|| VISION & VALUES ||
We know that for a church to thrive it needs deep roots in the community. We are a neighborhood church focused on Park Hill and the surrounding neighborhoods. We have a passion to see our neighborhood flourish. We’ve spent time in and with the people of Park Hill learning the history and listening to stories. We are discovering what it looks like to follow Jesus in the busyness of urban life. Here are a few things that are becoming important to us as a church in the neighborhood.
|| Place (Neighborhood Focused): We are grounded in our neighborhood and allow its shape, history, peoples, and stories to inform who we are as a church. We are coming to know what we need from it and what it needs from us. We are for Park Hill and want to see it prosper. Keep it local! We also look for ways to find our place within the church abroad and within 2,000 years of church tradition.
|| Authentic Community (Sharing Life Together): We are a family of imperfect disciples. The Christian sojourn was never meant to be a solitary one. We share our lives with each other as we embrace the New Testament’s oft repeated command to love one another. We are marked by love, honesty and devotion to Jesus and to one another.
|| Holistic Spirituality: We want our faith to be the glue that keeps our lives centered and connected to every aspect of our lives – relationships, work, finances, recreation, etc.
|| Reconciliation: We seek to be a community that reflects the beautiful diversity of Park Hill. We are called to be a reconciled community, seeking racial justice in our relationships within the church and in the world. Because we are made in God’s image, we will look for opportunities to participate in bringing dignity to all people regardless of labels that society might otherwise give us. Whoever you are and wherever you’re from, you are welcome at The Hills Church. No one is disqualified from following Jesus.
|| Humility: We don’t have it all figured out. We don’t have all of the answers. In fact, we’re okay with questions and uncertainty. We're going to make mistakes.
|| Generosity: Generosity reflects the heart of God who gave his very life for us. Our lives are marked by a generosity that goes beyond what is reasonable and expected. We give with no expectation of reward and recognize and affirm generosity in others. We give a minimum of 20% of our income to other initiatives. Visit our Initiatives page to see some of the work that we support.
|| BELIEFS ||
We believe that Jesus is the hope of the world. Our beliefs are rooted in God’s story as found in the Bible and the historic Christian faith (Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds). We believe that our beliefs are not just for the sake of orthodoxy and argument. They are the foundation by which we live our lives. We constantly ask ourselves, “If this is what we believe, what difference does it make in how I live?” In other words, ideas have consequences. We believe God’s story can be summarized in four epochs: Creation, Corruption, Cross, and Consummation [alliteration – so it must be true :)].
God exists before and outside of the universe. He is the Creator of all things, visible and invisible, and is therefore worthy to receive all glory and adoration. Immortal and eternal, he perfectly and exhaustively knows the end from the beginning and sustains and sovereignly rules over all things. In the beginning this God created all things for his glory. “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). “For in him (Jesus) all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:16-17). We believe that God created human beings, male and female, in his own image. Adam and Eve belonged to the created order that God himself declared to be very good, serving as God’s agents to care for, manage, and govern creation, living in holy and devoted fellowship with their Maker.
Implications: This earth, while fallen (see next epoch), is nonetheless God’s good creation. We have been charged with caring for this creation. Furthermore, all people are made in God’s image regardless of race, gender, social/economic status, sexual orientation, or religion. Therefore, all people should be treated with dignity.
We’re all flawed and we’ve all got issues – just take a look at the world around us or at your own family. We believe that the issues go back to our first father, Adam. We believe that Adam, made in the image of God, distorted that image and forfeited his original blessedness by falling into sin through Satan’s temptation. As a result, all human beings are alienated from God. This doesn’t mean that we are all as evil as we could be but that humanity is fallen, corrupted. The final result of our corruption – apart from God’s own gracious intervention – is ultimate separation from God.
Implications: We have nothing to boast of in ourselves. This doctrine humbles us. We have no right to consider ourselves better than anyone else.
At the focal point of God’s story, is the person of Jesus Christ and his death and resurrection. He is more than simply a good teacher or moral example – though, surely, he was both. We believe that by his incarnation, life, death, resurrection, and ascension, Jesus Christ acted as our representative and substitute. He did this so that in him we might become the righteousness of God: on the cross he canceled sin and, by bearing the full penalty of our sins, reconciled to God all those who believe. By his resurrection Christ Jesus was vindicated by his Father, broke the power of death and defeated Satan who once had power over it, and brought everlasting life to all his people; by his ascension he has been forever exalted as Lord and has prepared a place for us to be with him. Christ Jesus has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness, and redemption. Jesus has brought God’s kingdom to earth and is undoing the corruption that has held this world captive. He is bringing resurrection, redemption, and renewal wherever God’s people are willing to join him.
Implications (too many to list): We owe Jesus our allegiance and adoration. We want to follow him regardless of where that might lead us. As C.S. Lewis wrote in The Silver Chair, “Aslan (Christ figure) will be our good lord, whether he means us to live or die.” We are looking for ways to bring renewal to individuals and the community.
We believe in the ultimate restoration of all things when Jesus returns. This will be the final undoing of the corruption of the world. “The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling[a] together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the cobra’s den, and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, or the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:6-9). “God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[b] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” (Revelation 21:3-5).
“The goal of resurrection—a happiness of whose excellence the minutest part would scarce be told if all were said that the tongues of all men can say. For though we very truly hear that the Kingdom of God will be filled with splendor, joy, happiness, and glory, yet when these things are spoken of, they remain utterly remote from our perception, and, as it were, wrapped in obscurities, until that day comes when he will reveal to us his glory, that we may behold it face to face” (John Calvin).
Implications: We have hope. We have hope even in the darkest night of the soul. Even in death, we do not mourn like those who have no hope. Jesus is God’s plan for the healing of creation, and when we live our lives “in Christ”, we become a part of the “new creation” that God wants to bring into the world (2 Corinthians 5:17).
(These implications are not exhaustive but rather examples of how we live out our beliefs).