This was really important. This was way more important than "success". This was success.
When I look over what I wrote down for core values a couple of months ago, I don't see much I want to change besides grammar...
- Biblical world view - without this Christianity is shallow, maybe just a façade
- critical thinking - when Christians don't exercise this they miss the point
- limited media input - no TV - TV is an anesthetizing agent
- train children - this is central
- family devotions - this sets the tone although its not very effective without a Deuteronomy 6:4-8 lifestyle
I should add one more - PERSEVERANCE. This one is so foundational in my thinking that I didn't even think of it when I made my list. Its a given. But in this world I live in, its not a given for most people.
In all fairness, it wasn't part of my thinking, either, when I started this journey.
I was almost angry when John (my fiancé) wrote these verses in my Bible before he went off to France for the summer, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." (James 1:2-4)
I suppose I would have really freaked out if he had given me Romans 5:3-5 "Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."
Suffering wasn't on my map at all!
Back to what's really important... to have planted a bigger church but of shallow Christians would be to leave behind a sorry legacy indeed. I want to leave behind a legacy of "real" Christians.... people who think, who love God with their minds, ...people who will endure to the end.