The goal of our community principles is to form and maintain an environment that is healthy and promoting growth. The foundational principle is our calling to love God with all our being and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Christ’s love has to be the motivation for all our decisions, actions and relationships (Matthew 22:37-40, Romans 13:8-10, 1 John 4:7-12).
Personal integrity or consistency is a quality that is important for effective leadership. It is readiness to do what’s right even when nobody is watching. It is uniformity between words and deeds: all our action is based on a set of values and opinions. Values can change but person’s integrity will still determine their steadfastness in relationships and behavior. Inner private life of each community member has to be in accordance with their spiritual values. Each person’s every day public life at BPI, church and outside the church has to be in accordance with values and standards.
Balance between support and challenge
Healthy community is characterized by balanced support and challenge. Challenges are utilized and changes encouraged at the same time helping members of society to feel accepted and affirming that their mistakes are not fatal. It gives freedom to reveal to others not just their successes and progress but also failures, problems, struggles and temptations. It is a safe environment where we are not judged and where we can solve our difficulties. It is an environment not just for learning how to win, but also how to lose.
Purity is a calling to strive for holiness in each area of our thinking, motivation and behavior (2 Cor. 7:1; 1. Thes. 4:7; Heb. 12:14; 1 Pet. 1:15-16). We realize that each one of us encounters temptations that are connected with sex, money and power. We fight in this struggle together by being ready to be open, by supporting each other and by helping each other in all possible ways.
Leaders always have a conversation that cannot be interrupted or a telephone call that is most urgent. In order to maintain our community and in order to respect one another and those who have put their effort into preparing lessons, we have to try to come on time. From the very beginning we have to get rid of the attitude that shows that we don’t need what God is giving us during worship or prayer, during morning chapel, testimonies or discussion. We do not want to encourage tardiness by starting lectures only when everybody has showed up. As a respect for those who turned up on time, we will begin lectures on time. Mutual respect will help to create a healthy environment that enhances maturity.
It is important for students, staff and faculty to understand that they are not “entitled” to anything. We want everybody to live with a servant attitude within BPI and outside it. Therefore we want to create an environment where everybody can contribute (by putting a room in order, raising finances for projects, etc.). Each way we can contribute will diminish a possible attitude that “I am entitled to more and more.” As we minister to each other and give to each other in various ways, we will experience greater freedom (Galatians 5:13)!
Responsibility for learning
As a Christian community we sometimes think that we have to show “grace” to one another. But attitude of procrastination that leaves fulfilling assignments to the last possible moment, possibly, shows area in character that God has to change. Growing in this area will help us to become more effective Gospel ministers. These kinds of habits diminish our peace and heighten our stress levels. We have to determine to allow God to change this area at this stage of our lives – to form a community that is running the race with purpose, to discipline body and to bring it into subjection (1 Cor. 9:26-27), and it will be a great context for spiritual maturity!
It is great to be together with people with whom we have common ministry goals and we are on common road in reaching them. But if we are not careful, unhealthy speech and sarcasm can become a poison that is destructive to community and hinders our spiritual growth. The better we will get to know one another, the more natural our sarcastic jokes will seem but they will destroy our mutual trust and developing candor in our relationships. That in turn will hinder our growth according to God’s will in mutual relationship of love. Healthy humor and mutual love is essential factor for healthy, maturity enhancing environment (Ephesians 4:29, Jas. 3:1-12).
Arrogance and selfishness can manifest in many different ways, and it is poison to spiritual environment. Attitude of “not serving another person” and considering God’s work as “my own accomplishments”, emphasizing one’s superiority or insubordination to authority – all of those are hidden forms of arrogance and selfishness. They can significantly influence an environment where The Holy Spirit works. If we humbly accept and recognize what God has done, we will experience increasingly deeper and more significant personality transformation (1 Peter 5:5-7).
Healthy conflict resolution
Healthy community can exist only if conflicts are resolved in a healthy manner. Conflict resolution is a process of solving arguments, resolving conflicts and clarifying misunderstandings. Healthy conflict resolution happens when all sides are heard, and there is an opportunity to take care of needs of all sides as well as considering interests of all sides so that everybody is happy with the end result. Each side has to take responsibility to understand and express their needs as well as take responsibility for their anger. If conflict arises among members of the community, we have to be prepared to solve it the best and quickest way possible and to do it in obedience to the Lord. We have to be ready to ask for forgiveness and to extend forgiveness to others. Together we resolve to solve conflicts among us as well as to learn how to do it in the best possible way (Ephes. 4:29-32).
Excellence is a requirement that we pose for ourselves and our attempts. It is striving to constantly improve our work quality. Thus mediocrity or attitude “this will do” is an enemy of success. We should not settle for mediocrity but should strive for excellence in all things. However, our striving for excellence should not be motivated by pride. It should be motivated by desire to do everything for God’s glory. He cares about our ministry, and He wants to participate in all we do. We should do our part as well as possible for God and before Him, using time and resources given to us. God deserves that we do our best whether by cleaning the place we study in or when preaching the Word of God. Striving for excellence is neither requirement for perfection nor encouragement to show off. We strive for excellence at the same time realizing that both we and others will experience failure. Then we can extend grace both to ourselves and others (1 Cor. 10:31).
Confidentiality of personal information
Personal information, especially difficulties and problems experienced by students when they are discussed during lectures or in community, is confidential information and should not be revealed outside the group that it was discussed in. Personal information that is discussed with leadership is considered confidential except instances when there could be significant consequences for student’s family and/or ministry context.
Leader: Tomass Sulcs
Phone: +371 26765686