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At Think Red Together we believe life is better when we dream together. If you dream about living in a community that looks and acts like Jesus, this website is designed with you in mind. Our hope is to create a space where people can share how their communities are living out the words and ways of Jesus, (the words some bibles print in red.) The articles and the comments posted on this site are intended to challenge and inspire others to dream up whimsical expressions of community; communities of faith that actually do the things Jesus would do if he lived in your neighborhood.
MISSION / VISION / VALUES
Once an individual or a community allows Jesus to be the lens through which they view the world everything changes. They will view the Bible and the Church differently. They will want to love God and love people in ways that reflect the true heart of Jesus. They will begin to live out the counter-cultural teaching of Jesus in every aspect of their lives. The words and ways of Jesus will transform their mission for life, their hope for the future, and their values.
Our Mission at Think Red Together is to promote conversation and resources that encourage individuals and communities to live and love like Jesus.
Our Vision is to see a new world filled and flavored with micro communities expressing the kingdom of heaven in the whimsical way of Jesus.
Our Values are rooted in the values of Jesus:
Jesus values love and friendship: While on Earth Jesus loved God like a child loves a parent. He valued his friendship with those who followed him, whom he regarded as family. And, Jesus valued those forgotten and overlooked by society; namely, the poor. He had a special affinity with people who were marginalized and neglected. He referred to them as “the least of these” and identified with them to the point of saying, when you spend time with the poor, you are spending time with me. Jesus is so crazy in love with people he even values his enemies and challenges those who would follow him to do the same.
Jesus values downward mobility: There are fundamental narratives in our culture that support and encourage upward mobility. The great American dream, the pursuit of personal happiness as an unalienable right, rugged individualism, a capitalistic economy driven by consumerism, and the subtle influence of Darwinian theory that champions the survival of the fittest, are sub–narratives in our culture that reinforce the value of upward mobility. In the face of these narratives, downward mobility is both counterintuitive and countercultural. But it is the way of Jesus. Henri Nouwen says those who choose to follow the descending way of Jesus will discover it is the way that leads toward the poor. When we take Jesus seriously and adopt downward mobility as a value, it will greatly influence our decisions and reorient the trajectory of our lives.
Jesus values the dignity of all people: It is clear in the teachings of Jesus that one of his core values is affirming the dignity of all people; even the most peculiar of us. Jesus talks with people who were typically left out of conversations. He hangs out with folks who were isolated from social gatherings. He includes outcasts in his circle of friends. Jesus honors the dignity of others by asking a lot of questions. He is always willing and ready to listen to others and he waits to hear what people want or what they need before he steps in and solves their problem. Jesus values the giftedness of others and affirms their dignity by inviting them to share their resources with him. If our desire is to build a community around the values of Jesus we will seize every opportunity we have to honor the dignity of others.
Jesus values radical generosity: When we look at Jesus, we see extravagant self–giving love. The apostle John saw the same thing. After spending three years with Jesus he concluded, “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son . . . to save the world through him.” God’s radical generosity is a constant theme in the stories Jesus tells. We realize the value Jesus placed on generosity by the way he celebrated and encouraged people who acted generously. Jesus didn’t just talk about God’s excessive generosity; he demonstrated it in the way he lived and shared his life with people. Saint Paul summarizes the generous way of Jesus by saying, “even though he was rich, yet for [our] sake he became poor, so that [we] through his poverty might become rich.” Jesus set aside his position and the glory of heaven, he gave up his job in the wood–shop and left his home in Nazareth, he gave everything he had—his time, his money, his energy, his life—to make God’s generous love known on Earth.
Jesus values small beginnings: Our world values big things like big TVs, big trucks, big houses, big stores, and mega churches with big TVs. Jesus, on the other hand values small things. Things like cups of cold water given to little children and small coins given to God by poor widows. Jesus celebrates and blesses people who hunger and thirst for righteousness. He lifts up the meek and says they will inherit the earth and he loves it when people give themselves to peacemaking. He says they will be called children of God. Jesus values small expressions of righteousness, justice, and peace over and above grand displays of personal achievement. If a community values the way of Jesus they will express God’s mercy and peace in humble and meaningful ways. They will persist in well–doing even when they feel as if their acts of charity and their pursuit of justice are making little or no impact on the world around them. Rather than giving up, they will value small beginnings and learn to celebrate the slightest indication of spiritual breakthrough.
Jesus values new beginnings: The way of Jesus is the way of extravagant grace and new beginnings. Peter asked Jesus, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Peter had no idea how deeply Jesus valued forgiveness and new beginnings. Jesus answered Peter, “I tell you not seven times, but seventy–seven times.” Grace, Jesus–style, will create a culture that values mercy over judgment, forgiveness over shame, and freedom over bondage. Rather than harboring resentments, which limits the potential for new life, a community built on the values of Jesus will be known for its extravagant grace.
THINK RED Explore how these red–letter values can inspire your community.
THINK RED TOGETHER PROMOTEs CONVERSATION AND shares INNOVATIVE IDEAS THAT will INSPIRE OTHERS TO IMAGINE COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT BASED ON THE VALUES, VISION, AND MISSION OF JESUS. WE ENCOURAGE OPEN AND HONEST COMMENTS. WE WELCOME YOUR STORIES, EXPRESSIONS OF ART, POETRY, AND THEOLOGICAL REFLECTION. however, ALL POST MUST ALIGN WITH OUR CONDUCT AGREEMENT.