“...to plant a church in the heart of South Phoenix for the sake of renewing the city through the gospel”
In South Phoenix, we find fascinating diversity: a mix of color, culture, class, and traditions. Yet, we also see the frightening reality of the fall: racism, socio-economic inequality, crime and bigotry. In the dense and diverse neighborhoods of 85041, the vices and virtues of humanity collide. And within the fallout of this collision, we believe…“At the present time, there is a remnant chosen by grace” (Romans 11:5) that must rise to rebuild something beautiful. By God’s grace, the people of the Remnant South Phoenix are building a gospel-centered, inter-cultural, intergenerational, disciple-making community that will transform South Phoenix for the glory of God.
GOSPEL-CENTERED: Politics, social activism, or mere do-goodism cannot transform a human heart or a city. We need something far more powerful. We need grace. Radical grace. The grace that is only, and freely, made available through the Gospel. In fact, we believe the grace offered through the Gospel, as it is revealed in God’s Word, is the most powerful change agent in the universe.
The Gospel is the good news that Jesus came to live, die and rise again for the forgiveness of sin to bring redeemed sinners under God’s gracious lordship for the renewal of all things. The Gospel brings us home to God for life that is truly life - every day. A Gospel-centered church roots and focuses all of its activity – worship, teaching, discipleship, social activism and mission – on the Gospel.
INTER-CULTURAL: According to research, more than 86% of all churches in the United States are currently segregated, with more than 80% of their membership representing a single race or ethnic group. The problem with this is that we are living in an increasingly diverse and cynical society. People are no longer finding the message that God loves all people credible as it is preached from segregated pulpits and pews.
The Church is called to be both a sign and an instrument of the kingdom of God that both shows and shares the Word of Jesus to a broken and hurting world. As people look into our church, they should say, “Oh, that’s what the kingdom of God is supposed to look like.” It’s a window into kingdom life that will hopefully draw others to come to Christ.
What should they see inside this window? Revelation chapter 7, says men and women will gather around the throne of God for eternity, and they will be from every tongue, tribe and nation. Scripture goes to great lengths to point out the diversity around the throne. Thus, it seems only right and God-honoring to reflect the inter-culturalism that awaits us all.
An inter-cultural church centers on an intentional engagement of cultures. An inter-cultural church will not simply have attendees from different cultural contexts. In an inter-cultural church, we seek to celebrate, encourage, accommodate and engage the different cultures within the congregation. Each culture has gifts to share. Culture affects leadership, stewardship, worship, discipleship, planning and a host of other normal church activities. Sharing and enjoying these varied gifts is a requirement of the Gospel (1 Corinthians 12).
INTER-GENERATIONAL: All churches are multi-generational. But not many are intergenerational. The difference is crucial for our church. In an intergenerational church the different generations intersect. They’re not merely co-existing under the same roof. They’ve actually walked across the room to talk to each other. They know each other’s names and learn about each other. They’re deeply invested in each other’s life.
An intergenerational church is a community composed of people of all ages who desire to worship God in authentic ways using vehicles that cause all to enter into each other’s world of music and taste. Different generations sit around the leadership table and seek God’s hand of direction for our ministry. Life and ministry in our church is integrated across generations so that the younger can learn wisdom from the older, and the older can learn to understand changing culture from the younger.
Intergenerational is not something we do–it’s something we become. Becoming intergenerational is nothing short of a paradigm shift, where everyone comes to value intergenerational relationships and community at a core philosophical level. This shift requires that all of the leaders of our church (not just the youth leader) be committed to living out the value of intergenerational ministry.
Intergenerational is a way of life. It means overcoming the individualistic mindset that is so strong in our culture and developing a community mentality in which all generations and ministry areas are valued and involved with each other in significant ways throughout the church body. Cross-generational valuing is an integral part of our congregation’s collective story. As one panelist shared, The vision of the Remnant includes integrating our children, youth and adults together into the church today, not someday.
DISCIPLE-MAKING: God has chosen to place the church with Christ at the center of his plan to reconcile the world to himself. Our greatest goal is to participate in the Missio Dei – loving God and people, discipling all by going to them, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and teaching them to observe all that Jesus has commanded us.
Scripture has set a high standard. It isn’t enough for a church to simply evangelize the lost. Scripture calls us beyond evangelism to the greater task of making disciples who have been transformed on the inside by His Word and Power, and who, through His love and grace, selflessly give of themselves to meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of our neighbors.
“The calling of the church, and its place in God’s cosmic design, is first of all to genuinely be the redeemed, messianic community, and second to do the works of God and carry on the works of Jesus. In truly being the community of Jesus’ disciples the church commits itself to a pattern of shared life and a way of relating to one another that is a rejection of, and therefore a challenge to, the social and political structures of the world.” (Howard Snyder - The Community of the King)
As a church we organize everything we do around the task of helping people to love Jesus, live like Jesus and love like Jesus - this is the essence of discipleship.
“…the love of God can liberate all people to live all of life for Jesus”
Our strategy is relatively simple - to pattern Remnant South Phoenix after the church in Acts 2:42-47. By God’s grace, we will always be making disciples who have been transformed on the inside by His Word, Spirit and power, and who, through His love and grace, selflessly give of themselves to meet the physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of our neighbors.
We are a church rooted in the moral vision of the inerrant Scripture with its emphasis on justice, mercy and humility before God. With a deep commitment to Jesus’ Great Commandment (Matthew 22:37-40) and Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20, we:
NURTURE FAITH: Our mission calls us to connect people to a growing personal relationship with Jesus. Disciples of Jesus delight in knowing, loving, and glorifying God above all else. As sons and daughters of God, we grow in our relationship with the Lord by praying and studying God’s Word, daily turning from sin, trusting in our Savior, living by the power of the Spirit…walking humbly with our God.
EXPRESS LOVE: Disciples of Jesus follow Christ together in community. As brothers and sisters in Christ, we embrace and invest in all of life together, care for one another, bear one another’s burdens, and selflessly give of ourselves to meet one another’s physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs.
OFFER HOPE: Disciples of Jesus love their neighbors and their city. As stewards and servants, we bless our city, bearing witness to the gospel in word and deed, seeking justice, the restoration of all things and the reconciliation of all people to God through our service, giftedness, advocacy and vocation. God has called us to offer the hope of a better tomorrow for South Phoenix through the gospel.
THE HEART OF JESUS: We believe that these three best represent the call of God (Micah 6:8) the heart of Jesus (Matthew 5-7; 23:23), and the joy of Paul (1 Thessalonians 1:2). It’s important to note here that our mission represents a deep commitment to integral or holistic mission. Integral mission is a real integration of the vertical and horizontal dimensions of mission. Our belief is that the Bible never teaches a dichotomy between the proclamation and the demonstration of the gospel - the two are inseparable, one in the same.
“The salvation that the gospel proclaims is not limited to man’s reconciliation to God. It involves the remaking of man in all the dimensions of his existence. It has to do with the recovery of the whole man according to God’s original purpose for creation.” (C. Renee Padilla - What is Integral Mission?)
Our mission is the fruit of the love of God, who so loved the world that He gave His only Son to redeem human beings from their blindness, oppression, captivity and poverty, so that they can experience a new life of fullness given by His grace.
Jesus tells us that the central calling of the believer is to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. If we are to be a congregation that is increasingly faithful to this calling, we must always be focused on three things simultaneously: faith, hope and love.
There is not a separate ministry for each of these; each is pursued in every effort of the church. Faith, hope and love become the three strands that unite all of our programs and practices, drawing us into a deeper love for God, each other, and South Phoenix.
- FAITH - Becoming more like Jesus by daily turning from sin, trusting in Him, and living by the power of the Spirit.
- LOVE - Embracing and investing in all of life together, serving, sacrificing, meeting one another’s physical, spiritual and emotional needs, and bearing one another’s burdens.
- HOPE - Bearing witness to the gospel in word and deed, seeking justice, the restoration of all things and the reconciliation of all people to God through our service, giftedness and vocation.
"He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God?" -Micah 6:8