Culture is the shared attitudes, values and practices that characterize Seed Church and remain constant no matter what other things may change.
Culture of GOSPEL CHANGE
The gospel demands transformation. The gospel which saves us is also that which continues to change us when we are able to see Jesus as the example, the motivation and the power for that change. This means that people will always be pushed towards improvement and closer connection to God, but based on love, not fear or guilt.
Culture of SACRIFICE
Nothing good comes without a cost. In order to live as disciples who model their lives after Christ, we need to give up certain things to make room for others. Serving others is not always easy and we often must die to certain things, even good things, in order for God to accomplish his mission through us. This sacrifice may include time, money and comfort but the Seed family is willing to make those sacrifices in order to become like Jesus (John 12:24).
Culture of LEARNING
All truth is God’s truth, so learning truth is learning about God. However, the Bible is unique in that it is special revelation given to us to teach us what general revelation cannot, namely who God is and how we can serve him. We need to skillfully teach the Bible in such a way that the hearers can apply it to their life situations (2 Peter 1:3).
Culture of COMPASSION
Being made in the Image of God, every human has value whether he/she is a Christian or not. We are in the humanity business, so we meet the needs of all within our scope and capability. Although the ultimate need of people is spiritual healing, providing for someone’s physical, mental or emotional needs is righteous to God in itself and an act of worship.
Culture of AUTHENTICITY
People who wear masks are missing out on the beautiful experience of deep relationships. Everyone has brokenness and baggage they bring to the table. An authentic culture is a place where one can experience safety in their transparency. We are honest about our struggles. We accept people where they are, but enter their lives to truly empathize and support them in their struggles.
Culture of HERITAGE
It is arrogant to erase the past. Christianity is a culture with a rich heritage of many saints who have gone before us, struggled with our same issues, and given us numerous helpful resources and examples. We enjoy modern ideas, but also see value in music, writers, teachers, theology and creeds that come from ancient times. These help to connect us to something solid and stable in our chaotic and confused world.
Culture of MULTIPLICATION
An unlimited opportunity exists for the advancement of Jesus’ kingdom. Jesus’ last charge on earth was for his disciples to make more disciples. Since making disciples starts with getting new disciples, numerical growth is something that we seek. We want to be able to impact the most people that we possibly can for Christ. However, numerical growth in itself is not the measure of success. Success is also measured by the spiritual growth and life change of the individuals.
Culture of DIALOGUE
It takes more than a single individual’s ideas to solve the many problems facing our world. Even though the Bible gives clear principles as to how we should live, sometimes the application of those principles can be difficult in the real world. Instead of running from the grey, we are willing to engage it together and develop greater wisdom through compassionate conversation and discussion.
Culture of PROGRESS
When we are no longer willing to change when necessary, we are in danger of becoming irrelevant and stagnant. We never do anything because that is “how it has always been.” There is a difference between changing direction because you are unplanned and indecisive, and changing direction because you see it as the wrong direction. If structures or methods lose their beneficial function we need to be willing to eliminate or change them.
Culture of DIVERSITY
The differences each individual has in background, thought, gifts, and practice bring a much needed balance to the church. It is safer for a church to create a monolithic culture where everyone is expected to think and act the same, but there is a richness and depth that is brought with diversity. Scripture has some very clear dogma and moral absolutes which all Christians should affirm and practice. However, outside the list of absolutes, scripture allows for differences in application and conscience on many issues. We are willing to live in the mess that is called “gray”, because true unity is based on living in peace with each other while allowing people to be who God has created them to be.
Culture of PLAY
Life is as much about being as it is doing. We get so busy and task-driven that at times we forget to rest, to enjoy small moments with friends, or to laugh together. At Seed we want to get things done, but we don’t take ourselves so seriously that we can’t have fun as well. Often churches can become so structured and task-driven that people forget to enjoy each other. Relationships are just as important as the tasks we work to accomplish, so we never want to so emphasize performance that we end up hurting people in order to reach our goals.
Culture of FAITH
Even the best plans can fail, and the worst decisions succeed when God is involved. We believe that calculated risk-taking is not only necessary, but also beneficial for a healthy church. God does not expect us to have all the answers. However, when we fear failure or fear man, we are crippled and unproductive. We seek to do the best we can with the knowledge we have, and then prayerfully step forward in faith, trusting God to bring his plans into completion.