Core values are those values we hold that form the foundation on which we perform our actions and live into our calling. There are many values we hold dear, but some are so primary that they must be intentionally lived up to guide all we do. They are not strategies to employ nor ways we accomplish our mission. Rather, these ten core values underlie our work, influence the ways we interact with each other, and guide us to discern which strategies we employ to fulfill God's mission for our church. They underlie everything we do.

Establishing Unity

Unity is about sharing the same purpose and the same God. Unity means that together we understand what the essentials are and move the non-essentials out of the way. We tap into the synergy of "Community of Communities."

"I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." John 17:20-23
“I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:1-3

Encouraging Diversity

It’s not just about ethnic diversity, it’s about socio-economic diversity, and spiritual diversity, and cultural diversity, and diversity in age and how we like to worship, and many, many other things. God loves diversity.

“And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind.” And it was so. God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and the cattle of every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind. And God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1:24-25

In Genesis 1 and 2 we find God is a God of diversity as He creates a diverse creation filled with all lights, creatures of the sea, living creatures, plants of all kinds, and even all humanity (not just some humanity).

“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands.” Revelation 7:9
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:19

Embodying Grace

We embody grace as we receive it to those who need it – which is everybody. Grace is a gift from God, has no limitation, and should be visible in all that we do.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God - not the result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
“From his fullness we have all received grace upon grace.” John 1:16

Providing a Discipleship Pathway

We offer a clear, consistent, simple, measurable, and grace-centered pathway. We are called to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. As disciples, we Experience grace in worship, Grow in grace in groups and relationship, and Share grace in ministry.

  • We are called to make disciples.
  • Matthew’s Great Commission is a focus on Growth. In Matthew 28:19-20, we find the “Great Commission.” It says, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew is clear that Jesus sends us to make disciples of all nations through baptism and teaching – sacrament and education. We are called to teach disciples to obey what Jesus has commanded.
  • Mark’s Great Commission is a focus on Proclamation/Preaching. Mark 16:15 says, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation.”
  • Luke’s Great Commission is a focus on Jubilee and reconciliation (with God and neighbor). Luke 4:16-30 sets the stage for Jubilee and Luke 24:47 gives the commission, “...repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed to all nations...”
  • John’s Great Commission sends us to be the Divine Presence of Christ to the world. In John 20:23, Jesus says, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
  • Proclamation, Growth, and the Divine Presence of Christ to the world will bring Jubilee, reconciliation and wholeness to a world in need. Whatever a disciple is supposed to be, these are the core elements.
  • Chapelwood lives out this expression through EXPERIENCE, GROW, SHARE.
  • In keeping with the divine mandate, Chapelwood is fulfilling our mission of making disciples of all nations through experiencing God in worship, growing through education, and sharing through mission.
  • A disciple’s path should include EXPERIENCING God in worship in the Sanctuary, Mercy Street, The Branch, Upper Room, and Contemplative worship services. Mark’s Great Commission of Proclamation is lived out!
  • A disciple’s path should include GROWING in knowledge by finding a place to grow in God’s Word. Matthew’s Great Commission of Teaching is lived out!
  • A disciple’s path should include SHARING our faith by becoming the hands and feet of Christ. We bring Jubilee, reconciliation, and the divine presence of Christ to places where people need hope and healing. Luke and John’s Great Commissions are lived out!

Taking Risks

We must be innovative, adaptive, energetic, nimble, and entrepreneurial.  We will not be afraid to venture into the risks associated with growing the Kingdom in God-inspired ways.

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love.” 1 John 4:18
  • We value entrepreneurial leadership within a strategic disciplined system.
  • Chapelwood has never been nor will we be afraid to take a risk. We will not afraid to venture into the risks associated with growing the Kingdom.
  • We will venture into new arenas of ministry as we keep all our values before us. We are willing to go wherever God may be leading us...even if it doesn’t seem like it makes sense.
  • We will encourage this risk-taking attitude at every level of the organization, teaching everyone to understand how to utilize all our core values to help us decide which risky ventures are God-inspired.
  • We will learn to take risks within a strategic and disciplined system, which means we step forward in keeping with our values – which include being faithful stewards of God’s resources. We will not be “wasteful” in our risk-taking.

Becoming Faithful Stewards

We are charged to use our resources in ways that make God proud. We will be financially accountable, conservative, and we will invest in the things that God is leading us toward, recognizing that the gifts we’ve been given aren’t ours.

“From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.” Luke 12:48
“There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was squandering his property. So he summoned him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Give me an accounting of your management, because you cannot be my manager any longer.’” Luke 16:1-2
  • The faithful stewardship of Chapelwood is central to our identity. We are charged to use our resources in ways that makes God proud.
  • Being a faithful steward is about more than money. Even though Chapelwood is the largest contributor to our district’s apportionments and one of the top two contributors in our conference, we believe being a faithful steward is defined by much more than what we give. It is also how we use all the gifts we’ve been given.
  • Being a faithful steward affects every aspect of our lives. It shows up in the way we care for and steward God’s creation and the way we care for our properties.

Developing a Missional Heart

We are charged to use our resources in ways that make God proud. We will be financially accountable, conservative, and we will invest in the things that God is leading us toward, recognizing that the gifts we’ve been given aren’t ours.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:18-19
  • Chapelwood has a heart and a history of mission. This is rooted in the many blessings God has bestowed on us, which we know we are called to share. We realize as good stewards we must proclaim the mission of Christ from Luke 4 as we bring good news to the poor, proclaim release to the captives, and let the oppressed go free.
  • We recognize the focus for local missions is in Spring Branch/Memorial areas – our local community. Chapelwood sees this strategic missional focus as a key strength of the church.
  • We are dedicated to local missions and we believe we should focus our priorities on the areas to which we are called. We believe in trusting partnerships and strategic partnership to not just meet the needs, but to transform the community for the better.
  • We are dedicated to global missions knowing we are called to all nations. Global mission gives us a sense of scope in which God is active.
  • We believe in relational partnerships and continuing sustainability that can transform the areas we are involved in. We also believe this focused strategy will be more effective in shaping us to be more like Christ as we are impacted by the relationships we foster.

Ministering to All Stages of Life

We acknowledge that one strength of Chapelwood is that we value every stage of life – from cradle to grave. We will excel in reaching and discipling groups of every age and stage of life.

“Let the children come to me, do not hinder them; for to such belongs the Kingdom of God.” Mark 10:14
“Do not cast me off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength is spent.” Psalm 71:9
  • Chapelwood, unlike some para-church ministries or new church startups, has a broad reach across all stages of life. This is something we value. People acknowledge one strength of Chapelwood is that as you move through the stages of life, there is always something to minister to you in that chapter of life.
  • Every stage of life is a priority for us. We are capable of excelling in reaching and discipling every age group.

Embracing a Sense of Urgency

We will not become complacent – too much is at stake. We will not let contentment cause us to ignore the needs, defects, and dangers around us.

  • Contentment is a state of mind that points to a level of satisfaction. That isn’t a bad thing unless it begins to cause us to ignore the needs, defects, and dangers around us. When we do that, we have moved from a state of mind to a way of being called “complacency.”

Becoming a Learning Congregation

Learning, innovation, strategy, mission, and ministry spring from every single facet of our community of faith. When learning happens across all ministries and communities, we will be able to respond better, growing and adapting at every level.

  • It is not enough that a few leaders continue to learn and grow. Every member, every core team, every worship community, every pastor, every volunteer, and every ministry must continually grow in mastery of what we do, challenge our mental models, cultivate a shared vision, learn as a team, and see the big picture of how all things connect.
  • We are stronger together than when we are “silo-ed” apart.
  • As learners, we ask questions, probe details, push assumptions, and allow others to push our assumptions. Learners are not afraid to have someone shine a light on their ideas and ask the hard questions.
  • The challenges before us are too great to only depend on a few individuals. Everyone, at every level, must grow and learn.

Our core values also help us to:

  • Guide Personnel Decisions by maintaining excellent staff and hiring strategically to accomplish our purpose.
  • Clarify our vision
  • “Turn things off” if they are not working
  • Start new ministries with clarity of focus
  • Evaluate our portfolio of worship communities
  • Strategically grow through new worship services and/or new campuses
  • Study the feasibility of expanding Chapelwood’s Day School beyond Pre-K
  • Build on strengths of Youth and Children’s Ministry
  • Reach young adults through existing or new ministry opportunities