Every local church has pretty much the same mission (though maybe they don’t use the same language we do to articulate it), but the ways we go about accomplishing our mission can be vastly different. For example, some will use traditional methods, some will use liturgical settings, while others use spontaneous and free-flowing formats. To use a favorite illustration, church is like ice cream. All churches are in the ice cream business (mission), but we all serve different flavors (vision). Inherent in this illustration is that a variety of flavors exist for reaching a variety of people and satisfying their tastes. Some like butter pecan, others prefer fudge ripple. Different church visions merely express the multi-faceted creativity of God. We need them all, and one is not better than the other.
At Westwinds we realize we cannot be all things to all people. Our vision is to bring Christ to the spiritually curious, to those disenfranchised with organized religion, to the thinkers, and to the creatives (though, it’s more accurate to say those are the kinds of people that usually gravitate towards Westwinds because that’s what naturally flows out of us). To guide our decisions and foster in this regard, we uphold four core values: imagination, perMission, authenticity, and community. We want to open up our sanctified imagination and ask God to help us determine how best to shadow Him and heal the world. We want to be a perMission giving place, always encouraging people to be involved in their own niche in ministry. We don’t want to have to put on a brave face or falsify some kind of Pollyanna facade while we do this, though, and so we also value authenticity, meaning we don’t want people to stress too much over looking good as much as we want to be focused on helping others find Jesus.
Lastly, we don’t want to do all of this alone but as part of a community instead. Community can be difficult, but its this inherent difficulty that makes community spiritual – it requires character, and hard work, but in the midst of that work Christ is better revealed to his people.