Core Values

Every organization, in order to have a sense of purpose and a guide for direction, must know not only what it is striving for but also what that striving should look like in the life and mission of its people.  Purpose, vision and mission are not simply about achieving an end result; the development of both individual and corporate integrity, character, and responsibility are indispensable to true and satisfying success.  

A church is certainly no exception to this, so it is no surprise that the Scripture directly addresses our purpose both as individual believers and as the corporate body of Christ as well as how we are to live and grow.  Who we are and how we live are vital aspects of fulfilling our God-given purpose.In a series of strategic planning meetings, McIlwain’s Session developed and approved the following core values.  

As you can see, they are biblically-centered statements that are designed to focus our attention as a church on doing God’s work in God’s way.  These core values are to serve as “guard rails,” if you will, to keep us from wandering into a worldly way of doing ministry.  We commend these to our various ministries, teams, and committees as a reference point for guiding the motivation, decision-making, and implementation of what we do at McIlwain.

These are hardly meant to be an exhaustive list of biblical virtues or traits; other equally valuable sets of values could be derived from Scripture for our consideration.  We have chosen these six core values, however, as the particular values we are asking God to develop within us as we grow and minister together as a church.

Ultimately, we want these to be the answer to the questions, “What do McIlwainians look like as followers of Christ and how does McIlwain do what God has called it to do?”

We are Bible-sourced in all our commitments.

Everything we do has a biblical foundation either by direct command or implied principle. There are many good-ideas, but we must be vigilant to ensure that we are rooted and driven by Biblical mandates (2 Tim. 3:16, 17; Heb. 4:12).

We are grace-centered in all our ministry.

We stand before God only because he extends grace to us, accepting us, loving us and keeping us through the work of Christ.  Ministry at McIlwain rests on this foundation—so we extend to others the same grace we have received, accepting and loving one another through Christ (Eph. 2:8-10; Col. 2:6, 7).

We are open in all our communication.

Because of the bond we share in Christ’s grace, as individuals we belong to each other.  For this reason, we speak the truth to one another in love by taking seriously the Lord’s teaching on the importance of forgiving as we have been forgiven, letting our “yes be yes” and our “no be no” and refusing to participate in the destructive power of gossip (2 Cor. 4:1-3; Col. 3:12-17).

We bathe everything in prayer.

Jesus taught his disciples to come before God as children to their Father with their requests; Paul lists prayer as one of only two “weapons” in the armor of God.  In prayer we go directly to the loving, wise and powerful source of our daily needs:  Our Father.  He hears and answers, so we bring everything, big and small, to him (Matt. 6:5-14; Eph. 3:20, 21; 6:10-19; Phil. 4:6, 7; 1 Thess. 5:17).

We give all glory to God for all things.

All things are from him, through him and to him—and so God’s glory is our only true goal.  God uses his people and we all have specific gifts, but the credit and praise for all that happens at McIlwain ultimately belongs to our great God (Rom. 11:36; 1 Cor, 10:31).