We believe that a man can only sow what he reaps, and can only offer what he has received. In order to feed others well, we must remain well-fed. To safely sustain a culture of service, we must always be receiving at least as much as we are giving away. For this reason, we value living in Him higher than living for Him. Besides, Christ did not call us simply toward a lifestyle change, but into a life-source exchange. Our personal connection with Christ, therefore, is not simply a productive practice or corporate strategy -He is life itself. Since there is no single activity to cultivate this connection, we cannot prescribe one specific spiritual discipline to support this core value. Instead, we understand that these intimate encounters take many forms: whether through reading or writing, speaking or listening, praying or playing, singing or serving, assembly or solitude, sound or silence. But similar to any other romantic relationship, we believe that deliberate and direct contact must be maintained as a prerequisite for lasting intimacy.
“For you died, and your life is now contained with Christ in God. As Christ, who is your life, becomes visible, you will also become perfectly visible with Him.”
For whatever reason, we tend to be drawn to people who can relate, on some level, with our most personal pleasures or pains – or who at least attempt to. People instinctively extend trust to those who listen intently, connect compassionately, and respond receptively. As a result, we select our members based more on personal experience over professional expertise or academic education. This value does not mean that every employee needs to have had personal exposure to addiction necessarily. However, we want to perfect the discipline of empathy, and we view this form of ministry as the fundamental qualification for leadership. We strive to remain open to engage in the experience of others, especially their pain, by actively listening, validating their perspective, leading with questions, allowing silence, embracing doubt, and directing toward God. We encourage our leaders, whenever a ministry moment arises, to open themselves beyond simply feeling for others [sympathy], and instead to dive into the mysterious depths of feeling with them [empathy].
“He is the Daddy of Compassion… who comforts us in all our pain, so that we can help those who suffer with the same, through the comfort we receive from Him.”
[2 Corinthians 1:3-4]
We model our ministry upon the principle of family, viewing each other as sons and daughters of the same Father. The overlapping lifestyles contained within our core values create a family culture, wherein we celebrate each other’s successes, and support each other’s struggles. We value personal companionship over the productivity of the company. The needs of our people come before the performance of our business. The health of our relationships comes before the reputation of the organization. We always leave room for love to trump the letter of the law at any point. Of course, we apply this value externally even more than internally. In other words, we prioritize our immediate families above the rigid routines and daily demands of our various vocations. Although we work hard to maintain our ministry, we never forget that our families are the priority of No Longer Bound. If a day arrives when any one of us are forced to neglect either our families or our work – we insist that family come first, and we knowingly allow the latter to suffer.
“Respect elders like fathers, young men like brothers. Treat older women like mothers, and young women with purity like sisters – But those who fail to care for their own family members as well have forgotten the point of their faith.”
[1 Timothy 5:1-2,8]
There is no such thing as No Longer Bound, at least not without its owners. If we strip away the individual members of our ministry, we are left only with a well-intended mission. We alone, as the sole source of servant-hood, make this ministry effective by investing our lives into the livelihood of others. Like it or not, we bear the privilege and pressure of mutual partnership, and we view this role as a blessed responsibility. In other words, we each view ourselves as co-owners within whatever capacity we are charged, and representatives of the mission of regeneration. For this reason, we do not hire expendable employees – we want individual owners. We want to take personal pride in our handiwork, and desire to leave our designated area, however, small or insignificant it may seem, in a better condition than however we first found it. This attitude of ownership translates into every aspect of ministry and industry, giving work a renewed sense of worth, and transforming a profession into a purpose, and a career into a calling.
“From now on, I won’t refer to you as employees, because a servant does not know his Master’s business. Instead, I call you partners, because I have taught you everything I learned from my Father.”
Relational authenticity is created where honesty and vulnerability collide. We believe that the quality and condition of these relationships determine our personal health and corporate harmony. But in order to exercise this level of openness, we must choose to trust one another with the real substance of our souls. Throughout our entire organization, we take relationships more seriously than rules and regulations, because we genuinely care about honest communication, in the form of success or struggle. As part of this ministry, we have each signed up for more than coexistence – we desire connectedness. Therefore, we believe that our unique purpose and individual participation within this family is proportional to the depth of our authenticity. And since we know that the reward of true transparency far outweighs the risks, we strive to keep ourselves exposed voluntarily, desiring to fully know [and be fully-known by] at least one other person inside our leadership team at any given time.
“As God’s selected sons, special and loved, keep compassionate hearts – expose yourselves to one another and forgive each other – And above all, cover yourself with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”[Colossians 3:12-15]
Titles tend to create additional distance between people. We certainly believe in the importance of organization, but not at the expense of personal contact. We view our leadership team as equal members of one body, having different roles and responsibilities, while remaining united in purpose. Accordingly, we do not attach any additional advantages of privilege, power, or prestige to our positions. We do not hide behind superiority or misuse our influence as an excuse to become isolated islands. Instead, we strive to ensure that we each remain accountable to one another in spirit and in attitude, regardless of salary or status, position or prominence, success or seniority. Of course, there will surely be situations wherein anyone of us might become inaccessible to others, but we must never become unapproachable. Because of the relational nature of our ministry, our doors must always remain open. This mentality molds our mission and our model, creating a fellowship of leaders who are flexible, relatable, and teachable.
“Don’t consider yourself more important than others – Just as we all have one body with many parts, and these parts have different functions, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”
Our definition of authority is completely backwards compared to the standard application of power or control. We believe that service and leadership are actually synonymous – like two sides of the same coin, with each one promoting and improving the other. In essence, the better we become at serving others, the more qualified we become to lead. We believe that living by example is not the best way to influence others; it is the only way. The further we advance within the lineage of leadership, the more influence we possess. We are then able to leverage this influence for the benefit of others. Consequently, we consider ourselves fortunate to have levels of authority in place, knowing that we do not have to bear the weight of responsibility alone. We also respect the level of leadership we have been given, without taking it for granted or using it for personal gain. If we instruct our team members to follow us as leaders, even this is for their benefit. If we submit to our own leaders, we do so out of reverence for Christ, who has become the servant of all.
“The rulers of the world order people around, and the leaders abuse their power. Not so with us. If you want to be a good leader, you must serve others. If you want to be the greatest, you must become the servant of all.”
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No Longer Bound 2725 Pine Grove Road, Cumming, GA 30041 Phone: 770.886.7873 Fax: 770.205.4285 Email: email@example.com