Our values are simply how our beliefs about God, the world, and one another are lived out. Our values enable us to order our time, talent, resources, and passions in a way that glorifies God and blesses people. Here at Park Cities, we hold to five main core values. This post is all about one: Courageous Innovation.
What does it mean?
God’s love for his people creates life and beauty. We serve a dynamic and creative God who has spoken to his people throughout time in history in a myriad of ways. While the message of the Gospel never changes, our methods of communication and application must remain nimble and intentional in an ever-changing world. As faithful stewards of the Gospel, we remain sensitive to cultural contexts, language and learning differences, styles of worship, modes of artistic expression, and other nuances God can, will, and has used to draw men and women to Himself.
What does it look like in real life?
Over the past fifty years, and despite many challenges ahead, our country has made some positive strides towards the vision of racial reconciliation. Even so, some of the barriers to unity are stark, especially in the church. Today, the most segregated gatherings in our nation are Sunday morning church services.
This sobering reality struck the heart of PCBC pastor, Dr. Jeff Warren, who knew that his predominately white congregation was missing out on a reality central to the Gospel message: that our reconciliation to God must be reflected in and through our reconciliation with one another as brothers and sisters of a brand new family. And the family of God is a beautiful blend of all kinds of people. Nothing less than courageous innovation could begin to bridge the gap.
Enter Pastor Bryan Carter of Concord Church, a predominately African American congregation. After building a genuine friendship, the two leaders realized that their shared vision for racial unity was prompting them to do something bold . . . something that would communicate the Gospel’s radical proclamation of unity.
They began by trading pulpits on one of the most heavily attended Sunday church services in America: Palm Sunday. Pastor Warren preached at Concord, and Pastor Carter delivered a message to PCBC. And people took notice.
The pulpit swap was the catalyst for another innovative vision: to mobilize more Dallas churches of all racial backgrounds to work alongside one another in a day of service for the city. The two pastors never anticipated that their experiment would ignite a citywide movement of over 100 churches . . . but that’s exactly what happened.
In 2016, Transform Dallas mobilized nearly 5,000 participants from all walks of life and descended on the Metroplex in a giant wave of, generosity, compassion, and love.
By working alongside people of different racial, political, and denominational backgrounds, people who wouldn’t normally interact were given the opportunity to forge organic relationships and trust around we all share in common: the hope of the Gospel.
Transform Dallas, like the pulpit swap, is now an annual initiative here at Park Cities.