--- The Ways

 
We, the church family of First Presbyterian Church of Moorestown deeply believe that: In life and in death we belong—body and soul—to our faithful Savior Jesus Christ. Therefore, we trust that Jesus has fully paid for our sins and set us free from the tyranny of selfishness, evil, and death. We also believe that we belong to one another. Though we’re all frail and broken people, we’re striving to create here “an atmosphere thick with love” by encouraging and reminding each other to lean into a community committed to knowing God and making God known. The following “ways” are based on the Bible, God’s Word, and are meant to aid us in becoming people who reflect God’s image. They’re not rules or laws to be obeyed but rather reminders, encouragers and prompts pointing us to the ways we should live with one another to reflect that image.
 
 
At this important moment in our congregation’s history, we’re giving intentional and focused attention to how we can better “be the church”. This means we’re thinking about the atmosphere or culture of our congregation. We’ve identified twenty-five culture statements or “ways” that we’ll consider week by week. You’ll hear about our Way of the Week in worship and at almost any meeting or study that happens. The idea is that we’re all trying to learn or be reminded of how we can be the strongest and healthiest people we can be for God’s purpose and glory.
 
 
BE THIRD
God is first, others are second, and you’re third.  Don’t just think about yourself, your own interests, but be interested in others.  Don’t think less of yourself, just think of yourself less and others more.
 
SPEAK THE TRUTH WITH LOVE
 Speak honestly and directly in a way that clearly reflects love and support for one another.  Be courageous enough to say what needs to be said, even when it’s difficult.  address issues directly with those who are involved or affected; speak to, not about, others.
 
 
LISTEN GENEROUSLY
Be quick to listen and do so with your undivided attention.  Minimize the distractions and let go of the need to agree or disagree.  Suspend your judgement and be curious to know more rather than jumping to conclusions.  Above all, listen to understand.
 
ALWAYS ENCOURAGE
AND CELEBRATE
Show gratitude and appreciation by regularly acknowledging the good works you see everywhere.  Look for signs of spiritual growth and maturity among our members and staff.  When you see it, point it our and rejoice.  Pass on good reports that you hear about others.
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ASSUME POSITIVE INTENT
Decide to trust that other members are being fair, honest, and concerned for the well-being of our church. Set aside your own judgments and preconceived notions. Surrender the urge to criticize and judge—it doesn’t help. Graciously give people the benefit of the doubt. 
 
FORGIVE… AGAIN
Just as God forgives us, heal relationships by extending forgiveness graciously and generously. Forgive everyone everything. Start by praying for those you resent or hate. Ask for every blessing you would want for the one you’re struggling to forgive..
 
KEEP OUR UNITY,
SAVOR OUR DIVERSITY
We’re all one in Christ; so thank God that, like parts of the human body, we’re not all the same. Be open to learning from others, regardless of their age, background, experience, or tenure with our church. We make better decisions and grow as people when we consider multiple perspec- tives. Listen with curiosity to others and consider how to use their ideas.
JUMP IN
Life is full of unexpected problems and needs, large and small. Pay attention to moments when God calls you to action, no matter how ordinary or extraordinary the situation may be. See “disruptions” as invitations to share Christ’s love. Write a note. Visit the sick or the grieving. Share a meal.
 
PRAY FIRST AND PRAY AGAIN 
Ask first for God’s guidance and blessing in everything you do. Through prayer, ask for wisdom and for God’s will to be done. Pray for others as well, that God’s love and mercy would be revealed to them in good times and in bad.
 
 
JOIN HANDS
Work as a team. Collaborate with each other, our professional staff, our lay leaders, and our congregants to find the best solutions. Collaboration lightens the load, generates better ideas than individuals working alone, and unleashes the gifts God has given us all..
 
MAKE OTHERS AT HOME HERE
Warmly welcome newcomers and visitors. Offer your name with a smile. Reach out and greet the person you don’t know after worship, during Coffee Hour, in Youth Group or Sunday school. Show a genuine interest in others.
 
OWN OUR CHURCH
The work of the church isn’t defined by pastors and staff alone; it comes from each member actively participating in the life of Jesus Christ. Claim ownership of FPCM’s mission and programs. Each is an expression of how God is working among us! Support others. Be informed. Volunteer for a new role. Live like you’re the church—because you are!
OPEN DOORS FOR
OTHERS TO LEAD
Encourage others to step into leadership by sharing responsibilities and mentoring. Let go of the jobs you’ve always done and allow new leaders to emerge. Remember that our youth and young adults are not solely the future of our church but are vitally important for our present.
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GROW FAITH
Take advantage of every chance you have to form your faith—through small groups, classes, and personal study. Be a disciple and look to learn from those who know more of the Bible and Christian life than you do, then look for opportunities to share what you’ve gained with someone else.
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WELCOME CHANGE
Be curious about new ideas, perspectives, and approaches. Get excited by the possibilities that change can bring. What worked in the past won’t always work in the future, for God is doing new things.
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GIVE CHEERFULLY
Rejoice, you get to give! Think of giving as a privilege rather than an obligation, a joy instead of a burden. As you consider all that’s been entrusted to you—time, abilities and money—ask, “How is God calling me to share what I’ve been given?”
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SHOW WHO YOU REALLY ARE
Our church is for “real” people. Bring your true self, your joys, your sorrows, your fears, your strengths and your weaknesses. God loves you as you are. Don’t hide your struggles, failures, or problems.
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ASK FOR HELP
Part of being a real and authentic member of the church is to acknowledge your weaknesses and to be willing to ask for God’s help and the support of others. None of us can go it alone. Vulnerability is a sign of strength and a gift to others.
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ACCEPT AND
DON’T CAST STONES
God’s love opens the doors of our church to all people. Just as Jesus did, welcome people as they are. It’s not up to us to judge. Love unconditionally, and as Christ has received you, receive others.
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FIND STRENGTH IN BELONGING
At FPCM, you’re loved and valued. Claim us as your family. Rather than withdrawing, allowstruggles and disappointments to deepen your sense of belonging. Pray for chances to bring healing to relationships. Please be patient! God isn’t finished yet with us or with you.
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YOU’RE SENT, NOW GO
We’re blessed to be a blessing. God intends to use you to bless, heal, restore, and liberate a dark and hurting world. We’re here for others: our families, our community, and the world. Go to the need. Live missionally.
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REST AND REFLECT
Make time in your week to step back from work, school, and stressful demands. Since Christ has freed us, we no longer have to be obsessively driven. Take a walk, play, nap, meet up with friends, make a meal, or seek time for solitude.
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WORSHIP WITH YOUR
WHOLE HEART
Your life is meant to be an act of worship. Every breath, action, and thought flows from God and can bring Him glory. Praise God everywhere and embrace the opportunities to regularly worship with your church family.
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TELL YOUR STORY
God has done and is doing something unique in your life. Has God answered a prayer, provided help, or blessed you? Share it. Ask God for opportunities to share your faith in Christ by words and deeds..
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REJOICE ALWAYS
The Kingdom of God is a party! Let healthy laughter fill our meetings, our meals, and even our worship. Let the joy of our faith be clearly evident in our speech and on our faces.
 
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