>> By Chris Armfield, lead pastor of CITYLIGHTS

Every culture, company and person values something. Often times people are consciously UN-aware of what they value, yet their actions express decided worth placed on all kinds of objects from fame to friendship to possessions. This can be a good dynamic but this can also lead to an individual or a collection of people ending up in places where they never intended to be. 

Value (Val–Yoo) – Relative worth, merit or importance. 

Pastor and leadership guru Andy Stanley describes this reality like this:

“Everyone ends up somewhere in life. Some people end up somewhere on purpose.” 

I think Stanley is correct in his pithy assessment; people don’t end up where they are on purpose very often. At CITYLIGHTS, we believe clearly defined values will keep us heading in the direction we must go. Yeah, we do believe there is a direction “we must go.”  

We have three values that intentionally hem us in and pull us forward. Our first statement is "We value worshipping Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in every area of life."

Philippians 2:9-11 shapes this value, “God has highly exalted Jesus and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.” 

The definition of value above helps us frame up Jesus as the most important and worthy person in history past and future. The past reveals the consequences of obedience and disobedience to Him. The future is foretold as well, “the world will come to find He is exalted above everyone and everything.” We are people of the past and the future living in the present and we will end up–by God’s grace–where we are on purpose when we focus on Jesus. 

We value worshipping Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in every area of life.

Practically speaking, “exalting Jesus” means that He is and will be what we are primarily about when we are together and when we are sent out. Sure, we will talk about relevant issues like weather, politics, recreation, family, delicious food, etc., but our attention will always be defined and refined by His surpassing worth. 

What does this value do for a Church? Here are three fruits that come from exalting Jesus:

1) His mission is our mission. As we exalt Jesus together we stay focused on His purpose on purpose. We will be the church He intends us to be (Matthew 28:19).

2) His message is our message. As we exalt Jesus together, the things we say will be directed and redirected by Scripture as the Holy Spirit leads us. We will be people that speak grace-saturated timeless truth that gives hearers life (Acts 1:8). 

3) His movement is our movement. Call it “Jesus Style.” As we exalt Jesus together we will be transformed more and more into His image (2 Corinthians 3:18) This is a really good metamorphosis. Our movement will be kind, gracious, loving, patient etc. Mom and Dad were right, “who you hang out with is who you'll become.”