Our Ethos

Ethos is about organizational culture – it is like the air we breathe. We don’t see it or think much about it, but we cannot live without it. Ethos happens organically and is first descriptive then prescriptive. This is to say, ethos is who we are when nobody is looking, how we behave toward one another and toward the people we serve, and how we act under stressful or confusing conditions.

Here is what we as The Isaac Ishmael Initiative hope we reflect:

  1. AUTHENTICITY: We come as we are, rather than how we are “supposed” to be. Our lives are messy, challenging, full of conflict, and complete with purpose and joy. We desire to be fully present with each other, to be genuine, without masks and to grow and mature together.
  1. LEVITY and BREVITY: We take our mission seriously and try not to take ourselves seriously. We want to be encouragers, to laugh at ourselves and at the craziness of life, to cultivate and enjoy community, and to recognize that life is short so we should make the most of it.
  1. DIVERSE RELATIONSHIPS: We want to build diverse, reconciling relationships. If we want to get to know God and ourselves better, we must develop rich, diverse relationships with people who push us out of our comfort zones. The bedrock of collaborative relationships is trust and respect. We don’t take those for granted. They take intentional, long-term commitment.
  1. THE OTHER: We are “others focused” and cheer for the underdog. We serve people who are typically overlooked, misrepresented, have suffered trauma, and are forgotten by the world for one reason or another. They are “the other” to most of the world. To us they are the center of our world and we want to help empower them in life.
  1. JESUS: He is far better than we imagine, which means life is full of possibilities. Jesus – the “ordinary” rabbi from a backwater town – surprises and invites us to his upside down Kingdom (“the first shall be last”) and his extravagant grace and forgiveness.
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