God is birthing something new in the people of First Wes. Not new in the sense of "never existed." He's been consistently working at First Wes for over 100 years. But new in the sense of its expression for this generation. In the same way that each generation of a family has traits that are unique yet consistent with the previous generation, so God's move among us today is much the same. As we covered in our section on history, First Wes has always been marked with prayer and sacrifice as it has faithfully answered the call of God - to help people develop a life-changing, growing relationship with Jesus Christ.
Our Biblical foundation is found in John 3: 16-17, 19:
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved the darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.
First - God is FOR us! He really is! We often get the idea that God is our enemy and has a plan to make our life difficult. Yet, just the opposite is true. God loves us so very much that He was willing to sacrifice His one and only Son for us. He didn't do this to condemn or punish us. But to offer us a full life both here and in eternity.
Second - As the people of God, we are to reflect His image to the world. That means we are FOR the people around us. We want them to win! We sacrifice to make it possible for them to have a full life in Christ as well. If God did not come to condemn us but led with His love, we go and do likewise - we "lead with love" in our relationships and community. This is why we say we are a "Church FOR Battle Creek."
Third - We strive to "live with light." This speaks of our desire for growing relationships. Light is required for growth. As Christ-followers, we grow best in environments where we can share our authentic selves. Not as a declaration of what is but as a starting point for what can be. A place where "it's ok to not be ok but not ok to stay that way." We grow forward together!