Learning to live and love like Jesus
At LBCF, our vision is not “to go to church” but to be the church—a people, a community, a family—on mission together. At the center of that mission is learning to live and love like Jesus together, wherever we live, work, and play and in whatever vocation we find ourselves.
We envision families and neighborhoods, workplaces and economies, cities and nations and, yes, even the very planet re-born, as earth begins to look more like heaven. This, after all, is why Jesus came.
“God, how can you be so good?”
A disciple is someone who, grounded in grace, is increasingly awake to their adoption in God
“How is it going loving those Jesus has given you to love?”
Life as an adopted child of God always leads to life as an ambassador of the Kingdom of God
“Jesus, what are you speaking to me?”
Listening and responding to Jesus is the only thing that leads to an abundant life
These values help guide us into the good and beautiful life—what Jesus calls “the abundant life” (John 10:10)—that God designed and desires for us (Ephesians 2:10).
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We value both openness to the leading of God’s Spirit and a thoughtful, studied approach to Scripture and spirituality. We embrace a Spirit-empowered discipleship which also embraces mystery and tension.
+ Character | Our destiny in God is to look like Jesus.
The end point of our discipleship is character which expresses the life of God for others in the world. Character, then, is about navigating our desires in a way that creates life in us and for others. In our community, we engage spiritual practices (like silence, solitude, forgiveness, and so forth) to cultivate souls that come to have the character of Jesus himself.
+ Life of the Mind | Jesus-followers are called to be thoughtful students of Scripture and all disciplines of the mind.
Life following Jesus means being continually renewed in our minds. We believe a curiosity of mind is vital for discipleship in Jesus, as we are called to be a people of awe and wonder, holding mystery and embracing tension. Yet renewal in our minds is hard work, requiring us to submit our conscious and unconscious beliefs to continual examination before God. Renewal of the mind is often destabilizing, too, as we learn new things which crowd out old ways of thinking. As a community, we seek to thoughtfully engage Scripture and embrace all disciplines that shape our brains towards thoughtfulness and openness before God.
+ Ordinary Life | We affirm that the supernatural happens in the ordinary.
We all love the extraordinary, but the supernatural most often happens in the ordinary. Jesus was an ordinary carpenter from an ordinary town with an ordinary group of friends. He found beauty and holiness in the mundane habits of everyday life, which is the realm into which the kingdom of God is always breaking forth. At LBCF we trust, believe, and celebrate that through faithfulness in our daily lives, following Jesus, we can partner in God’s work in our city and our world.
+ Empowering | We are “a priesthood of believers,” and we focus on empowering each other to walk in the “good works” God has prepared for us to do (I Peter 2:5, Ephesians 2:8-10).
We believe that all who are followers of Jesus are ministers of the Gospel of Jesus. We seek to deconstruct the American “super pastor” or “super staff” model, with its focus on hierarchy, by celebrating how God works through all the members of our community. Thus, we focus on the five-fold ministry (Apostles, Pastors, Evangelists, Prophets, Teachers, as outlined in Ephesians 4) and the diversity of gifts (outlined in multiple places in Scripture, such as I Corinthians 12), as well as women in leadership, the importance of diverse generations, and the key role of our youth in teaching us how to live passionately, in hope and action.
Worship is responding, in all of life, to God’ goodness. It is a posture of awe, delight, and wonder. Of lament, sorrow, and thanksgiving. Above all, it is obedience to Jesus as Lord in all things.
+ Creativity | Celebrating beauty is essential to becoming God-formed human beings.
Creativity helps us transcend the limitations of our mind and puts us in touch with the mystery of God. As a community, we seek and celebrate the cultivation of beauty in all its forms: in music, in dance, in art, in storytelling, in hospitality, in healthy sexuality, in enjoying nature. We live under the banner that we are all creators and that in creating, we partake in the mystery of God. When we bring forth beauty in the world, we are like God.
+ Vocation | How and where we put our hands to work is a vital part of our discipleship.
We believe vocation is a vital part of our worship. We have an actively creative God and, in His image, we are created to create. If we put our hands and hearts into our work, we will see the light of hope and beauty that is part of God’s kingdom breaking into our everyday, walking around life. Whether it’s caring for children, building solar panels, being a filmmaker, or anything else, through faithfulness in our vocation, we can make present the kingdom of God.
+ Sexuality | To live vibrant spiritual lives, we must understand and pursue healthy sexuality.
We aspire to healthy sexuality, since from the beginning God created us to flourish as sexual beings. God calls our sexuality very good, and yet we live in a world where sex is often confusing, guilty, and shameful or simply not treated as the sacred reality it is. At LBCF we disciple each other into healthy sexuality through biblical grounding, authentic and vulnerable conversation, small groups, and teaching. We envision flourishing in a scriptural understanding of sex as God’s gift, revealing His heart of delight.
+ Community | We are family.
Christ’s work was to bring us into family together, which is the fullness of God’s salvation, transcending our penchant for rampant individualism. Only in authentic community can we experience the fullness of God and of joy, even in the midst of life’s sorrows, and only in community is transformational ultimately possible. As a family, we learn what it is to be for each other, even in the midst of differences. We embrace difficult conversations and conflict as part of God’s means of transforming our character.
Church of the City, World
Learning to live and love like Jesus means inward renewal (adoption) that always leads to a life lived for others (ambassadorship of God’s kingdom).
+ Diversity | We value diversity as a reflection of God’s goodness in our midst.
Diversity is how we both understand and reflect the image of God (Imago Dei) within us. God is too complex to be exclusively represented by any one culture or gender. Made in the image of God, the diversity of humanity inspires awe and wonder of God's character and presence on earth. It is in the diversity of the people of God that Christ chooses to dwell, reveal his likeness, and engage the world in his love and renewal. As a community, we actively seek diversity in all demographics and giftings, to reflect the vibrant diversity of God’s kingdom.
+ Generations | We are a multi-generational community.
We value the multitude of ages that make up the body of Christ, which yields us a great diversity of gifts, talents, and insights. We strive to include all and that all would be included in our family as we provide learning and transformational opportunities for children, junior and senior high students, young adults, and adults of all ages. We cherish the vibrant courage of our youth and the wisdom of our elders. We seek to help people of any generation learn to live and love like Jesus, responding to the Holy Spirit where they live, work, and play.
+ Justice | We cannot live as Jesus’ disciples without pursuing Jesus’ justice in the world. We believe in “all things made new,” in Jesus’ name.
Justice means right relationship with others and is God’s means of creating shalom (nothing missing, nothing broken) in the world. It is the embodiment of Jesus’ command to love our neighbors as ourselves. Justice, then, is both a characteristic of God and the right reaction of God's people when the kingdom of God encounters resistance. At LBCF, we seek to become a people who naturally express God’s love and justice in the world, caring for all people—and especially for the lonely, forgotten, broken, and marginalized—as God himself does.
+ Telling Our Stories | Stories reveal the mysteries of God’s kingdom.
Jesus reveals the mysteries of his kingdom, both coming and at hand, through stories. Stories command a heart attention that connects us to God and each other in a way that information alone cannot. The people of God have always made it a habit to place their attention on the work God has done and the ways God is presently at work. In our community we value the holiness of the major and the mundane parts of our everyday lives, and believe we are called to share each with each other. In sharing, we carry on the tradition of making mystery known, testifying to the goodness of Jesus, and allowing the Holy Spirit to craft our unique journeys.