Mission & Values

Mission – Why?

Our mission explains why Center Church exists.  Simply put, Center Church exists to see lives changed by the gospel in Charlottesville, at UVA and around the world.  Practically speaking that means seeing the gospel go deeper in us and wider through us.

Core Values – What?

Core values are guides to our decision making.  They don’t encapsulate everything we care about but they do shape our behavior and culture.  We have four core values at Center Church:

We Prioritize The Gospel Above All
Gospel is how we translate the Greek word euangelion which literally means “good news”.  Originally it wasn’t a religious word.  If a general won a battle he would send a messenger to nearby towns to proclaim “gospel” – good news of his victory.  The proclamation of “gospel” was not an invitation to the townspeople to help fight the battle, but rather a declaration of the victory that had been secured on their behalf.

When the Bible uses the word “gospel” it is referring to the good news of what Jesus has accomplished. Through his sinless life, substitutionary death and victorious resurrection we can be forgiven of our sin and reconciled to God through repentance and faith.  Thus, the gospel is primarily a message about what Jesus has done, not what you need to do.  It is good news not good advice.

The gospel is not only the  message you believe to become a Christian, it is also the message you believe to grow as a Christian.  As we understand and believe the gospel more deeply we are filled with a desire to glorify Christ with our lives.  You could say that we never graduate from the gospel.  It is not the ABCs of Christianity rather it is the A-Z.

Due to the unique power of the gospel and in keeping with the instruction of the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 we prioritize the gospel above all else.

We Choose To Live In Community
A survey of the New Testament demonstrates that community is fundamental to the Christian life.  God is communal in nature, He has eternally existed as one God in three persons – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. As people created in his image (imago dei) we too are created for community.  When Adam and Eve chose to sin their community with God was broken as was their community with one another.

We can’t be reconciled to God on our own, but thanks to the work of Jesus Christ we can be reconciled to God through repentance and faith and by the power of the Holy Spirit we can begin to experience the meaningful relationships we were created for.

But those relationships don’t happen automatically.  Whether it’s a busy schedule, past hurt or simple social awkwardness we often struggle to build meaningful relationships in the church.  We all long for community but we must choose community or it simply won’t happen.  So as a church we chose to live in community over and over again.

We Love to Reach the Lost
The gospel is a missionary story.  It is the story of Jesus taking the longest mission trip in history by coming to earth to save his people.  Jesus said of himself in Luke 19:10 “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” and Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 1:15 “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.

We love to reach the lost because Jesus loves to reach the lost.  As a church we will sacrifice what is comfortable or convenient for the sake of reaching more people with the good news of Jesus Christ.  Our goal is to inspire, equip and empower every disciple of Jesus to make disciples and to build a church that is salty and bright in the world (Matthew 5:13-16).


We Make Disciples Not Converts
The Great Commission was Jesus’ final marching orders for his church.  In it he calls us to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19) Because our commission is to make disciples when someone becomes a Christian the journey has only just begun.  Our calling is to help one another grow into fully devoted followers of Christ, learning to observe all that Jesus has commanded.