Everything in life is worship and God alone is worthy of it. In all of life, in the thousands of decisions we make, we are worshipping. The food we eat, the entertainment we pursue, the ways we respond to failure and the ways we respond to success; they all point to where and what and who we trust, value and love.
At Imago Dei, we believe we were created to pursue worship of the one true living big and beautiful God. He is worthy of our worship, not out of resigned obligation, but from heartfelt joy (Deut 6). This is what we were made for. We love to build our lives around him. We are not a business. We are a community who has caught a glimpse of the living God and can’t look away. We worship passionately and risk everything for his name because there is nothing we could lose that is more valuable than what we have in him.
God’s glory is most clearly seen in his grace. Our God loves and even pursues rebel people (Rom 5:8; 1 Jn 4:9-10). On the cross, Jesus took thepunishment for our sin, removed our shame, and gave us his righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21). Therefore, our goal is not to simply modify people’s behavior. Our goal is not to bargain with God by offering him half-hearted obedience. Instead, we believe grace changes us. We not only get to see the glory and radiance of God, but by grace we are changed and become radiant ourselves (2 Cor 3:18-4:6; Ps. 34:5). God doesn’t treat us like slaves but delights in us as sons and calls us his own.
God is alive and active in our world today. The kingdom of God centers on the glory of Jesus and the triumph of grace. This is counter to the kingdom of our world that centers on the glory of the creature and triumph of autonomy.
The Holy Spirit dwells with us. His presence and power free us to live out the reality of God’s kingdom. We are a colony of heaven, an outpost of his kingdom, the intersection of heaven and earth in Downey. Imago Dei enjoys God’s presence whenever we gather, yet we long for revival: where the Spirit of God comes upon cities, changing hearts (2 Cor 5:17), rescuing from deep and dark places, healing and restoring the broken and the sick, empowering and redeeming people to take the gospel further (Acts 4:8-12).
Our identity is forever changed by the work of Jesus. In him, we are not rebels, we are not slaves...we are adopted as sons and daughters. The scandal of the gospel is that we get to call the holy and glorious God by the intimate name of Father (Rom 8:15). God’s posture toward his
children is delight (Zeph 3:17).
If God is our Father, then the Church is not just a casual community, but a deeply committed family. This is not a program but the fabric and identity of who we are. In light of this, we seek to share life together, both tragedies and triumphs (Gal 6:2). We believe that every person has been gifted and has something to bring for the benefit of the family (1 Cor 12). So we are not consumers who show up to simply receive, we are connected to one another and exist for the sake of each other (Eph 4:25).
The Church is multiplying and global (Gen 1:28, Acts 1:8). Imago Dei does not exist to make spiritual celebrities and superstars. We exist for the glory of God and to multiply his image bearers throughout the 7 billion in this world. We exist to make disciples who make disciples who pass the message of Jesus onto the next context and the next generation. We are a church that plants churches.
This means that “ministry” is not the work of a select few but the calling of the whole body. Multiplication is the family business. The image of God shown through all of us in all of life to all the world.
As God, in Christ, has been generous to us, so we are generous in return. We give lavishly from our monies, our energy, our gifts and our love. We do so not because we have to, but because God has been generous to us. Our hearts are transformed to the image of what God is like (2 Cor 8-9).