• Will Spink
    Senior Pastor
  • Rita Clardy
    Executive Assistant
  • Ron Clegg
    Assistant Pastor, Discipleship
  • Peter Render
    Assistant Pastor, Youth/Families
  • Winnie Winford
    High-Life Assistant Director
  • Kim Delchamps
    Administrative Assistant
    High-Life/Children
  • Niña Banta Cash
    Director of Children's Ministry
  • Sarah Niemitz
    Director of Community Development/Assimilation
  • Janice Crowson
    Director of Facilities/Office
  • General Contact
    For all other purposes
 
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Core Commitments: Christ-Centered


Core Commitments: Christ-Centered

We are committed to being Christ-Centered

The grace of God has been most fully shown to us in his Son, Jesus Christ, and God’s kingdom is not advanced without focusing on Jesus, the King. This means giving glory to Jesus, proclaiming the good news of his finished work, is the goal of our corporate worship, all of our ministries, and our life in community together. Since every page of the Bible points to Jesus, every sermon, Sunday School lesson, and conversation should point us back to Jesus so that we live each day in his strength rather than our own and for his glory rather than our own. We seek to feed Jesus’ sheep – every fellow sojourner regardless of age or stage – by pointing them to the Good Shepherd. Grace is not merely an item we can get enough of or a concept we can master; grace is experienced in Jesus, with whom we always need relationship. II Corinthians 4:6, I Corinthians 1:23, John 1:14-18, Ephesians 1:3-14, Luke 24:27, Colossians 2:6-7

Churches can become focused on many “good” things: ministering to the children of the church, impacting the city in tangible ways, developing fellowship among members, attracting new people to grow the church, and many others. While all of these priorities are important parts of healthy churches, none of them is “good” as the main priority. How easily, though, can we allow one of these spokes of the wheel to become the hub! Instead, God has designed the church to be built on the foundation of Christ Jesus himself, where that one and only hub fuels the passion of the church for the spokes of the wheel. Our commitment to Jesus – his glory and his sufficiency – is to drive our heart for our kids, our city, each other, and our neighbors.

As Southwood seeks to root her Core Commitments in the inerrant Word of God, we consistently find ourselves pointed back to Jesus. After all, the story of the Bible from beginning to end focuses our attention on one hero, Jesus, whether we learn more of why he is needed, how he meets our greatest needs, or how lives united to him are transformed. So, as the Scripture directs us, “we preach Christ crucified,” because Jesus is what we all need – young and old, lifelong follower and skeptical seeker (I Corinthians 1:23).
In some ways I wish this focus on Christ was something you could just assumed about a church – but it’s not. It’s so easy for one of the spokes to become the functional hub, for our practical dependence to be in our own gifts, or for our goal to be the glory of the particular church. In light of that reality, all of us must watch to ensure it is Christ we proclaim – in the pulpit, in every children’s classroom, in every small group Bible study, and in every relationship.

See, being Christ-centered must not remain merely a corporate commitment. It is one thing to participate in a Christ-centered worship service and hear a Christ-centered sermon on Sunday, but it is another thing to become a community of Christ-centered people the rest of the week.  Are we pointing ourselves, each other, and all our neighbors to Jesus day in and day out? Is his glory more important than our reputation? Do we really need him for Tuesday afternoon, or is Sunday morning enough? Are we so committed to the cross of Christ that we are personally willing to suffer deeply as we follow Him?

Southwood has a rich heritage of prioritizing the gospel of Jesus Christ from her very beginning. Pray that we would never get over that – that God would keep us focused and dependent upon our Savior and King! And pray that this commitment would increasingly transform not only our worship and our teaching but also our conversations and our relationships – for the glory of Christ.