Calvary’s Core is a six-week teaching series centered around the fundamental principles of our church; our core values. These values are deeply rooted in God’s Word. As we gather in our small groups, we will examine each one through the lens of the Gospel and collectively discover practical ways of incorporating each of them into our lives. Within each session, you’ll find: 1) biblical passages corresponding to the message, 2) discussion questions related to each core value, 3) a group activity, and 4) stories by members of our church body as they seek to practice and implement these principles. We hope you’ll find these materials helpful and enjoyable as you engage in learning and growing together with your group.
It's all about Jesus
If the Calvary’s Core series were a novel, He would be the prologue, the epilogue, and the story’s central character. He would be the theme, the plot, the conflict, and the resolution. The CliffsNotes version of this series would need a one-word summary, and the dedication would list one name.
Jesus. It’s all about Jesus.
Core Value 1: It’s All About Jesus
We see a church filled with disciples who are committed to making much of Jesus. In a world that wants to define and divide us in countless ways, we will maintain our unity through keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). We will reject the call to give our ultimate loyalty to anyone other than the crucified and risen Son of God. We will talk about Jesus, sing about Jesus, pray in the name of Jesus, study the teachings of Jesus, and share the good news of Jesus all the days of our lives.
Small group session 1 Book Pages
God's people delight in God's word
This session focuses on the importance and what it means to be a people that delight in God’s Word. Delighting in God’s word is like feasting on spiritual food. It nourishes and sustains our faith, providing us with guidance, wisdom, and comfort.
Core Value 2: God’s People Delight in God’s Word
We see a church filled with disciples who both know and love the Word of God. In a culture that has given up on the Bible, we will choose to be a different kind of people who study and cherish His Word. We will recognize that Bible knowledge without affection can quickly become cold and legalistic. We also know that Bible affection without knowledge becomes sentimentality. Therefore, our aim is to be people who have both a deep knowledge and profound affection for God’s Word, echoing the Psalmist as he writes, “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103).
Small group session 2 Book Pages
Life change happens in relationship
This session centers around the transformative power of relationships in our lives. We look at the story found in Luke 5:17–26, which highlights the impact of true
friendship on the paralyzed man’s encounter with Jesus. These faithful friends faced an obstacle when they couldn’t find a way through the door to reach Jesus. Undeterred, they demonstrated unwavering determination by taking an unconventional route— scaling the roof and lowering their paralyzed friend to
Jesus. This powerful example showcases the profound change that can occur when we have compassionate and supportive relationships that lead us to encounter the
love and healing of Jesus in remarkable ways.
Core Value 3: Life Change Happens In Relationship
We see a church filled with disciples who are relentless in their pursuit of God-honoring, life-changing relationships with other believers. We recognize that following Jesus is not meant to be done alone and that only through relationships with others can we live out the commands of Jesus and experience the life to the full that Jesus gives us (John 10:10). In a world that is growing more disconnected than ever before, we will be a different kind of people who willingly choose to do life with one another, depend on one another, pray for one another, provide for one another, and encourage one another each day (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
Small group session 3 Book Pages
found people find people
“Found People Find People” underscores the profound impact of personal transformation. Put simply, you know what it’s like to be lost, and part of your life’s
mission is to help find others. As those who are alive in Christ, we should be inspired to share our newfound hope with others and become fishers of men.
Core Value 4: Found People Find People
We see a church filled with disciples who are energized by the mission of introducing unsaved neighbors, family, colleagues, and friends to Jesus. Because He found us, we will do everything we can to invite people far from God to know who Jesus is and what He has done. Rather than waiting for people to come to us and ask about our God, we will take a proactive approach to telling people about the hope we have in Christ Jesus. We must have the same invitational spirit as the disciple Philip, who, after meeting Jesus, found Nathanael and invited him to “come and see” (John 1:46).
Small group session 4 Book Pages
Saved People Serve People
The grace we have received should lead us to demonstrate the fruits of the Spirit toward others in our church, communities, and around the world. The core value—“Saved People Serve People”—is a call to action; a reminder that our spiritual growth should lead to a life of service, kindness, and compassion towards others.
Core Value 5: Saved People Serve People
We see a church filled with disciples who utilize their spiritual gifts, abilities, passions, and experience to serve the world and build up the church. Just as Jesus came not to be served but to serve (Mark 10:45), we will become a people for whom serving is as natural as breathing. This will play out in both informal, everyday circumstances as well as in organized ministry programs on our campus, in our community, and around the world. For all of us, this begins with understanding our spiritual gifts, heart, passions, and personality, and then leveraging those for the sake of the world.
Small group session 5 Book Pages
Grateful people are giving people
Pastor Curtis Johnson once said, “Stewardship is simply the opportunity to be generous.” As a church that seeks to live like Jesus, we need to look no further than our final core value to bring that truth to life: “Grateful People Are Giving People.” When we begin to cultivate a sense of gratitude and stewardship in our lives, we are more inclined to be generous with our time, talents, and resources.
Core Value 6: Grateful People Are Giving People
We see a church filled with people who give regularly, proportionately, generously, and cheerfully to the work of the Lord through our church. Rooted in the biblical principle of grace-giving, we give out of response to what Jesus has given to us through His death and resurrection. We believe that sacrificial giving is a mark of a
mature disciple of Jesus, who gave everything for us. We consider the words of Paul, who said to the Corinthian church, “But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness, and in the love, we have
kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving” (2 Corinthians 8:7)