In Colossians 1:28-29, the apostle Paul said: "[Christ] is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me." Paul was passionately dedicated to developing spiritual maturity in the people to whom he ministered, and Friedens strives to apply this same level of dedication.
Friedens' mission is "making disciples of Jesus through UP-IN-OUT relationships." The latter part of this statement highlights the fact that our ministry is highly relational (click here to learn about UP-IN-OUT relationships). But if we're seeking to "make disciples," it's important to clarify what a mature disciple looks like and how we can most effectively help people grow as disciples of Jesus. Thus, we developed a "Discipleship Process" to clarify: 1) what we're aiming for ("Core Characteristics" of Christian maturity) and 2) how we're structuring our ministries to develop these characteristics in people's lives (our "Discipleship Pathway," which applies the Core Characteristics in age- and developmentally-appropriate ways). The Core Characteristics and Discipleship Pathway deeply influence the direction, content, and goals of Friedens' ministries.
Core Characteristics of Christian Maturity
Below are the 15 Core Characteristics that Friedens' ministry seeks to develop in the people to whom we minister. The characteristics are organized in three color-coded categories, which are based on the church's guiding principles, which say: "The foundation of Friedens Church is the Gospel: the good news that through Jesus, God made a way for us to be fully redeemed. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we humbly receive this Gospel by faith, joyfully submit to God’s transforming work in our lives, and generously invest in others’ spiritual growth, so that God’s glorious work of redemption will be experienced within our church family, throughout our communities, and beyond."
- The red characteristics are based on "humbly receiving the Gospel by faith."
- The blue characteristics are based on "joyfully submitting to God's transforming work in our lives."
- The green characteristics are based on "generously investing in others' spiritual growth."