Vision: Helping people live and give the life that Jesus promised.
“Live it and Give it!”
“I have come that they might have life… life to the full.”
-Jesus (John 10:10)
Our aim is to help people live and give the life Jesus promised, “Life to the Full!”
But, what does that mean?
At its base, life to the full, means a life full of the Spirit of God. We seek to live into that promise in the following ways:
The Good News of the Kingdom of God
Jesus came preaching a kingdom. Life is full, when people repent and believe the good news as it is written in the Bible and proclaimed by a faithful church*. In this good news people experience forgiveness of sins, liberation from bondage, and both inner and physical healings.
"Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” -Mark 1:14-15
To help people live fully the abundant life of Christ, a faithful church will gather people weekly, and in other various times and settings, to develop a counter-cultural cadence of life as worshippers of Christ. Through thoughtful, sacramental, and intentional worship we are shaped by the Holy Spirit, bringing our hearts and minds into right relationship and alignment with God, that we might honor him and live for his glory.
“A time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” -John 4:23
A faithful church promotes a deep knowledge of the Word of God, knowing that this, in partnership with the Holy Spirit, is the primary means for Christians to know and comprehend God. God’s Word teaches us how to live for Christ as members of His Kingdom, both in the church and the world, but also produces in us the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Deep love and understanding of God and His Good News, paired with the work of the Holy Spirit, leads us to experience forgiveness of sins, liberation, healing of inner hurts and traumas, while incrementally forming in us the mind of Christ.
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
"Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”
The faithful church teaches people how to pray expectantly and how to be sensitive to the leadings and promptings of the Holy Spirit. Prayer becomes a regular part of our lives as we seek to regularly discern the ways of God and to commune with him as our loving Father and Lord. Prayer also shapes us as a community and family binding us together in common concern, care, and mission. Prayer ministry, spiritual direction, and prayer meetings thus become a normal expression of our life together. We value the Anglican Prayer Book as a God-given tool designed to lead us in praying the scriptures and leading counter-cultural lives.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” -1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” -Ephesians 6:18
Mission and Ministry
A faithful church makes “full-life” disciples by equipping them to recognize the calling of God in their lives to use their gifts, talents, resources and availability to build up the church* and spread the Good News to the world in word and deed, especially for the sake of those who are weak, lost, vulnerable, poor, or suffering. (Matthew 25)
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” -Matthew 25:40
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” -Matthew 28:19-20
A faithful church will work to create a loving community of believers. Full life is experienced when we love, care and pray for, fellowship with, and encourage one another as so beautifully pictured in the Word of God, especially as exemplified by the early church in Acts 2:42-47.
"All the believers were together and had everything in common.” -Acts 2:44
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” -John 13:35
The faithful church will seek to promote an understanding of Sabbath so that congregants may reject the restlessness and performance standards of our culture, and instead seek the rhythms of quiet rest and trust taught in God’s Word. Sabbath is both a day and a lifestyle, expressed in a commitment to weekly worship and rest fro work, as well as a thoughtful
acceptance of boundaries and limitations on a daily basis.
This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength…” -Isaiah 30:15
A faithful church values art, music, gardening, writing, dance, food, and recreation as important pieces of the full life to be incorporated in the church and into the rhythms of our lives. We see creativity as a way of expanding our imagination and vision of God and of Christ’s kingdom, while leading us in ways that are more generative than consumptive.
“…and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills— to make artistic designs… and to engage in all kinds of artistic crafts.”
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” -Ephesians 2:10
While not taking ourselves too seriously, we are serious about Jesus’ desire to impart life in his church. We know that the life of discipleship is an ongoing journey where we taste and experience what Christ has already done for us and in us, while knowing there is more to come that has not yet been imagined. Our hope is to engage the journey fully and, whenever possible, invite others to join us in living and giving the full life!
“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!
“Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?” “Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay them?”
For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.” -Romans 11:33-3
*The church is the people of God as encountered locally and globally.
Tree of Life is a member of the Anglican Diocese of the Carolinas.