The VISION of Citylight Benson is to be a place where people belong, thrive, invite, and lead.
A place where people feel they can belong before they believe, where diversity is pursued over uniformity, where underrepresented groups are empowered, and where everyone feels socially connected, supported, and respected.
A place where people and families have the resources and opportunities to grow, be strengthened, get healed, and flourish.
A place where people feel comfortable inviting others to come, where the Spirit’s power and presence is felt, and where believers are launched out of to declare and demonstrate the good news of Jesus.
A place where every person is given the space and training to move from being followers to leaders in the home, church, and community.
The MISSION is to multiply disciples and multiethnic, multi-cultural, and multi-generational churches. Over the past six years Citylight has planted churches in the Midtown, Benson, West Omaha, and Blackstone neighborhoods as well as Council Bluffs, Southwest Iowa, Lincoln, and Kansas City. For more, visit citylightfamily.org.
The VALUES that drive both Citylight Midtown and Citylight Benson are a commitment to reveling in God’s act of reaching down to us in the gospel and responding by reaching up, in, and out.
The gospel is the “good news” that God has reached down to us in his son, Jesus, to defeat sin and death and their effects in our world. Through his life, death, and resurrection, Jesus has initiated and accomplished what we never could. This gospel is the “power of God” (Rom. 1:16) to overcome the penalty of sin (past) the power of sin (present) and the presence of sin (future). It is the power for personal salvation and transformation as well as the renewal of neighborhoods, cities, and nations. We never move past Jesus. We never move past the gospel. Who we are and what we do will be rooted in and empowered by God’s reaching down in the gospel.
We have all been formed into a certain kind of person. The goal of the gospel is not just to save us from hell, but to renew our character and lives “until Christ is formed in you” (Gal. 4:19). We are committed to proclaiming the gospel not just as the front door to Christianity but as the good news that we live by every day. We are committed to being a church that drives people to personal repentance and faith in Jesus for a changed and transformed life.
The church is not a place but a people. It’s not just a weekly assembly of individuals, but a community committed to loving each other well and doing life together. Community is the context for gospel formation and mission. We will not settle for being a weekly service for people to attend, but will continually drive people to share their lives with others as “a people for [God’s] own possession” (1 Pet. 2:9).
The church IS God’s missionary agency to fulfill the great commission. Emil Brunner wrote, “The church exists by mission as a fire exists by burning.” Therefore, “missions” is not one ministry within the church, but the very orientation of the church. The same gospel that transforms us also compels us outward on mission. We exist as a church on mission to be “a city on a hill” and “the light of the world” (Matt. 5:14). We do this by orienting each one of our City Groups around a defined and shared mission – seeking to love, serve, and make disciples of neighborhoods and networks of people in Benson and the surrounding community.
We call out greatness in one another.
We consistently look for how God is moving.
We commission a plurality of leaders in all areas of the church such as City groups, preaching team, co-lead pastors, etc.
We pursue the charismatic gifts in a Biblically-sound way. Read or listen about where we are on the charismatic gifts spectrum. Additionally, you can hear more about our view/practice of prophecy and tongues.
Culture of Multiplication
We multiply leaders, groups, and new churches.
We primarily preach through books of the Bible.
We are a small “r” reformed church, seeking to put our emphasis on the Bible rather than a system of thought such as Calvinism or Arminianism.
Gracious with Non-gospel Issues
Public vs. private school, politics, worship styles, etc.
Jesus is the center of the Bible and our lives.
Gather and Scatter Rhythms
Emphasis on Sunday worship gathering and City Groups over programs and events.
Low Tech, High Touch
Emphasis on personal connection more so than high-production.
We have an informal culture where we take Jesus seriously, not ourselves.
We believe the Bible teaches that men and women have different but complementary roles in marriage and ministry. Our desire is to create space for both men and women to exercise every spiritual gift in the church.
We send our best leaders and give sacrificially to multiplication.
We have a “what you see is what you get” culture that seeks to model authenticity from the stage.