Jesus reminds us in the Sermon on the Mount that we are called to be “a city on a hill,” an alternative community marked by radical humility, love, compassion, and a genuine concern for our neighbors. But how do we do that in a city like Los Angeles, the entertainment capital of the world, where the idolatry of individualism, self-development, and consumerism threaten any attempt at cultivating the kind of community Jesus had in mind?
Churches have historically responded to this dilemma in one of two ways: by assimilating to the values of their city and losing their distinctiveness as followers of Jesus or by removing themselves from the city altogether and becoming fortresses that exist for themselves.
We believe Jesus had something different in mind.
God commands his people in Jeremiah 29:7, “Seek the shalom of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its shalom you will find your shalom.” There are two important truths found in this simple sentence. On one hand, it reminds us that our calling as believers is not to build something beautiful for our own sake, but rather to be sent out as witnesses to the gospel of grace, calling others into an abundant life under Christ’s reign and rule and joining God in the work he is already doing to redeem and renew that which is broken. At the same time, it also reminds us that this city isn’t our home and that our allegiances, values, and patterns of life should reflect our identity as citizens of heaven, an identity given to us by grace through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.
In light of this, our vision as a church is to be a city within a city, a community transformed by the gospel, living out the life of heaven here and now.
We are committed to not only preaching grace, but nurturing and embodying it in everything we do as a church. We seek to cultivate a culture that is free of shame and blame, a culture in which we hold one another’s humanity with utmost dignity and respect.
We are more interested in people than we are in programs, politics, and positions. We believe that the way we treat others is more important to God than being right or belonging to the right group.
Priesthood of All Believers
We believe the work of ministry does not belong to just a select few but to all who call themselves followers of Jesus. We believe in empowering all of our members to express the full range of their diverse gifts and passions.
We do not see ministry as doing for people as much as we see it as being with people in mutually life-giving relationships. We believe the key to genuine transformation does not lie in consuming more services or sermons, but rather in cultivating deep spiritual friendships that allow us to live in the way of Jesus.
We do not see discipleship as the process through which a person becomes more Christian, but rather more human. To this end, we pursue a faith that is integrated into every sphere of our lives: social, emotional, and spiritual.
Embracing Uncertainty and Doubt
We believe following Jesus is not about having all the answers, but about inviting deeper questions about God and ourselves. We seek to maintain a posture of humility and curiosity as we actively pursue the truth of God’s Word.