The Story Of What God Has Unified Us Around And What God Is Doing Among Us
In April of 2009 a small group of people began to meet, pray and discuss ideas about starting a new church. The participants in that group, the topics of conversation, the plans for the future have all been re-ordered, changed, rearranged and refined in the way that God would desire. We have learned supremely that the Church belongs to Christ, not to us.
We have seen and experienced that God has grown the following things in and among us, by His Spirit, for His own purposes. These have become our identity together, and we are together seeking to embrace them, to own them, and to continue in them as He guides us and grows us more and more into His image, and adds to our number:
1. Discipling as a way of life, through our committed friendship and brotherhood, and through time spent, teaching all that Christ commanded (Matthew 28:18-20), recognizing that our influence will ultimately stem from who we are within (Matthew 12:33-36).
2. Biblical unity and community in the model of the family, following Jesus’ declaration that all those who do the work of God are His family (Matt 12:48-49), and recognizing the meaning of Paul’s almost exclusive use of family terms to describe disciples.
3. Confession of sins to one another, with openness and vulnerability, demonstrating the actions that accompany repentance (James 5:16).
4. Accountability to support one another in our individual efforts to overcome sin and failure, and to become pure and holy, listening, empathizing, and offering help without condemnation or judgment (Matthew 18:15).
5. Prayer as our foundational activity, as our connection to God, petitioning Him on the basis of His promises, and hearing from Him as He has promised to speak (Matthew 6:5-13; John 16:13).
6. The scriptures as our constant guide to eternal truth and wisdom for today, through expository preaching and teaching, and through the work of the Spirit in illuminating His Word in our lives (Hebrew 4:12; 2 Tim 3:16-17).
7. A gospel worldview, Christ the centerpiece of all history, through whom God in His great love is reconciling the world to Himself, overcoming through Jesus’ death and resurrection our own active rebellion, the inevitable results of that rebellion, His curse on us, and His coming judgment, all to make us whole and right and blameless before Him. (John 1:1-5; Romans 10:9; Heb 12:2; Rev 21:6)
8. Worship in all its varying forms, beginning with the living sacrifice of our bodies presented to Him. (Romans 12:1-2)
9. Humility before God in all that we do, waiting on Him as He leads, and as He makes us into the image of His Son through His work in the secret places of our hearts, guided by the example of His life in the Gospels and by His specific teachings. (Matthew 5:1-11, Phil 2:1-11)
10. Doing the works we see God already doing, and speaking the things we hear from God (John 5:19; John 8:26, 38), in the power of the Holy Spirit (Zechariah 4:6), and the strength of Jesus Christ (Matthew 11:28-30, Philippians 4:13).