In 2007, the leadership of Beverly Hills Presbyterian Church spent a season in prayer and study to determine God's purpose for our community. From that time, our vision statement was created.
Living into being a community
of friends and followers of Jesus Christ
who belong, grow, and serve.
"Living into being a community"
The first portion of this statement very candidly answers the question: "Who are we?" We do not want to presume to be what we are not. We also want to testify that we are not done yet. So we are "living into being" who God is creating us to be. We are in process. We are expectant and dependent upon the transformation of the Holy Spirit. And we know that the Holy Spirit is shaping this group of people from all walks of life, from all levels of spiritual maturity, from all ages, from all ethnic backgrounds, into a community.
Romans 12:1-2 says: "I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God - what is good, acceptable, and perfect."
"a community of friends and followers of Jesus Christ"
The second portion of this statement addresses the question, "What, then, are we called to be?" In a word, we are called to be disciples. But "disciple" is a difficult word for our contemporary society. In order to grasp the relational reality of who we are called to be, we speak in terms of being friends and followers of Jesus Christ. From Scripture, we see three components of this. We are called to be:
- In a love relationship with the Triune God - growing in our understanding of loving God and being loved by God through Jesus Christ (Matthew 22:37, John 3:16, and Romans 10:10).
- In a love relationship with others - learning to love our neighbors and our brothers and sisters in Christ (John 13:34-35 and Matthew 22:39).
- Loving the world - sharing God's love for the world through service and witness in Christ's name (Matthew 28:18-20 and Matthew 25:34-36, 40)
"who belong, grow, and serve"
The final phrase in this statement deals with the question of process, asking, "How are we to get where we are called to be?" Here we identify three steps in discipleship. The order of the steps are not fixed... they are not exhaustive, nor do they look the same for each of us. But we believe that this is our publicly understood pathway to maturing as friends and followers of Jesus Christ, both individually and corporately. These three steps, we have called:
- belong - find identity and place in the love and worship of the Triune God and in community with other Christians
- grow - growing in maturity and understanding of our God, ourselves, and the world in light of God's Word, God's Spirit, and God's Church.
- serve - serving the world and each other in stewardship, witness, and acts of compassion and justice.