An understandable question to ask about a church is, “So what is this place about?” This symbol reminds and summarizes for us what we are about as a church family. It expresses three key relationships which Jesus Himself modeled: Up, In & Out.
First, the Cross at the center means that we are centered on Jesus Christ. Our focus at Southview is not on religion, but on a growing relationship with God made possible through faith in Jesus Christ, who died on a cross and conquered death at his resurrection. We refer to this as our “UP” relationship with God. We want to know and follow Jesus.
Second, the Circle around the cross symbolizes again that we are a community gathered in Jesus’ name. Life with God was not meant to be an individual journey, but a journey traveled in community with others seeking to follow Jesus. This is our “IN” relationship with one another in the church family. The church is called the “body of Christ,” and as such we are to support, edify, encourage and love each other as we walk through the challenges and joys of life. Jesus gave us the Eucharistic meal, or Communion, as a sacrament declaring our unity in him.
Third, there are the Four Arrows. These simply represent that we want to go “OUT” out in every direction, to all people, with the good news and love of Jesus Christ. The church exists, not primarily for the well-being of its own people, but for the purpose of honouring God by reaching out to others in word and action with the good news about a new kingdom established in Jesus Christ.
Within the symbol there are Four Letters. These letters remind us of the most fundamental elements of how we grow, minister and journey with Christ as a community.
“W” represents the Word of God
We believe that the Bible is God’s Word to all people and is the supreme source of truth and guidance for what we believe and how we are to live.
“P” represents Prayer
God invites us to communicate with him in prayer – to share our praise, thanksgiving, requests and burdens. Like the early followers of Christ, we are continually asking God to teach us how to pray.
“S” represents the Spirit
The “Spirit of Christ” or “Holy Spirit”: Jesus did not call us to a life of merely self-effort, but to a relationship with him where we grow and live by the power of the Holy Spirit within us. The Bible describes this Spirit-filled life as the normal pattern for those who want to follow Christ.
“L” represents Love
Jesus made it quite clear. If there is one fruit that is to be the mark of his followers – it is love. To paraphrase the words of Paul, we could display amazing spiritual gifts, be giving sacrificially, and know Scripture by heart… but if we don’t have love, we’re nothing more than a clanging cymbal.
Five Core Practices
If the symbol represents what we are about, then the Core Practices are how we seek to live it out.
Scripture and followers of Christ across the centuries point to a number of spiritual practices that help nurture the heart, will, and mind on this pathway of discipleship. At Southview, we point to five of these as “Core Practices”:
This is how we seek to grow as disciples who are learning from Jesus to know the Father’s voice, follow in obedience, and teach others to do the same by the power of the Spirit. It’s not a complete picture, but it reminds us of the heart of our gatherings, ministries and life as a church family.