Cliffdale Christian Center’s core values form an acronym: W.O.R.D. We’re keeping it simple. Here are the core values at Cx3:
“W” is for “Worship”: We will be a worshiping community wherein Christ is glorified.
“O” is for “Outreach”: We’re going back to being aggressively involved with outreach, be it in our own community or other places in the world. It used to be that when people talked about Cliffdale Christian Center, two characteristics of our church were always mentioned. I can even ask people who’ve been at Cx3 for any length of time: “Why did you come, and why did you stay?” Invariably, the answers are the teaching of the Word of God and the outreach.
I could go in places in the community and people wouldn’t know who I was, and I would mention Cliffdale or someone else might bring up the name, or ask me where I go to church. The response generally was, “Oh yeah, I’ve heard about that church. They do so much outreach.” We were radical about outreach. I mean downright radical. And today I can still say that I’d rather get crazy about outreach than just sit in church and do nothing.
Yes, we did some foolish things. I don’t know if I ever concluded the story about the night I was arrested. I told part of that story to a group of people recently. Anyway, I was acquitted of all charges as we appealed the case when it went to Superior Court. You may not know what I am talking about; that’s probably a good thing. Then again, just in case you’ve heard part of that story . . . I was actually defending our youth pastor. I was standing in the gap; of course we both got arrested, and thankfully, both were acquitted.
I can tell you this: I’d rather be radical than lifeless. And we’re gonna get radical again. I hope you’re ready for some radical Christianity and outreach in our community. It doesn’t mean that you have to get arrested. I’ll be the first one to take that hit.
Repent and do the first works.
“R” is for “Relationship”: We’re committing to building solid, loving relationships within the Body of Christ. And it doesn’t only have to be people in our fellowship; in fact, I’ll submit to you that it doesn’t only have to be with Christians. I have asked, “How many unsaved friends do you have,” and I get a response that sounds like, “Oh, touch not the unclean.”
I remember Pastor Bill handing me a book right after I got baptized in the Holy Ghost, and he said, “Read this book.” It was called, “Soul Winning Out Where The Sinners Are,” and man, I got so radical about soul winning out where sinners were. Wow!
Oftentimes I look at the congregation at Cliffdale, and I think, “Where are the missionaries? Where are they?” “Oh, you don’t understand, Pastor.” Yeah, I do. I had a very secure job at the power plant in Crystal River, Florida. I had the proverbial house, two cars, dog, and boat. “How do you just take two kids to the mission field”? Well, you just do it. “How do you live in a place like that when you have children? Don’t you care about them”? Look at my kids today. I don’t prove that I care about my children by giving them everything they want. And again, this is not a condemning word.
That also reminds me of when I came home from my very first one-week mission trip in June of 1981. I had just gone through Bible school, and we were offered an optional trip to Haiti. Not for vacation, but to do missions work. That’s where I preached my first real sermon. We were up on a mountain, probably about six thousand feet high. It was a place where they raised and ate guinea pigs, and some of them had never seen a Caucasian.
Pastor Bill looked at me and said, “Are you ready to preach, son?” I didn’t even know I was supposed to preach that night. I said, “Pastor, I . . . I,” and before I could finish he said, “Just go tell them about the love of Jesus. Go tell ‘em what God’s done in your life.” And I did. When I finished sharing and gave an altar call, they had me pressed against a wall trying to get me to pray for them. I said, “My goodness sakes, something’s going on here.”
I want you to experience things like that. I know everybody can’t go, but like Keith Green sang when he was alive, “It ought to be the exception if we stay.” All of us can go somewhere. All of us can do something. If we’ll not be ashamed of the Lord Jesus, we can make a big difference where we work, where we go to school, and where we fellowship in the community. We can all make a difference!
NOTE: I’ll conclude the “D” of “WORD” in my next blog. Thanks so much for being such a great part of who we are at Cx3. We’re out to make a difference in our community and in this world!