
- chairing specific ministry teams, task forces, committees, or other groups
- teaching or facilitating classes or small groups
- organizing responses to needs within the church or beyond our church
- developing leadership skills to meet ongoing needs
- taking initiative
- working together for the common good of the community
- respecting and supporting the leadership of others
We are called to action — to demonstrate our love for God and our neighbors through Christ like responses to the needs of others. We are compelled by faithfulness to stand with others, including those who have been excluded. As a people who know the healing power of God’s love witnessed in our being made welcome, we seek to welcome others with humility and gratitude, thrusting that God alone transforms all.
We acknowledge that this call to mission — this standing with — entails a deep individual and collective commitment, and that it is only in the knowledge that God is with us that we find the courage to live out this call to mission.
We live our call to mission by using our time, talents and resources to meet the needs of the people within our church, our local community, our denomination, and the world. This includes social justice, social action, and acts of charity.
The God we seek is the One in whom we are already found. We seek to know this God by waiting and turning to the stillness within, where God dwells. The spiritual life is one of wholeness—of turning toward—through which we come to know of God’s great love for us.
We express our spirituality, as individuals and as a community, through courageous acts of love for God, for others, and for ourselves. Christ’s spirit teaches us the way of love, and that a loving response is always possible.
We do not come to such love easily. We acknowledge that it is only through God’s grace that it is possible for this ethic of love to imbue our lives as a community and as individuals.
We seek to nurture and deepen the spiritual life within our community as we live and grow together as a community of faith, as we learn to lead and to follow, as we serve and love others, and as we seek to deepen our own spiritual life through prayer and meditation, worship, study, and reflection.