As a community of missionaries, we seek to align our lives according to the following shared commitments:
Commitment to Humility
A life of humility will mean for me:
- First, seeking to imitate Christ who emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant.
- Second, gratefully recognizing my great privilege to minister among the needy as both a minister to Christ and with Christ as a co-laborer.
- Third, guarding against the inclination to patronize the poor, remembering that my humility encourages their essential human dignity.
Commitment to Simplicity
A life of simplicity will mean for me:
- Recognizing that "the earth is the Lord's and all it contains" and that I own nothing.
- Voluntarily accepting a level of income and lifestyle which allows me (and my family) to live incarnationally with the poor to whom Christ has called me to minister. Through this lifestyle, I will seek to better discover the presence of Christ and what it means to be rich in faith and relationship with Him without relying on material possessions.
- Modesty and temperance in all things so that there may never be an offense to the gospel because of my covetousness.
- Giving joyfully and generously of the life and resources God has given me in order to see the urban poor experience the love of Jesus and to model freedom from the tyranny of self.
Commitment to Purity
A life of purity will mean for me:
- Freedom to love. Purity means going beyond chastity and asceticism to discovering liberating ways to pledge undivided love to Jesus Christ, to the community, or to my marriage partner.
- To view my singleness or marriage as a gift which God wants to use to His glory; a resource for which He will ultimately ask me to give account.
- Honesty, transparency and fidelity in my relationships with all whom I co-labor and with all to whom I minister.
Commitment to Service
A life of service will mean for me:
- Compassion for the poor demonstrated by words and action.
- According to my gifts and working in concert with my team members, to share the good news of eternal salvation with the poor and to renew existing churches or to establish new, relevant expressions of Christ's kingdom, the church, among them.
- With prayer, fasting and the leading of the Holy Spirit, I will wage peaceful war against all that is contrary to God and the establishment of His kingdom.
- Obedience to the Word of God, the inner testimony of the Holy Spirit of God, and the leadership God has ordained to direct InnerCHANGE and its mission to the poor.
Commitment to Community
A life of community will mean for me:
- Support of my fellow team members in prayer, love and reconciliation.
- Expression of my gifts as a complement to my team members. Love and encouragement as they work to develop and use theirs.
- The willingness to share my belongings within the guidelines prescribed by each team.
- Faithfulness in serving on the team and under the authority of the team director.
Commitment to Prayer
A life of prayer will mean for me:
- "A life of discipline" - stillness before God, listening before speaking, and meditation upon His word.
- "A life of intercession" - of being, as Paul described, "in labor" for others, recognizing that prayer is ministry.
- "A mystical sharing" - letting God, who could take, borrow my voice to express His thoughts on behalf of the poor; and God, who has no need, letting me participate in the speaking of His redemptive word.
- "A surrender of my will" - letting God set me aside to pray for an hour, a day, or a season, despite the world's notions of "effective activity."
- "A kindling of faith" - remembering that prayer to God, who is unseen, opens the gate to faith, the conviction of things unseen.
- "A transcendent ministry" - remembering that God's Spirit unfettered, passes beyond my physical boundaries.
Commitment to Celebration
A life of Celebration will mean for me:
- Rejoicing as a child made in God’s image, and passed from death to life by the saving work of Jesus my Lord.
- Remembering with joy that my name in God’s eternal record eclipses any record of my meager accomplishments.
- Delighting in the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus. In turn, I will stake my worth on his delight in me, and grounded in that love, I will rejoice in the company of InnerCHANGE as a foretaste of the heavenly community that awaits me.
- Partying with Jesus when he sets a banquet table for the needy. I will exult in the privilege of being seated beside those the world makes last, but God makes first, as a sign of his upside down Kingdom. I will listen for the echo of rejoicing in heaven when those I minister among step into the light or even take a small step forward, and will remind myself that persistent celebration rolls back the power of the enemy.
- Counting all things to be loss, I discover I have nothing to regret, and in gaining Christ, I find I have everything to celebrate. I will gratefully receive the mystery of Jesus’ body and blood in the table spread before me.
in a world of darkness
the life of Christ
in a culture of death
the liberty of Christ
in a kingdom of captivity
and the hope of Christ
in an age of despair
I will rejoice always and in everything give thanks.
InnerCHANGE desires to produce results worthy of the cross of Jesus Christ. By the light of God's word and the leading of His Holy Spirit, we recognize the following values to be essential as we minister among the poor:
We will express the Good News of Jesus Christ in both word and works. Both communicate the Gospel -- both authenticate one another. We will not make any attempt to magnify or prioritize one above the other.
John 10:37-38; 14:10-11; Romans 15:18-19; James 1:27
We will identify incarnationally with the needy of the world for the sake of their salvation, just as Jesus left His wealth and power to identify with us for the sake of our salvation.
John 1:14; Philippians 2:6-8; 1 John 4:9-11 and therefore 1 John 3:16-17;1 Corinthians 9:19-23
We will mobilize to serve the poor of the world in whatever context that God directs. We understand that poverty comes in a variety of forms and contexts and is not simply defined as a lack of material welfare.
We will minister the reconciling and regenerating life of Jesus Christ primarily through personal relationships as we seek to practice the presence of Christ. As personal relationships give insight into poor communities, we will develop strategies which may include partnership with institutions serving the poor.
Luke 14:12-14; Luke 19:1-10; Isaiah 58:7,10
5. Spiritual Warfare
We will commit to engage in spiritual warfare on behalf of our neighbors. We will seek to discern and defeat the powers which hold the poor and needy captive.
Ephesians 6:12; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
6. Justice and Mercy
We will commit to promote justice and mercy as reflections of God's character in the same spirit and with the same energy with which we pursue personal growth and piety. We recognize that working for justice and righteousness is part of our devotional life.
Matthew 23:23; Isaiah 58:6-9; Micah 6:8; Amos 5:24; Jeremiah 22:16
We will work to build healthy communities among our staff. A healthy community: dramatizes the power of Jesus' words and the presence of His kingdom; protects against the special hardships of living among the poor;and promotes the awareness of God's love for each community member.
John 13:35; 17:22; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
8. Upside-Down Kingdom
We will minister low to high, that is, from the bottom rungs of a society upward, remembering that significant aspects of God's kingdom are often lodged in the humblest crevices.
We will not despise faithfulness to small things in favor of the big picture, believing that the kingdom of God is upside down with regard to many of the world's values.
1 Corinthians 1:27-28; Matthew 5:3-12; Luke 16:10,15; Zechariah 4:10;Isaiah 57:15
9. God's Sovereignty
We value the Spirit's guidance through prayer, fasting and listening as we commit to discover how God has gone before us in preparing the urban poor for the Good News.
Exodus 23:20; John 16:13-15; Acts 16:6-10
10. Comprehensive Change
We will seek to appraise the social, political and economic factors that affect the urban poor, and how the transformation of these factors can encourage people to accept the gospel
Luke 16:8; Proverbs 31:8-9; 29:7