VSSM CORE VALUES

1. God Is Good

  • God describes Himself as gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. God is good and, by nature, in a good mood. (Psalm 103:8-13, Acts 14:16-17, James 1:17-19, 2 Peter 3:9, Matthew 7:11, Galatians 5:22-23, Psalm 119:68, Zephaniah 3:17, Psalm 104, Exodus 34:5 - 7, Acts 17:22-31)

  • The message, ministry and sacrifice of Jesus perfectly reveal the nature of God as a Good Father. (John 3:16-17, Hebrews 1:2-3, John 14:6-7, Isaiah 9:6, Colossians 1:19, Colossians 2:9, John 1:1,18, John 8:1 - 11, 19)

  • God is a good Father, we can trust him regardless of our circumstances. (Romans 8:28-32, James 1:12-18, Hebrews 11:6, Nahum 1:7, Matthew 10:28-31, Acts 16:23 -26)

  • Enemies come to steal and kill, but Jesus came to destroy demonic works and give us abundant life. (John 10:10-11, 1 John 3:8, Acts 10:38, 1 Peter 5:8-10, Ephesians 6:12, Mark 5: 1-19)

  • God is generous. As we remember and retell what He has done through testimonies, He’s able and eager to do it again. (James 1:5, Revelation 12:11, Revelation 19:10, I Chronicles 16:23-36, Joshua 4:1-9)

2. Salvation Creates Joyful Identity

  • Jesus has won absolute victory! We are forgiven and freed from the enemy's power of sin, sickness, lies and torment, so now we operate in the power of righteousness, healing, truth and joy! (I Corinthians 15:56-57, Hebrews 2:14-15, Romans 8:1-4, Galatians 2:20, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Romans 6:4, Galatians 5:22-24, Revelation 1:12-18)

  • We are adopted as royalty into God’s family and commanded to help others be reconciled and come home to the Father. (John 1:12, Romans 8:14-17, 2 Corinthians 5:18-21, 1 John 3:1, Luke 15:11-32)

  • We are simultaneously joyful servants, trusted friends and beloved children of our Lord. (Psalm 16:11, Hebrews 1:9,Hebrews 12:2, Matthew 25:23, psalm 100:2, Galatians 1:10, Matthew 23:11-12, John 15:12-15, John 1:12, 1 John 3:1, Matthew 25:14-30)

  • We are new creations, not merely sinners saved by grace, but saints who have been given His righteousness so we can cooperate with Father God. (2 Corinthians 5:17-21, 1 Corinthians 1:30,Romans 3:21-26 Romans 8:1,30, Galatians 2:19-20, Acts 26)

3. Responsive to Grace

  • We joyfully experience the astounding, undeserved love of God and His ongoing power to transform us. His transforming love and power are inseparable from one another. (John 3:16-17, Ephesians 1:4-5, Ephesians 2:8-10, Romans 5:6-11, Mark 5:1-20)

  • God scandalously loves His lost creation and extends grace to us, empowering believers to love Him and other people at a higher standard than the law. (Romans 5:7-8, 2 Corinthians 5:14-18,Romans 6:11-14,Matthew 5:21-28, Romans 8:2-4, Acts 9:1- 22, 26:1-23)

  • Deeply experiencing grace is key to overcoming sin and failure. The Father’s love keeps us from focusing on sin or hiding in shame if we fail. Grace teaches us righteousness. (Ephesians 3:14-21, 2 Corinthians 3:17-18, Titus 2:11-13, Colossians 3:1-5, I Timothy 3:13-16, Acts 2:14-41)

  • Experiencing God’s generosity in grace breaks the mentality that “there won’t be enough” and moves us to be generous with all our resources just like our Father. (Romans 8:31-32, Matthew 7:11, Jeremiah 29:11,2 Corinthians 9:6-11, Acts 2:44-45, Acts 4:32- 35, John 12:1-8)

4. Focused on His Presence

  • Our first ministry is to God. As we behold Him, we are moved to worship with joyous passion. (Psalm 27:4, Luke 10:39–42, James 4:8, Psalm 1:1–3, Psalm 23:6, Psalm 26:8, John 4:23, Exodus 19:6, Psalm 22:3, Psalm 86:9, 1 Corinthians 6:19–20)

  • God delights in us and has always desired to be with us. We focus on His presence because we have discovered He is focused on us. (Ephesians 1:4–5, Zephaniah 3:17, John 6:44, Jeremiah 31:3, Psalm 65:4, 1 John 3:1, Revelation 3:20, I John 4:19)

  • Purposely cultivating hunger for God’s manifest presence and openness to experiences with the Holy Spirit deepens our friendship with God and the awareness that we carry His presence for the sake of the world. (Psalm 73:28, Psalm 107:9, John 1:16, Matthew 5:6, Isaiah 55:1–2, 1 Corinthians 3:16)

  • As a lifestyle, we practice recognizing God’s presence while we minister to others and attempt to say what He is saying and do what He is doing. (John 5:19–20, John 5:30, John 12:49–50, John 14:10, 1 John 4:16–17)

5. Creating Healthy Family

  • We are adopted into God’s family, so we intentionally create family and community wherever we go. (Ephesians 1:5, Ephesians 2:19, Matthew 12:48-50, Galatians 6:10, Romans 8:15-16, 1 Peter 2:17, Acts 2:41-47)

  • We think like healthy family members and do what’s best for the whole environment, submitting to one another and not being selfish. (Philippians 2:3, Romans 12:9-21, Ephesians 5:21, Galatians 5:13, 1 Corinthians 13, Ruth 1:16-17)

  • We purposely grow our capacity to trust and be trusted in covenant relationships as we empower and confront one another to live out who we truly are. (Matthew 18:15,Luke 17:3-4, Ephesians 4:15 & 16, 1 Corinthians 4:14-21, 1 Thessalonians 5:14, 1 Samuel 20)

  • We are loyal and our loyalty is demonstrated most radically when people fail. We don’t punish and abandon those who fail to save face or convince others we hate sin, but instead, we are committed to helping them be restored. (Galatians 6:1, Matthew 18:15, John 8:1-11, Psalm 141:5, John 21)

6. God’s Word Transforms

  • The goal of Scripture is to bring us into a relationship with the Author and transform us into His likeness. (John 5:39-40, 2 Timothy 3:15-17, Matthew 4:4, 2 Corinthians 3:15-18, James 1:22-25, Ephesians 5:25 - 27, Psalm 119:11, Luke 24:13-35)

  • As God encounters us in Scripture, faith is released into our lives. Studying God’s truth empowers us to believe who He is, who we are, and how He wants us to live. (Romans 10:17, 1 Thessalonians 2:13, John 17:17, Matthew 7:24-28, Colossians 3:15-17, John 8:31-32, Psalm 119:105, Romans 15:4, 1 Corinthians 10:1-13, Acts 8:26-40)

  • The Bible is the source of infallible truth and authority by which we judge all insight and prophetic revelation. (2 Timothy 3:15- 17, Matthew 22:29, John 8:31-32, 2 Thessalonians 2:13-15, 2 Peter 1:16-21, Proverbs 30:5-6, Psalm 119:160, Matthew 4:1-11)

7. God’s Still Speaking

  • God wants to communicate with His family. It is important for us to actively listen for His voice and experience the variety of ways He communicates. (John 10:26-28, John 16:13, Matthew 4:4, Isaiah 50:4-5, 1 John 2:27, Acts 2:17, Numbers 11:29, 1 Kings 19: 9-13)

  • Scripture calls us to earnestly desire the gift of prophecy, which is speaking on God’s behalf to strengthen, encourage and comfort people. We desire to say what the Father is saying to help people grow in their identity and discover their God-given purpose and value. (1 Corinthians 14:1-4, John 12:49,; 1 Timothy 4:14-16,Acts 2:17,1 Corinthians 14:24-25, Acts 13:1-3)

  • Prophecy is not one-way communication. It involves two people hearing from God; the one who gives the prophetic word and the one who receives it. With the Holy Spirit, Scripture and our community, we judge the spirit and accuracy of the words we give and receive. Holding on to what is good, we let go of what is not. (1 Thessalonians 5:19-22,1 Corinthians 14:29, Luke 9:55, Acts 21:10-22:24, Acts 27: 10, 22-24)

  • The Bible is the authoritative revelation unlike any other. Nothing will be added to it. Prophecy should never contradict properly interpreted Scripture. (Galatians 1:6-9, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Thessalonians 2:13-15, Matthew 7:15-20, John 8:31-32, 2 Peter 1:16- 21)

8. Jesus Empowers Supernatural Ministry

  • Jesus promised signs would follow believers and they would do even greater works than He. (John 14:12-14, Acts 2:17-18, Luke 9:1-2, Mark 16:15-18, Acts 5:12- 16)

  • We owe the world an opportunity to experience the power of God and an invitation to salvation because Jesus sent us into the world just as the Father sent Him in the power of the Holy Spirit. (John 20:21-23, John 17:18, Matthew 28:18-19, Matthew 5:14 - 16, Luke 10:1-9)

  • Nothing is impossible with God. Therefore, no person or situation is beyond His ability to bring complete restoration. (Matthew 17:20, Mark 10:25-27, John 15:7, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Psalm 103:1-7, Luke 1:34-37)

  • We believe all can be healed because Jesus demonstrated the Father’s will in healing all the sick and demonized He encountered. (Matthew 4:23, Matthew 12:15, Matthew 14:14, Luke 9:11, Acts 10:38, Psalm 103:3-4, Matthew 9:27-38, Matthew 9:28-29, Matthew 14:24-33, Hebrews 11:1, Acts 3:1-10, James 2:14-18, Mark 10:46-52)

9. His Kingdom Is Advancing

  • God is big and victorious. The devil is small and defeated. We are in a battle, but the outcome is not in doubt! (1 John 4:4, Colossians 2:13-15, 1 John 2:13, John 5:4-5, Romans 8:31-39, John 12:31, Acts 4:23-31, 1 John 3:8, Hebrews 2:14-15, John 16:33, Mark 5:1-13)

  • We believe and live the prayer, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” Therefore, we partner with the King in natural and supernatural ways to establish mercy, justice, and righteousness until He comes. (Matthew 6:9-10, Matthew 10:7-8, Is 9:7, Is 33:5-6, Micah 6:8, Matthew 10:42, Matthew 25:40, John 14:12, James 1:27, Matthew 12:22-29)

  • As believers, we are all in full-time ministry as God advances His Kingdom into every area of society. Our work and efforts both inside and outside the church are sacred and valuable acts of worship to God. (1 Peter 2:9, Romans 12:1, Matthew 5:13-16, Colossians 3:23-24, Daniel 6:3, Proverbs 22:29, Ephesians 6:5-9, Matthew 25:31-46)

  • Although we will experience resistance and conflict as the Kingdom advances, we expect the culture to be changed as people come to salvation and take their place in God’s purposes for the world. (John 15:19-21, John 16:33, Col 1:13-14, 2 Corinthians 4:8-11, 2 Corinthians 12:10, Nehemiah 2:1-10, Matthew 5:13-16, Acts 19:11-41)

10. Free and Responsible

  • Christ died to set us free from sin, death, fear and shame; in order to establish us in freedom, so we can live and love as God’s glorious children. (Romans 8:1-2, 15-21, Galatians 5:1, Romans 6:4, 14-22, 2 Corinthians 3:17, 2 Corinthians 5:17, 1 John 4:17-18, Luke 19:1-10)

  • Freedom is very personal, but it is not self-centered. We have been given freedom so we may present ourselves to the Lord as a willing sacrifice, surrendered and ready to serve. (Galatians 5:13-14, Romans 12:1-2, Romans 14:7-9, Romans 15:1-7, Matthew 4:1-11)

  • Freedom and responsibility are inseparable. We experience true freedom as we cooperate with the Holy Spirit to produce the fruit of self-control and use our freedom to bless others. (Galatians 5:13-25, 1 Corinthians 9:19, 2 Peter 1:5-9, 1 Corinthians 8:9- 13, 1 Peter 1:13-16, John 13:12-17)

  • We are responsible to partner with the Holy Spirit to continually develop the foundation of our character so it can support our growing influence and anointing. (2 Peter 1:5-9, Titus 2:11-12, Ephesians 4:1, Colossians 1:10, 1 Corinthians 6:18-20, Luke 9:54- 56)

11. Honor Affirms Value

  • Honor recognizes and affirms how valuable and powerful every person is because we are made in God’s image and He died to restore us to relationship. We are significant. (Genesis 1:26-28, Ephesians 4:23-24, Psalm 139:13-16, Romans 12:10, 1 Corinthians 12:14-26, 1 Peter 2:17, Matthew 26:6-13 (Story woman washing Jesus’ feet)

  • Honor recognizes and celebrates the best in people, in spite of our differences. We respond to people based on their God-given identity and the honor in our hearts, not their behavior or self-definition. (1 Corinthians 12:14-26, 2 Corinthians 5:16-17, James 2:1-5, Philippians 2:3, 1 Samuel 24:1-10 (Story David and Saul in cave)

  • Honor is demonstrated through consistent respect in word and action toward those we lead, follow, love and disagree with. While honor avoids controlling others, it does lovingly confront, limit and discipline when necessary. (1 Corinthians 13:1-7, Leviticus 19:15-18, Galatians 6:1-2, Ephesians 4:14-15, Romans 2:4, Matthew 18:15, Hebrews 12:11-14, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Luke 3:10-14 (Story John Baptist correcting people)

  • The level of honor we have for a person directly affects our ability to receive from them. (Matthew 10:40-42, Philippians 2:1-4, 1 Corinthians 4:14-20, 2 Kings 4:8-37)

12. Hope in a Glorious Church

  • The Church is the bride of Christ and she will successfully fulfill His great commission to make disciples of all nations, which means the nations will experience transformation. (Ephesians 5:25-27, Revelation 22:17, Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 1:8, Psalm 2:8, Revelation 11:15, Isaiah 54:3-5, Isaiah 60:1-5, Matthew 28:16-20)

  • We work to leave a legacy and inheritance for future generations just as previous generations have done for us. While anticipating Christ’s glorious return, we simply do not know when He will come so we have a long-term earthly vision. (Proverbs 13:22, Acts 2:39, 2 Timothy 2:1-2, Titus 2:11-14, Hebrews 11:4-30, James 5:7-8, Isaiah 9:6-7, Matthew 25:1-29)

  • We are not looking to escape the world but to see Christ’s victory manifested in individuals and nations, even in the face of resistance and conflict. (John 17:15-18, Luke 10:2-3, Matthew 28:18-19, Hebrews 12:1-3, John 16:33, Revelation 11:15, Acts 13:13-52)

  • The Church is called to overcome in all circumstances; in times of suffering and persecution, and also in times of prosperity and great influence. (John 16:33, Rev 3:5, 21, Philippians 4:11-13, Isaiah 41:10, 1 John 4:4, 1 John 5:4, Romans 8:37-39, 1 Chronicles 28:6-10)

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375 Payne Avenue

North Tonawanda, NY 14120
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