Mission, Vision & Values

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

Our Mission:
To multiply missionaries, microchurches and ministries in order to make disciples who are committed to be with Jesus, become like Jesus and do the kinds of things Jesus did together.

Our Vision:
To see the kingdom of God come in Knoxville as it is in heaven through the unique gifts, passions and callings of our people and communities.

Our Values:

I. Kingdom over brand.

“Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all of these things will be added to you.” - Jesus

We don’t carry any illusions that ours is the one right way to be the church. We recognize that in every generation Jesus’ church has adapted in order to be faithful and more effective in that time and place. We humbly carry on this calling to creatively live out the commands, values and rhythms of God’s kingdom amongst the peoples to which He has called us. As such, we celebrate the many expressions that make up Jesus’ bride across the globe and count it an honor to be one small expression of God’s global family. We seek first the kingdom and recognize its flourishing and expansion is more important than the success of any single expression of the church.

II. Known by love.

“Our first responsibility to our neighbor is to agree with Christ that he/she was worth dying for.”

In a world far too often marked by division, hate and vitriol, our call as Jesus’ followers is to together live a better story. That story is about a God whose character we see so vividly put on display in the person of Jesus. It is of a God who willingly lays down his life for a ragtag bunch of rebels who couldn’t deserve it less. It is a God whose very nature can be summed up in one word: love. This love ought to be the defining reality for a follower of Jesus. We love because he first loved us. In fact, Jesus went so far as to say that the world would recognize his true followers by their love for one another. For this reason, we strive to make love the defining characteristic of who we are as a Jesus community.

III. No one alone.

“No one goes or grows alone.”

The way of Jesus was never intended to be a solo endeavor. Instead, it’s a family affair. Have you ever noticed that Jesus never sent anyone out alone? Or that the early church’s primary tool for transforming the world was the dinner table? It’s little wonder then why even sacraments like baptism and communion are designed in such a way that they can’t be experienced alone. They require others; and so do we. If we are going to become the people God has created us to be, we need others to help us on the journey. No one goes or grows alone. We do this together. Ours is a shared life, a shared faith, a shared mission.

IV. Called and capable.

“Everyone has a part to play in God’s unfolding mission in the world.”

Every person who follows after Jesus has a unique part to play in God’s ongoing work in the world. Each of us is called to ministry. Those ministries can look every bit as unique as the people who make them up, but everyone has a part to play. No part of the body is unnecessary. The apostle Paul puts it this way: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Some of the work God has prepared for us to do is that of making disciples - our shared calling as a Jesus people - and some of the work God has prepared for us to do is unique to us. Part of our great adventure in following Jesus is growing in our awareness of how God has uniquely created us and what he has created us to do, and then increasingly living into that calling.

V. Honor the least.

“That which you did for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” – Jesus

As followers of Jesus, we affirm that each and every person has been created in the image of God and is therefore endowed with unsurpassable worth. In every time and place, however, there are those who are least likely to be treated as such. They are the least likely to be seen, heard, privileged, empowered or prioritized; the least likely to succeed, to climb the ladder, to experience upward mobility, to have access to resources, to be invited around the table or given the benefit of the doubt. The scriptures tell us in no uncertain terms that these people have a special place in God’s heart. He cares deeply about their well-being and therefore so do we. Furthermore, we recognize that in Kingdom of God the first shall be last and the last shall be first. Those who have been beaten down will be lifted up. Those who were in the back of the line will be out in front. Those who weren’t even invited to the party will be seated in the place of honor at the great table of grace. As Jesus’ kingdom people we reject this world’s social pecking order and measuring stick for who his is or isn’t worthy of our time and attention. We as a community strive to increasingly be a people who speak up for the voiceless, advocate for the outsider and participate in the ministry of reconciliation.

VI. Safe and dangerous.

“The church should be a safe place for those who do not yet know Christ and a dangerous place for those who do.”

Following Jesus has always been a risky business. It is inherently subversive. His way runs counter to many of the values and behaviors this world holds dear. Therefore, we expect friction. We expect there to be risk. We expect it to be hard. We expect to be misunderstood. We expect there to be a cost involved. Jesus prepped us for all of this. Therefore, we refuse to shrink back in fear or retreat into the confines of Christian subculture. Instead, we wholeheartedly embrace Jesus’ call to charge headlong into the darkness with the light of the gospel. It is here that God does his best work. It is on the front lines of faith, in the messiness of real life, while working alongside one another to share the love of Christ in word and deed to a parched world. The church ought to be the safe place where we live out this dangerous calling together. This is our call and commitment.