Core Values of Christ’s Commission Fellowship (CCF)
Two Sundays ago, I spoke for the youth of Jzone Payatas, a youth outreach in the Payatas area, located at the northern part of Quezon City. I was blessed to see that God is at work among the youth in that area. Now, I would like to take these opportunity to thank their leaders for inviting me. It’s my prayer that the Lord will continue to bless their ministry.
I talked about the core values of my church. It can be summarized with the acrostic SERVANTS. In a simple and hopefully humble way, and with the help of my church’s booklet on the matter, here is my presentation of the core values of my church—Christ’s Commission Fellowship:
1. Sacrificial Love for God and Others
36“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38This is the great and first commandment. (Matthew 22:37-38)
The word love (agapao) is the highest form of love. It is selfless. It is self-sacrificing. We must sacrificially love God. We must love Him with all of our heart. The heart represents the core of our being, our identity. These include our thoughts, words, and actions. We must love God with the core of our being.
We must also love God with all of our soul. This refer to our feelings, or emotions, or affections. Also, we must love God with all of our mind. It has something to do with our intentions and our will. (Mark adds that we must love God with all our strength [Mark 12:30]. This refers to our physical capabilities).
In other words, we must love Him with all of our being. This is first and greatest commandment.
And why must we love God with all of our being? The answer: Because He so loved us that He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus, to die for our sins (see John 3:16). And “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).
39And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:39-40)
The second great commandment is that we sacrificially love others as we love ourselves. When we are hungry, we feed ourselves. When we are sick, we take care of ourselves. When we have a need, we try to meet it with passion and determination. That is how we love ourselves. And we must love others just the same.
34A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)
So how are we to love others? Just as how Jesus has loved us. And how has He loved us? He loved us selflessly, sacrificially, with the highest form of love (agapao). This love for one another is our witness to the world that we are truly disciples of Jesus.
The Old Testament hangs to these two commandments—Love God and others. Now, let’s ask ourselves the following: Do we love God with all our being? And do we love others the way we love ourselves?
2. Evangelism and Equipping (Discipleship)
Scripture contains teaching on evangelism:
19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
14How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (Romans 10:14-15)
And on equipping:
11And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-12, emphasis added)
In the verses above, God gives spiritual leaders to a church, “to equip the saints” But for what reason? “For the work of ministry” and “for building up the body of Christ.” So our shepherds (or pastors) and teachers are there to equip us for ministry. Along with other ministers, full-time or volunteer, I am here to equip people.
We prioritize sharing the gospel and training members to do the same.
3. Reliance on the Holy Spirit and Prayer
31And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness. (Acts 4:31, emphases added)
Notice the sequence: The believers first prayed, then “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit”, and finally they “continued to speak the word of God with boldness.” They prayed and was filled with the Spirit, empowered to preach the Word.
We depend on the Holy Spirit for His leading and His empowerment.
4. Volunteer Lay Leadership
9But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9)
In the verse above, we are of a “royal priesthood”. Therefore, every believer, clergyman or layman, full-time worker or volunteer, is called to do God’s work.
We cannot rely on our pastors and their staff to do all the work of ministry. The biblical model is that spiritual leaders equip the members to do the work (see Ephesians 4:11-12).
We believe that every member is a minister/worker and every believer must be actively involved in God’s work.
5. Authority of the Scriptures and Leaders
16All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17, emphasis added)
The Word of God is our highest authority and is helpful for “teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.”
17Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you. (Hebrews 13:17, emphasis added)
Why must we obey our leaders and submit to them? Because eventually, they “will have to give an account” to their superiors and ultimately to God. While we our responsible for our actions, our leaders will be accountable for us. So let’s obey them and submit to their authority, so that their work will be a joy, not a burden.
Besides submitting to our spiritual leaders, we must also submit to the civil authorities, and wives to their husbands, and children to their parents, and employees to their employers, all unto the Lord.
We uphold the supreme and final authority of the Bible and we submit to our leadership as they lead us according to the teachings of the Bible.
6. Nurture Family Relationships – Husband-Wife Ministry Teams
Colossians 3:18-21 gives us rules for the Christian household:
18Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. 20Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. 21Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. (Colossians 3:18-21)
And 1 Timothy 5:8 tells us the condition of someone who does not provide for his family:
8But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Timothy 5:8, emphasis added)
Also, the Bible tells us of the husband and wife named Aquila and Priscilla (Acts 18:2). They ministered to a man named Apollos (see Acts 18:24-28) and was called by Paul as “fellow workers in Christ Jesus” (Romans 16:3).
We put premium on health family relationships and husbands and wives serving together as a team. And why do we put premium on these? Here are the reasons:
1. Leadership begins at home. In enumerating the qualifications for an overseer, the apostle Paul includes:
4He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, 5for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? (1 Timothy 3:4-5)
Similarly with deacons:
12Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well. (1 Timothy 3:12)
2. It minimizes temptation. The apostle Paul writes to the Corinthians:
2But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. (1 Corinthians 7:2)
3. It is a testimony to the world. In enumerating the qualifications for a deacon, Paul writes:
2Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach. (1 Timothy 3:2)
7. Truthfulness and Integrity
8For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9(for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. (Ephesians 5:8-12)
Integrity means that who we are in private and what we claim to be in public are consistent. And we must not be Christians only on Sundays, but the whole week long.
We emphasize a righteous public life, a consistent private life, and accountable relationships.
8. Small Group Discipleship
An example of small group discipleship in the Bible can be found in Philemon 1-2:
1…To Philemon our beloved fellow worker 2and Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier, and the church in your house. (emphasis added)
Our main task is to make committed followers of Jesus Christ and seek to do this through the multiplication of small groups, and through accountability, which enables us to balance quality and quantity.
How do we Live Out our Core Values?
Paul exhorts the Corinthians:
1Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:1, NIV1984)
Core values are more caught than taught. We can live this out through two ways: Modeling and Mentoring. We must live out our core values, modeling them to others. And we must help, or mentor, others in living them out.
We must acknowledge that we cannot live out the core values perfectly. But Jesus can help us. We must die to ourselves and allow Him to live His life through us, so we can live out the core values. Galatians 2:20 says:
20I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.