I don’t know how to be something I’m not.
Most of us don’t.
Since I can remember I’ve loved 2 things: ministry & art.
In the same way you like unique foods and your own manner of doing things, I can’t imagine not having a passion for these pursuits.
For me, it’s a peculiar combination.
Most of my life I’ve felt too “Christian” for the art world and too “artsy” for the local church.
And so, finding a space to call my own has been a pursuit of discovery.
Its also been an intentional pursuit to carve out more space for others like myself...maybe for someone like you too.
WeAreTheVigilant is a space devoted to these two passions…correction, three passions. Because in my efforts, I’ve found that God has put it in my heart to love people. People are valuable. You are valuable.
One manner of viewing people is as a resource.
It could be said that the most valuable resource to any company or organization is it's people.
In their singularity, a conglomerate of people is simply an institution. But when a passion begins to prioritize people, it can transform a message into an entire movement.
This why WATV exists – to reach a generation with a message.
We exist to share the gospel through creative means.
We firmly believe that to share the gospel is the greatest privilege and responsibility resting upon the shoulders of mankind.
It’s a responsibility that comes with a price – the price of self-examination. For no sooner have some stepped into lead the local church, then they find themselves fallen.
Every great call requires a great response.
This is my response.
As a minister, in my service to God, the local church, and to others, I commit to the following:
To Live Humbly before Others.
- If there’s any place to begin serving in the kingdom of God, it is with lowliness of heart.
- Humility is both the Starting Line & the Finish Line.
- Matthew 20:26-28
To Yield My Gifts to God’s Glory.
- God’s greatest interest is in the glory of His own name.
- There’s room enough in the spotlight for one man and it's Jesus, whose wholeness of life speaks to the glory of His father.
- Psalm 29:2
To Acknowledge that this is the MOST Challenging (Even Difficult) Thing I Will Ever Do with My Life.
- Ministry is a constancy of effort. More than a job, it’s a calling…and a difficult one.
- Ministry is hard work…hard, worthy, fulfilling work.
- 2 Corinthians 11:22-33
To Celebrate this as the Greatest Thing I Can Ever do with My Life.
- The call to ministry is an invitation. The invitation from God to share in His glory in this manner is one of a kind.
- Different from other occupations, there’s a transcendence about it that supersedes mere work.
- This transcendence bolsters resilience. A life spilled out for the gospel is unmoved by the cares and concerns of this world.
- Mark 8:35
To Embrace this as a Cavalier, Bold-hearted, Risk-taking Kind of Thing.
- Faith is not idle, and so I will not be idle. Idleness leads to laziness and therefore sin.
- To spend my life and exhaust my gifts in the joy of sharing the gospel and serving those in need.
- Luke 9:57-62
To Lead with Vision.
- With bold vision comes a sustaining sense of purpose. People can see where they’re headed, how to serve, and where resources should and can be invested.
- Vision is a constant rallying point to maintain the call of God upon our lives.
- Proverbs 29:18; Habakkuk 2:2-3
To Take the Hit.
- One critical way to serve others is in guarding their reputation.
- Virtuous, godly people don’t slander others by talking about their shortcomings and inadequacies, rather, they step in and take the hit on behalf of others, choosing to guard their character even when the other individual cannot.
- Love celebrates people, and when they fall, it chooses to help them back up.
- Proverbs 17:9
To Cherish Childlikeness.
- To live out life with an unjaded sense of wonder and captivation for world around me.
- To allow my heart to stay soft and pliable.
- Matthew 18:1-5
To Encounter Culture without Succumbing to It.
- Loving sinner’s (aka; everyone, including myself) isn’t about compromising unto their ways for the sake of relevance. Its about meeting people where they are and allowing God to use you to introduce others to Him.
- Luke 19
To Hold a High Standard of Purity & Accountability.
- Moral failure doesn’t begin with outright action, but in one’s thought life.
- I commit to guard my heart, my thoughts, and my eyes from temptation and sin.
- I commit to surround myself with those who will hold me to this standard and ask difficult, invasive questions if and when necessary, to help shield me from sin & compromise.
- 1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Corinthians 10:5
To Surround Myself with Excellent, Unconventional, Forward-Thinking Doers.
- Excellence breeds excellence. Part of getting better is encompassing yourself with those who are better.
- It’s not about the ideas, but about making them happen, therefore I choose to align myself with those who think off the beaten path and have a track record of making what they envision a reality.
- Proverbs 13:20; 1 Corinthians 15:33
To be a Creator more than a Consumer.
- Consumption is necessary for existence, but there’s a threshold where if you let it, it will dominate your life.
- I commit to counteract the consumer mindset by creating work that is true, good, and beautiful, and to produce content that is valuable and beneficial to others.
- Proverbs 12
To Remain a Lifelong Learner & Student.
- It’s been said that there’s not a single person in the world from whom you can't learn something. It’s true. You can learn at least one thing from anybody.
- The posture of a learner is one of being teachable, and being teachable means being humble enough to acknowledge that you don’t know everything. Accept it and grow.
- With learning comes reading and a whole onslaught of resources that permit you to self-educate. So read daily.
- Proverbs 9:9; Proverbs 12:1
To Serve My Wife & Family First.
- How a man serves His family is a microcosm of how he will serve the others and the local church.
- I commit to upholding the role in my family as the greatest priority in service to others. I will love my wife as Christ loved the church. I will selflessly choose to serve her and my kids with meekness, love, tenderness, and in the character of Christ.
- Ephesians 5:25-33; Ephesians 6:4
To Hold Scripture as the Highest Authority in My Life.
- You’ve possibly heard others say before, “I need to hear from God.” Truth is, God speaks. In fact, He has already spoken in His word. The Bible is a volume of 66 books, spanning nearly 2,000 years and giving account of men ranging from peasants to kings, from poets to prophets, and from farmers to martyrs. It’s the richest story book written by the hands of men as led & inspired by the Spirit of God.
- I venture to say that God does speak and has already spoken in His holy word on nearly all matters pertaining to life and the life to come. This, I commit to maintain as the ultimate authority in my life.
- 2 Timothy 3:16-17
To Admit when I’m Wrong
- Nobody likes the guy who always has to be right.
- I will not be that guy.
- Psalm 51:17
To Recognize the Weight of My Words.
- A person who bad mouths other people behind their backs is likely badmouthing you behind yours.
- Slander will rob you of your effectiveness in ministry. It literally creates a divide and separates friends (Proverbs 17:9).
- Matthew 12:33-37
To Maintain Christ as the Center, Always.
- “For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:2 (The Apostle Paul).
- This statement expresses the whole of the gospel; that Christ is the central figure in history who came to redeem the sin of mankind by death upon a cross. Therefore, I commit to make this the centrality of all my focus and doing.
You’ve read this manifesto.
As a part of my accountability to it, I’ve made it a public declaration before you and others.
My question now is what about you? Do you have a personal creed or code you choose to live by? It may be that you’ve never even thought about it.
But this is your life. The summation of all of your time on Earth will one day be considered before God. So, regardless of your occupation or status in life, this is your one turn to make it significant. Don’t you at least think its worth the consideration?
This manifesto is a self-reflective form we’ve made to help you consider how you want to live and the mantra you choose to live by. It's a simple, concise Word document that you can edit to make your own.
We encourage you to make it your own.
Print it, post it, live it.
And when you do, please feel free to share some of it with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can also share some of your favorite declarations in the comments below.
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