manifesto (ˌmænɪˈfɛstəʊ) — n , pl -tos , -toes
a public declaration of intent, policy, aims, etc, as issued by apolitical party, government, or movement
I am endlessly fascinated by the machinations of the modern church, in our varied attempts to justify our own existence. When we feel that sentiment is pulling toward social engagement, we become activists. When it is pulling toward leadership and programming, we become businessmen. When it pulls toward conversionism, we become evangelists. There is a constant tension in the church, pulling in all directions at once and creating a ministerial schizophrenia that makes us feel as if we are relevant and active while in reality paralyzing us. There are so many competing models and paradigms that there is no longer one focus. And sadly, when we try to reclaim that focus, all too often we simply reframe the competing ideas without accomplishing anything of significance.
Today, we declare that we will center our focus on Jesus – the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2); the Savior, Apostle and Head of the Church (1 John 4:14, Hebrews 3:1, Ephesians 5:23, Colossians 1:18; the express Image of the Father (Hebrews 1:3); the Only Begotten Son and the Firstborn of the Resurrection (John 1:18, Romans 8:29, Colossians 1:18). And we declare this focus to be worship.
We declare that our intent as the Church of Jesus Christ is to worship God in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:24); to be reborn and remade through Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17, Romans 8:29, Philippians 3:10); to walk in new life (Romans 6:4); and to discover a new, shared vocabulary of worship and praise (Ephesians 5:19, Colossians 3:16).