God is calling us into the work of redeeming creation, and creation is more than just the natural world of the environment. Creation is also the world of human making, the world of human work - in other words we are called to bring restoration and redemption to human culture. Culture is the sum of all human activity and therefore can be defined in many different ways. It is that realm of tangible and intangible things - language and food, social norms and clothing, institutions and societal structures, ethics and iPhones – and it is undeniably complex. Regardless of how simple or complex the definition of culture, we must first recognize that culture is not something “out there”. Rather it is something that is all around us. It is something that we glimpse and can observe but never as something that we can totally separate ourselves from and nor should we. For this is where we have been called, this is the story in which God has placed us, this is the theatre to which we have been called to play our part. The world is truly a beautiful place, because it has been created by God and given to his image bearers to make what we will of it. The world has also been broken by sin. Therefore it is our job, as His ambassadors, to restore culture through our own work and cultivation. God is honored in good culture. That is why we want to be about creating and cultivating culture here in Chattanooga.
Culture cannot be reformed. In order to be renewed, it must be recreated. Jesus offers hope to a broken world, and this hope expresses itself in creative and redemptive ways at every level of society and culture. At the Mission Chattanooga, civic engagement is not an option. It is a part of our very DNA. We desire to serve our neighbors and fellow citizens faithfully and creatively so that we can become a root system for our neighborhoods; adding stability, nourishment and life to those around us. As we work to resource and strengthen the families, individuals, businesses and culture that we find around us, our hope is to see our neighborhoods and city flourish in every place it is weak or broken. Poverty is real. Racism is real. Violence, social inequality and lack of education are very real. We are not crusaders on a conquest to remake the world as we see fit. Rather, we offer our lives, our time and the gift of a living hope to bless, resource and release the very best in the culture, organizations and lives all around us. God has a dream for our neighborhoods and this city.