Our Core Values

Welcome to TerraNova Church (located in Lake Forest / Irvine). We're a Christian community that's passionate about loving God and making His love famous in our world. We hope you enjoy visiting our site. But if you really want to get an idea of what we're all about, there's no substitute for actually coming by to check out. Saturdays @ 5pm, and Sundays @ 9:30 and 11am.


seven core values.

As we began to talk about the kind of church we wanted to become — the kind of community we believe God wanted to create with us — our conversation turned toward values. What would we hold dear? What beliefs and convictions would shape our motivations and actions? The following set of seven core values reflects many months of conversations, countless hours of prayer and discussion. Each value is followed by a descriptive statement as well as a number of scriptures for your own further reflection:

1) A Rooted, Christocentric Community

We are a community rooted in ancient truth. God has been revealing himself since the beginning of time — first through all that He has created, then through the experiences and writings of many who have gone before us, found in scripture. Finally and ultimately, He has revealed himself personally in Christ. To be a rooted, Christocentric community means that we are centered around and defined and driven by the life and message, the death and resurrection of Jesus. In a world of rootlessness, subjectivism, and constant change, we are seeking to follow the Creator God in the way of Jesus.

See: Hebrews 1:1-3. Colossians 2:6-10. 2Timothy 3:14-17. Matthew 28:18-20. John 14:4-10.

2) An Incarnational Community

We believe that Jesus is God in human form — God putting on skin and bone, and moving into our world in order to make himself knowable to us. And we believe that the church is the body of Christ — people putting skin and bone on the life and message of Jesus, and moving into our world in order to make Him knowable. Therefore, we are a community that seeks to enter into the lives and worlds of the people in our surrounding community in order to be good news to them. And, because we believe that God is a champion of the outcast and the broken, we particularly seek to bring the presence of Christ to the broken places and people of our world — in South County and around the globe.

See: John 1:1-18. Philippians 2:5-11. Genesis 12:1-3. Matthew 5: 13-16. Luke 4:14-21. James 1:27. Deuteronomy 10:17-19.

3) An Accessible Community

We believe that God wants to reach people in ways that are real and meaningful to them — to engage and enter into cultures in order to redeem and transform them. We desire to be a community that is experiencing the life-changing reality of God, and then expressing that reality in ways that are meaningful, compelling, and accessible to people all around us — particularly, the uninitiated and unconvinced. We seek to create environments where people with or without any spiritual background can come, work through their issues with God, and discover life with God in a way that makes sense.

See: Luke 5:27-31. Luke 15. 1Corinthians 9:19-23; 10:31-11:1. Acts 17:16-33. 1Thessalonians 2:1-12.

4) A Participative Community

We believe that we are created to live deeply with one another — loving and being loved, knowing and being known, needing and being needed, celebrating and being celebrated. It is in the context of committed, authentic community — each person bringing their gifts, abilities, questions, doubts, learnings, insights, resources — that the Spirit's power to transform lives is dramatically unleashed. Love becomes the rule. Old wounds begin to heal. Offenders find forgiveness, and true conversion becomes a reality. In a world of individualism and consumerism, we seek to be "we"-centered. The way of Jesus cannot be lived alone.

See: Acts 2:42-47. 1Corinthians 12-14. Ephesians 4:1-16. Acts 6:1-7. Acts 13:1-3.

5) An Inclusive Community

We value the image of God in all people, everywhere. In a world of gated communities and exclusive clubs, in a context where people gravitate toward their own, we seek to be a community that is always looking out, looking around — to the stranger, the lonely, the excluded, the overlooked. We believe that the community of God is a place where messed-up, broken people like us are treated as normal and loveable; where the guest or stranger walks up and becomes part of the family.

See: Luke 14:15-24. Galatians 3:26-28. Deuteronomy 10:17-19.

6) A Worshiping Community

We seek to be a community that worships — prays, serves, sings, gives, experiences — God together in ways that transform us, make us whole, align us with reality, and compel us outward to become agents of grace and transformation in God's world. Though we gather to engage God collectively in ways that we cannot engage Him alone, we believe that all of life and every moment is sacred. Therefore we seek to be people who are personally engaging God in every moment, pursuing lives of gratitude, hope and reverence, responsive to God's presence in this moment.

See: Romans 12:1-2. Isaiah 6:1-8. John 4:1-38. Genesis 32:22-32. Hebrews 10:24-25.

7) A Simple, Missional Community

In a harried, overextended, nanosecond world, we seek to live against the grain — to live deeply, significantly, simply. Jesus taught and modeled a way of living with God that did not encumber or entangle, weigh down or oppress. Following in the way of Jesus, we seek to remove distraction and align our lives and community with an approach to living intentionally and missionally that both forms the life of Christ in us and frees us to live that life deeply in our world.

See: Matthew 11:28-30. Matthew 22:37-40. Luke 10:38-42. Matthew 28:18-20.