Value: “denotes the importance of some thing or action, to determine what actions are best to do or what way is best to live.” Wikipedia
Recently, Village Schools of the Bible Board of Directors and Staff determined our ministry values. We wanted to formalize our priorities in decision making, communication and relationships. Our intentions are that whether you are the mail delivery person, a new student or a ministry partner, you will experience our four values of being Christ-centered, Spirit-filled, Student focused and Always growing. Over the next four weeks, we will expound on these four values in our blog. We propose to express these values in all we do so that nothing encumbers our stewardship of VSB’s mission–to teach the Bible to transform lives.
Jesus is the “visible image of the Godhead. He created all things and is preeminent. In Him, all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell” (From Col. 1: 16-18). We are to “look to Jesus as the founder and perfecter of our faith” (Heb. 12:2).
Considering these passages, what does it mean to be Christ-centered? It means that we align our heart and actions to His primary concerns on how to live, which He emphasized in the great commandments–to love God and others as our neighbors. The law of love must operate freely in our ministry. We aim to look after the interests of others rather than our own interests (Phil 2: 4). This means practically that if we have missed someone’s expectations, we must first move toward understanding their perspective rather than defending our own. It means we look for ways to add value to those we serve and to bless those with whom we partner.
The imagery of the vine and branches comes to mind when we think of being Christ-centered. In John 15, Jesus commands his disciples to connect to Him as intimately as a branch attaches to a vine in order to bear fruit. He insists that without this dependence on Him, we can do nothing. “John is speaking of the union of believers with Christ, apart from whom they can do nothing. This union, originating in his initiative and sealed by his death on their behalf, is completed by the believers’ responsive love and obedience, and is the essence of Christianity’” (C. K. Barrett, The Gospel According to St. John).
Jesus promised us that as we remain or abide in Him (requiring our obedience to His commands), that we will bear much fruit. And this fruit points back to God–to bring Him glory (John 15:8). As a ministry team, we have plans to grow our reach (to bear much fruit). Our vision is to make certain younger people, immigrants and English speakers all over the globe can take Cover-to-Cover in the next five to ten years. Yet, as we expand the reach of Village Schools, being Christ centered means that the credit for growth points to the grace and favor that God provides us, not our own leadership.
Daily practices of being Christ-centered are
· Seeking to understand rather than being understood
· Keeping short accounts with one another
· Loving with words and deeds
We invite you, as a student or former student or as a ministry partner, to join us in our value of being Christ centered in your decision making, communication and relationships. Let’s be salt and light in a world that needs us to live and act like Jesus for His glory.
By Laurie Besonen,
Village Schools of the Bible