Enduring Principles Study Series

PowerPoint Presentation

Enduring Principles

The Foundation: God, Christ, Holy Spirit

God’s revelation in Jesus Christ and continuing presence through the Holy Spirit, as proclaimed by scripture, is the foundation of our faith, identity, mission, message, and beliefs.

In faithful response to our heritage and continuing experience with God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit, we endeavor to uphold the following enduring principles (values, concepts, themes) as essential components of church identity and mission.

Enduring Principles define the essence, heart, or soul of church identity, mission, and message. They describe the personality of the church as expressed through its participants, congregations, and affiliate organizations throughout the world.

Some call Enduring Principles “core values.” Others call them “foundational concepts.” Use whatever terms make the most sense in the setting where you are writing, sharing, teaching, or preaching. For general official purposes, the World Church will use the term “Enduring Principles.”

grandmother and childEnduring Principles

Each principle follows with statements that help explain its meaning. Each set of statements ends with “we” statements that emphasize calling and desired response. The statements following each principle are not meant to be limiting or comprehensive. They are provided as helps. Use phrases, illustrations, stories, testimonies, scripture passages, and additional points to provide clarity and understanding for those with whom you are sharing.

Grace and Generosity
Sacredness of Creation
Continuing Revelation
Worth of All Persons
All Are Called
Responsible Choices
Pursuit of Peace (Shalom)
Unity in Diversity
Blessings of Community

To see how church members throughout the world express the enduring principles of the church, follow the link to the statement: “We Are One, We Are Many.” www.CofChrist.org/discernment/onemany.asp

Enduring Principles and Basic Beliefs

What is the relationship between enduring principles and Basic Beliefs?

When people try to understand the church’s identity, mission, and message, they bring different ways of perceiving reality, which leads to different questions.

What is the church like? Enduring Principles are the underlying truths and affirmations that shape the personality of the church. Enduring principles guide how we live in our communities, families, workplaces, congregations, and cultures. They describe how we experience and share the gospel and the church with others.

What does the church believe? Basic Beliefs are the more comprehensive, rational explanations of what the church holds to be true, arranged in categories that are part of the broader Christian tradition. Basic Beliefs represent a deepening level of inquiry about the gospel and the church.

We need both ways of expressing the identity, mission, and message of the church, along with the others described in this document, to ensure that people can explore and experience the gospel in ways that are the most informing and transforming for them.