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Our Core Values

Build Each Other Up with . . . L.E.G.O.S.

“St. Paul’s Lutheran Church is a Christian fellowship, growing in the understanding of God’s Word and love, preparing people for Christian witness and service.” 

L.E.G.O.S. is the embodiment of how to put our lofty mission statement into action. The word is an acronym that calls us to “Build each other up!” with Love, Encouragement, Generosity, and Optimism through the Holy Spirit. We have been called to fulfill our mission statement by God, and we can achieve this by Loving each other, Encouraging each other in the mission, being Generous to those inside and outside of the church, being Optimistic not just with our future but the future of the church, and by building each other up through the Holy Spirit from whence our faith comes.

What connects all this together are the Cross of Christ and the Empty Tomb.  The very Gospel itself is the means by which all of this is accomplished in us and through us, both as individuals and as a church.  We are reminded of this with the words of Paul in I Corinthians 12:12-13:

The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body - whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free - and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.

This section of scripture tells us that because God has called, gathered, enlightened and sanctified us by the Holy Spirit, there is nothing that together as the body of Christ, God cannot accomplish through us. 

Therefore, as we continue in our shared ministry, to grow in God’s Word and love for each other and God, preparing to be Christian witnesses in service, not just to each other, but to our community and the world as well, we do so with L.E.G.O.S. as the basis of our core values. We shall Love one another in this fellowship, and extend that love to all of those around us. We shall Encourage one another by reminding each other and everyone in our community and the world of the Love God has expressed to us by His Son’s death and resurrection. We shall be Generous with our time, treasures, and talents in support of the ministry of St. Paul’s that touches our fellowship, our community and the world. We shall be Optimistic about the ministry that God has given us personally, to St. Paul’s and the whole Body of Christ.  We shall be filled with the Holy Spirit, as we study God’s Word, allowing our faith to grow, so that we can face the many challenges of doing His wonderful ministry in this fallen and broken world.

 

LOVE

1.  What is LOVE?

1 John 4:16

God is love....

2. Where does love come from?

1 John 4:16

Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

3. Why do we love?

1 John 4:19

We love because He first loved us.

4. How do we know what love is?

1 John 3:16

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

5. Who does God love?  

Romans 5:6-7

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.  Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.

6. How does God demonstrate His love for us?

Romans 5:8

God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Psalm 23:6

Surely Your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.

7. What should we do with God's love for us?

John 13:34-35 

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

8. What are the characteristics of love?

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

9. Why is love so important spiritually?

Romans 13:9-10

These — and other such commandments — are summed up in this one commandment: Love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law.

10. How should we show love?

1 John 3:18

Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

Galatians 5:13

Serve one another in love.

Colossians 3:12-14

Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.

Ephesians 5:1-2

Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are His dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered Himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.

11. How should we respond to God for His amazing love?

Psalm 136:1-26

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever.

 

ENCOURAGEMENT

1. Why does God bring us together?

1 Thessalonians 5:11

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.

Hebrews 10:24

Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.

2. How does God want us to encourage?

2 Timothy 4:2

Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage - with great patience and careful instruction.

 I Thessalonians 5:12-15

Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you.  Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.  And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.  Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.

3. Who does God want us to encourage?

Proverbs 3:27

Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them.

4. What words does God use to encourage us?

Isaiah 41:10

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

 Matthew 9:2

Be encouraged, my child! Your sins are forgiven.

 Matthew 14:27

But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” He said. “Take courage. I am here!”

John 16:33

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.

5. What words can we use to encourage others?

Matthew 19:26

All things are possible with Christ.

 2 Thessalonians 2:17

May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.

6. What actions can we use to encourage others?

Romans 16:16

Greet each other in Christian love.

7. Can we really make a difference in someone’s life?

Proverbs 16:24

Kind words are like honey — sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.

 Proverbs 15:30

A cheerful look brings joy to the heart; good news makes for good health.

8. How does Christ’s encouragement help us to encourage others?

Philippians 2:1-2

Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from His love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.

 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.

 

GENEROSITY

1. How much should we give?

II Corinthians 9:6-8

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.  Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.  And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

 2 Corinthians 8:3-5

For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will. They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem. They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do.

2. Should we let others know how much we give?

Matthew 6:1-4

Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do — blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

3. Why should we give?

2 Corinthians 8:7-8

Since you excel in so many ways — in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from us — I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving. I am not commanding you to do this. But I am testing how genuine your love is by comparing it with the eagerness of the other churches.

 2 Corinthians 9:6-11

Remember this — a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For, God loves a person who gives cheerfully. And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. As the Scriptures say, “They share freely and give generously to the poor.  Their good deeds will be remembered forever.” For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, He will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God.

4. What does it mean to live our lives generously?

Matthew 25:35-40

Then the King will say to those on His right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,  I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” Then the righteous will answer Him, “Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? When did we see You a stranger and invite You in, or needing clothes and clothe You? When did we see You sick or in prison and go to visit You?”  The King will reply, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”

5. How does God view the generous?

Proverbs 22:9

Blessed are those who are generous, because they feed the poor.

6. Where does generosity come from?

Galatians 5:22

The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith-fulness, gentleness, and self-control.

7. How does God show us generosity?

Ephesians 1:7-8

He is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son and forgave our sins. He has showered His kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.

8. How are the generous remembered?

Psalm 112:1-10

Praise the Lord!

How joyful are those who fear the Lord and delight in obeying His commands.
Their children will be successful everywhere; an entire generation of godly people will be blessed. They themselves will be wealthy,
 and their good deeds will last forever. Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous. Good comes to those who lend money generously and conduct their business fairly. Such people will not be overcome by evil. Those who are righteous will be long remembered. They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them. They are confident and fearless and can face their foes triumphantly. They share freely and give generously to those in need. Their good deeds will be remembered forever. They will have influence and honor. The wicked will see this and be infuriated. They will grind their teeth in anger; they will slink away, their hopes thwarted.

 

OPTIMISM

1. What is the basis for Christian optimism and hope?

I Thessalonians 4:13-14

Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope.  We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him. 

2. Why should we have hope?

Job 11:17-18

Your life will be brighter than the noonday. Even darkness will be as bright as morning. Having hope will give you courage. You will be protected and will rest in safety.

3. What benefit will we receive if we put our hope in the Lord?

Psalm 31:24

You will be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord!

4. What is God's plan for those who put their hope in Him?

Jeremiah 29:10-11

This is what the Lord says: “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

5. How do we show we are full of hope?

Isaiah 60:1-2

Arise, Jerusalem! Let your light shine for all to see. For the glory of the Lord rises to shine on you. Darkness as black as night covers all the nations of the earth, but the glory of the Lord rises and appears over you.

6. Whose example of "living in hope" can we follow?

Romans 4:18-22,25

Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping — believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!” And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead — and so was Sarah’s womb. Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever He promises. And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous. He was handed over to die because of our sins, and He was raised to life to make us right with God.

7. What should we do when we are weak in body and soul?

Psalm 73:26-28

My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; He is mine forever. Those who desert Him will perish, for You destroy those who abandon You. But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things You do.

8. Who will rescue us when we are weak and in times of trouble

Psalm 34:19

The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.

9. What should we remember to help us face the troubles that tomorrow will bring?

Isaiah 35:3-6

Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, He will come with vengeance; with divine retribution He will come to save you.”  Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy.

10. What is Paul’s prayer for us, which we can also pray?

Philippians 1:3-6

Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.

 

SPIRIT

1. Who is the Holy Spirit?

Exodus 31:3-4

I have filled him with the Spirit of God.

 2. What is God's covenant with His people?

Isaiah 59:19-21

“This is my covenant with them,” says the Lord. “My Spirit will not leave them, and neither will these words I have given you. They will be on your lips and on the lips of your children and your children’s children forever. I, the Lord, have spoken!”

3. What does the Holy Spirit do?

Job 33:4

The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

 Job 32:8

There is a Spirit within people, the breath of the Almighty within them, that makes them intelligent. 

4. Who receives the Holy Spirit?

Mark 1:10-11

As Jesus came up out of the water, He saw the heavens splitting apart and the Holy Spirit descending on Him like a dove. And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and You bring me great joy.”

Romans 8:11

The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, He will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.

5. Who do we belong to?

Ephesians 2:19-22

So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family. Together, we are His house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus Himself. We are carefully joined together in Him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. Through Him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by His Spirit.

1 Corinthians 6:19-2

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.

6. What does the Holy Spirit do for the church?

1 Corinthians 12:12-13

The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.

7. How does the Holy Spirit work within us?

Micah 3:8

I am filled with power — with the Spirit of the Lord.

2 Samuel 23:2

The Spirit of the Lord speaks through me; His words are upon my tongue.

2 Corinthians 1:21-22

It is God who enables us, to stand firm for Christ. He has commissioned us, and He has identified us as His own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything He has promised us.

8. What does the Holy Spirit teach us?

2 Timothy 1:13-14

Hold on to the pattern of wholesome teaching you learned from me — a pattern shaped by the faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus. Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard the precious truth that has been entrusted to you.

1 John 2:27

You have received the Holy Spirit, and He lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what He teaches is true — it is not a lie. So just as He has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ.

9. What is the truth?

Ephesians 1:13

And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, He identified you as His own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom He promised long ago.

10. What does the Holy Spirit do for us when we don't follow the truth?

Ezekiel 36: 25-27

I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols.  I will give you a new heart and put a new Spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. 

Ephesians 3:20-22

Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to Him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen. 

 

L.E.G.O.S.

L.E.G.O.S!  Building each other up with L.E.G.O.S. is all about giving to the world what God has already given to us.

God gives to us so that we can give God’s generosity to others. God gives us the Holy Spirit, so that we can have faith and share that faith.  He gives us love. He’s given us His Son because He loves us.  So, in return, He wants us to give that love to others.  And through that love, He wants us to encourage one another.  In times of need we are reminded of God’s love, and have been encouraged. And God gives us hope which gives us optimism to live our lives.  We have hope because God has given us His Son, and we can be optimistic because we always have hope. 

May you build each other up with Love, Encouragement, Generosity, and Optimism through the Holy Spirit throughout the whole year and forever more.  In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. L.E.G.O.S!

 

L.E.G.O.S. CONNECT US

1. What is the significance of the phrase “L.E.G.O.S. CONNECT US?”

"L.E.G.O.S. CONNECT US" just further expands on our  "L.E.G.O.S." theme. 

2. What is “US”?

United in Sacrifice

"US" signifies the concept that we are all one at the cross. God brings US to the cross where Christ died for the sins of all of humanity. Here, at the cross, all of humanity is unified by the outpouring of the life changing love of God.

 Romans 3:22-24

This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

 John 12:31-33

"Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.”  He said this to show the kind of death He was going to die.

 2 Corinthians 5:14-15

For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again.

3. Why US?

Because it’s important to understand the object for our actions in faith. We do not simply act without purpose. God gives US our direction in life. He gives US a purpose.  Knowing that we are united by the fact that all of humanity is loved by God gives US a better understanding that we are to live out our faith acknowledging this world view.

4. How does “L.E.G.O.S.” connect “US” in concrete ways?

L.E.G.O.S. representing Love, Encouragement, Generosity, Optimism, and Spirit (Holy) connect US at the cross because all these things first come from God.

LOVE - God loves US and His love is demonstrated for US at the cross.

Romans 5:6-8

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

ENCOURAGEMENT – God calls US to understand His love and encourages US by His sacrifice, promising US that through His love our lives can be changed for the better.

Philippians 2:1-2

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in Spirit and purpose.

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.

GENEROSITY – God shows US how generous He truly is by the ultimate sacrifice He gives for US.

Titus 3:5-7

He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

OPTIMISM – Christ took our bleak future upon Himself. He suffered hell for US. He endured all our suffering because He knew that it would bring US joy! 

Romans 5:1-5  

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.

Hebrews 12:2-3

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

SPIRIT – The Holy Spirit brings US to faith through God’s Word and our baptism which connect US to Christ’s sacrifice.  He does not leave US alone. He continues to guide US in our lives.

Galatians 3:1-2  

You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard?

Ezekiel 36:25-27

I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new Spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.

5. Since God Loves US, Encourages US, has been Generous with US, gives US Optimism, and fills US with the Holy Spirit what should we do next?

We should embrace these values and accept the Holy Spirit's prompting of our faith to make them our values. Just as Christ took them to all of humanity, we too should spread God's amazing Love, Encouragement, Generosity, and Optimism with the help of the Holy Spirit. L.E.G.O.S!

2 Corinthians 5:20
We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.

Matthew 28:19

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

L.E.G.O.S.

 

 


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