To express the love of Christ in a relevant, real, and relational way.
What do you mean by relevant? We believe God´s Word is relevant for all time. The Ancient Faith has contemporary implications, therefore we strive to present God´s message of hope and love in a way that is culturally applicable and honors God.
What do you mean by real? We aim to be real people, living in a real world, dealing with real problems, while trying our best to serve a very real God. We admit our struggles; that we are broken and not yet completely healed this side of heaven. There are no Ward and June Cleavers here, just real people.
What do you mean by relational? We understand that we live in a postmodern culture where people are skeptical of truth claims, suspicious of marketing gimmicks, and can smell manipulation a mile away. We recognize that people are busier than ever, have an abundance of possessions, and limitless sources of entertainment, yet at the end of the day, people are still lonely, isolated, and looking for their God-given purpose.
We understand that our best, no, our only hope for reaching people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ is eliminating their loneliness, skepticism, and brokenness through real and intentional relationship-building. We understand that any other method is manipulation. Therefore, all that we do, we do in the context of community.
To manifest the presence of Christ and advance his kingdom by continuing his redemptive work, transforming the lives of individuals and communities locally, nationally, and globally.
We are to be busy about our Father's business, making the Kingdom of God an earthly reality.
- We dream of being an authentic New Testament community balancing worship, education, fellowship, evangelism and outreach, while highlighting our gifts towards prayer and hospitality.
- We dream of being a community first about quality and second about quantity. We desire for all of our members to grow in the meat of the Word, manifest holy lives, and break from the molds of the world in thought and deed by developing, embracing, and living a Christian worldview.
- We dream of being a community saturated with prayer.
- We dream of being a community that bears one another's burdens, holds each other accountable to the Gospel, and strengthens each other's understanding of the heart of God through intimate and hospitable small group environments.
- We dream of being a community that establishes Christ as the Head of our families.
- We dream of being a community that identifies, trains, and commissions godly leaders to serve inside and outside of our community.
- We dream of every member being a minister. We aim to see all members' gifts identified, honed, and used for the glory of God in active service.
- We dream of being a community that can articulate the Faith in our circles of influence with grace and patience, through relational evangelism, to the glory of God.
- We dream of being a community that serves all, but is particularly attuned to the needs of the under 40 crowd.
- We dream of being a community that crosses race and socio-economic boundaries, welcoming all and finding a place for each individual.
- We dream of being a community that honors women and encourages their full participation in leadership, teaching, lay ministry, and the ordained deaconate.
- We dream of being a community that God uses to heal the sick, restore liberty to the captives, and proclaim the year of the Lord´s favor.
- We dream of being a community that is valued for our transformational outreach by the neighborhood, the city, and the county.
- We dream of being a community that gets dirty. We dream of housing the homeless, feeding the poor, clothing children, and taking the Gospel into the prisons. We welcome such into our midst.
- We dream of being a community engaged in church planting and kingdom advancement throughout the city, the state, the nation, and the world.
Building bridges to bring people into a loving relationship with Jesus Christ and one another.
First, we believe our mission statement sums up the Two Great Commandments, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself." (Matthew 22:37-39 NIV)
Second, we believe our mission statement fits with the Lord's vision for our lives and the mission of the Church as expressed in the Lord´ Prayer, "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:9-10 NIV)
By committing ourselves to such a mission, we believe we are following the methodology of the Lord and his Apostles in spreading the Good News, that this Good News makes white-hot worshippers of God, and that true worship is how God´s name is hallowed, his will is done on earth as it is in heaven, and how the kingdom of God will come in its fullness.
Our mission statement transforms us from God´s spectators into God´s servants, where we are actively involved in making the earth over in the image of heaven.
We disciple each other in our dining rooms; we love the needy in their living rooms; we worship the Triune God in his throne room.
Everyone wants to be loved. Whether you´ve had the ideal family, or whether your story is one of longing for the deep affection of those closest to you, everyone wants to be loved. We all want a place where we are deeply known and accepted. We need friends. We need family.
Truth is, there is a Father who passionately wants you in his family, who rejoices to love you. Over four thousand years ago, the one, true God promised a worldwide family to Abraham, the father of the Hebrews. God has been at work ever since to create a family from all over the world: regardless of race, gender, social or economic status, education or age. In other words, he has been after making you his own for quite some time. It makes a great deal of sense. The One God is a community of three persons - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - who have lived eternally in relationships of love too good not to be shared.
So how does one enter the family of God and live in his indescribable love? The Bible says that now all those who trust in Jesus, Abraham´s descendent and the eternal Son of God, are God´s adopted children. "You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. (Galatians 3:26-27 NIV).
What does life in this family, this community look like? Through faith and baptism in Jesus, we enter God´s family, the church, and find our place in his embrace. In this family we "love one another" (Romans 13:8), "build up one another" (Romans 14:19), "care for one another" (1 Corinthians 12:25), "serve one another" (Galatians 5:13), "bear one another´s burdens" (Galatians 6:2, "forgive one another" (Ephesians 4:32), "teach and admonish one another" (Colossians 3:16), "comfort one another" (1 Thessalonians 4:13), "encourage one another" (1 Thessalonians 5:11), "spur one another on to love and good deeds" (Hebrews 10:24) and "confess your sins to one another and pray for one another" (James 5:16).
At ACTS Church, community means small groups of about twelve people who live in close proximity to each other, meet in each other´s homes to share meals, hangout throughout the week for fun, grow spiritually through supporting and caring for each other, praying for the needs in their lives, the community and the world, and learn the Scriptures. Come join God´s family at ACTS Church and say with the Scripture writer, "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" (1 John 3:1 NIV)
ACTS Church stands in the tradition of Celtic Christianity, in which people were invited to belong to the community and believe in the community´s God - in that order: belong and believe.
At ACTS we believe that the one God exists eternally as a trinity of persons. God is one community of three. He is and always has been a relationship of love. In fact, God created the world so that he may be in friendship with the crown of his creation, humanity. We live because of the overflow of the love within the Trinity. God created us for the purpose of sharing his life.
Therefore, we invite people to share life with us. You don´t first have to clean yourself up, accept all our beliefs, or understand all our practices. We want to be friends and to walk a portion of life´s journey together. As you share life with us, we think you´ll find yourself believing that this God, this community, this way of putting the world right is second to none. Then the belonging will not only be with a group of friends at ACTS, but in believing you´ll belong to Him who loves you beyond comprehension!
At ACTS we believe that God the Father made all that exits through the Word of his eternal Son and by the breath of his mighty voice. Creation was marred by sin and death, when the rulers of creation, man and woman, choose to rebel against God´s kingly rule. But in his love, God did not abandon humans to death. In time he chose Abraham and his descendants to be the means by which rescue and life would come to humanity and renewal to creation. But all humans, including Abraham´s children continued in rebellion against God. How could God be just and merciful? How could he punish sin and keep his promise to Abraham to redeem humanity and the world?
At ACTS we believe God sent his Son, incarnate from the Virgin Mary to be Israel´s Messiah and the King of the World. Jesus of Nazareth lived the truest human life and demonstrated what life and community are like when God restores them. He gave himself on a Roman cross to cover sin and break the back of evil. He rose from the dead on the third day to conquer death and usher in a new creation. He ascended to God´s right hand in heaven to rule creation until all honor his name. He has promised a day when he will return in power and glory to judge all humans: the righteous to everlasting life and the rebellious to everlasting death. Then, he will usher in a renewed and glorious world for all who love him to enjoy!
At ACTS we believe that everyone is summoned to turn away from idolatry, immorality, and injustice and submit to King Jesus. When we repent and trust in his death and resurrection, we are given the promised Holy Spirit as a guarantee of the world to come and as a friend to walk with us through this life. In baptism, we are joined to Jesus, born anew and made members of his people, the Church.
We invite you to consider this good news - to test us and see if it rings true in our community. Belong with us, and find yourself believing.
God´s intention in human history is to make the earth heavenly, to bring his kingly rule here as it is there. Through the centuries the church has recognized that God accomplishes his kingdom task in three important ways: The Scriptures, the Spirit, and the Sacred. In fact these are not only the ways his kingdom comes on earth, as it is heaven, but also the ways we connect with him
In the pages of this ancient book, we meet the living God. The Bible is as easy to read as the newspaper but has the power to transform your life. The Scriptures tell the story of God, his world, his people, his future. They are completely trustworthy to guide our faith and lives.
The Bible tells a story, the story in fact, of God´s kingdom, the good news of Jesus´ lordship. Enslaved by sin and death, and stained with our own failures to honor, love and obey God, God in his mercy and love sent his Son Jesus to break the power of sin and conquer death. His cross the fountain of healing for all those who repent of sin. It is the place where justice and mercy embrace. Jesus´ resurrection is the dawn of new life for each of us and the world. His Spirit is the power to carry on his work and to endure until his comes again. The good news of the Bible is simple but powerful: Jesus is Lord.
Encounter this story in the Bible readings during our worship services. Hear God´s story taught in the sermons. Read the good news for yourself day by day. Discover the Bible in community with other believers. Submit your heart, your relationships, your finances, your family, your life to this book´s authority and power. Share the good news of the Scriptures with those around you. Bring the justice the Bible calls for into your world. Come and be changed with us by God´s Holy Word!
Empowered & Equipped by the Holy Spirit
. A friend to teach us Jesus´ ways and words, the Spirit guides us through life. The words to our feeble prayers, the Spirit reminds us that we are God´s beloved children. A refiner´s fire to burn away the dross, the Spirit makes us holy for our King. A guarantee of his promise to put the world right, the Spirit assures of the New Heavens and Earth and our place in it.
Empowered & Equipped
. God has poured out his Spirit on followers of Jesus to empower us to authenticate his promise of a new world by continuing the ministry of Jesus. At ACTS we embrace all the gifts of the Spirit for the work of ministry. So come discover the Spirit´s presence with us. Find strength for a new life. Use your gifts to bless others. Find joy in the midst of trials. Find humility in your triumphs. Discover love for your family and your enemies. Find faith to weather life´s storms. Discover hope for new world.
Experience the Sacred
. God makes his church holy both in word and deed. At ACTS, we believe those things which Christians have always believed everywhere. These beliefs are captured in the Apostles´ and Nicene Creed, in the Anglican Thirty Nine Articles of Religion, and in the common prayer of sacramental worship.
In the Sacraments
, celebrated in Sunday worship, we participate in the sacred life of God together. The Sacraments present us with symbols such as water and oil, bread and wine. In Baptism, those who believe the good new of Jesus and their children are incorporated into Christ and his church and made heirs of the kingdom.
(a Greek word meaning ´thanksgiving´ and describing the Sunday worship service), we memorialize Christ´s sacrifice, receive grace for the week ahead, grace to face life´s trials and triumphs, grace to suffer for the name of Jesus, and grace to make the sign of the cross with our hands and in our hearts. We not only receive strength, we envision a feast, the wedding feast of the Lamb at Christ´s return. It is a feast for the old and young, for the rich and the poor, for the broken and the healed, for men and women, for black and white, yellow and red.
Experience. We eat at a Table where Jesus is the servant and we are the honored guests, a Table where we experience the love and power and joy of faith. Where we taste the love of Jesus in tasting the bread and wine. So come feed on the grace of God with us. Come to the Table!
The Anglican Mission in the Americas
For generations the United States and other nations in the west sent missionaries, armed with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to the far reaches of the globe. But the light that was once America has dimmed, as we find ourselves in a deep state of spiritual need and hunger, searching for true meaning and significance. Particularly since 9/11, Americans are desperate for hope and direction that only the Gospel can provide.
America has become a vast mission field, itself. The United States is now home to the largest population of un-churched and spiritually disconnected English speaking people in the world, yet also a country where the only religion losing members is Christianity. At the same time, Christianity is experiencing a dynamic renewal and expansion in many other parts of the world, including Africa, South America, and Asia.
Now is the time. In a groundbreaking response, some leaders of the Anglican Church in Africa and Asia have acted to provide seeds of hope for the dire situation in the United States, by establishing the Anglican Mission in the Americas (AMiA). This new movement, like a wave of the Spirit, is quickly gaining momentum, encouraged by the connection to revivals in other parts of the globe. The Anglican Mission is charged with building an alliance of congregations committed to gathering, planting and serving dynamic congregations in the Anglican tradition. ACTS is a congregation of the AMiA.
We´re moving forward in the God-given opportunity to plant and strengthen churches that will have a powerful impact in our culture. We invite you to "catch the wave" and join us in this transforming adventure of the Anglican Mission in the Americas (www.theamia.org).
The Anglican Church and the World Wide Anglican Communion
As Anglicans, we´re part of the global relationship of churches established over the centuries by the Church of England, a church that is experiencing tremendous growth and renewal in many locations, particularly the "2/3 world." Our worship is both ancient and modern. Anglicans have always upheld the Holy Scriptures as God´s Word and we stand on the two great creeds, the Apostles´ and Nicene, as the fundamental statements of Christian belief.
We celebrate the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord´s Supper as commanded by Jesus and we uphold the historic order of Bishops in the administration of the church´s life and mission.
Our approach to worship, based in ancient practice, engages the senses-connecting with people´s hearts and minds. This means that Anglican churches are in a unique place to capture the imagination of a society immersed in the images of the media and Internet.
The Anglican Mission in the Americas is poised to usher in a new movement of God´s Spirit in this nation, as we follow Him and seek to build His Kingdom.
Commitment to Jesus Christ
We believe that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and that no one comes to the Father except through him (John 14:6). We believe that salvation is found in Jesus Christ alone who is the only begotten Son of the Living God. All who come to him by faith and repent of their sins receive forgiveness through Christ´s death on the Cross and live in newness of life through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. This new life of faith is to be marked by a joyful obedience to Jesus Christ, to God´s Word and to the leading of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 16:15-16; Ephesians 2:4-10; II Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 5:22-25). This Gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Rom 1:16), and is the redemptive force that moves all nations, cultures, and individuals from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. Therefore, the Gospel will be central to all that we do, and we are committed to bringing all that we undertake "captive to the obedience of Christ."
Authority of Scripture
We believe the Scriptures bear witness to Christ to all peoples in all times. We believe that the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments in their entirety is God´s Word, and is the standard by which we are to order our lives, express our faith, and function as a community (II Timothy 3:16-17).
We bridge the gap between the here & now with the eternal company of heaven. We aim to glorify God for who he is and build up each other. We are committed to worship in Word, song, Sacrament, and godly living through the power of the Holy Spirit. Our worship, in glorifying God, is to be holy in approach, authentic in execution, and relevant to our cultural setting while remaining within the breadth of our liturgical Anglican Tradition (John 4:23-24; I Corinthians 11:23-26; Acts 17:22-24).
Discipleship / Christian Education
We teach the full counsel of God, as handed down by the Apostles, to equip the saints for every good work, to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and to engage the culture. We believe that every Christian is created for ministry, gifted for ministry, and needed for ministry. We are therefore, committed to equip, empower and release the faithful to use their spiritual gifts to glorify God and to build up the Body of Christ (Romans 12; I Corinthians 12-13).
We strengthen one another in the Gospel through intentional and honest community. We are committed to ministry being accomplished in relationships that express the love, intimacy, and unity of God as revealed in the relationship of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. ACTS is committed to holding ourselves accountable before God and to one another (John 13:34; I John 4:11-21).
We believe no one outside the Holy Spirit´s reach. We seek to share the story of King Jesus with everyone in our circle of influence. We are to live our lives, make disciples, and to grow our church in a manner that expresses the loving and longing heart of God for those who are separated from Jesus Christ and his church (Matthew 9:12-13; Luke 15; 1 Timothy 4:1-5). Evangelism is not a work, but a way of life. We welcome all into our church and our homes and provide opportunities to answer life´s most difficult and challenging questions with patience and grace.
Mercy & Justice
We recognize the true needs of our neighbor and offer hope by generously ministering with our time, talents, and treasure. We share with those in need, support the work of God among us, and spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As the Gospel ministers to all spheres of life, we are to be involved in all spheres of culture (I John 3:17-18; Ezra 2:68-69; Acts 2:44-47).
We engage the heart of God, both personally and corporately, to affect greater influence over our circumstances and discern clear direction in our ministries. We believe that nothing of significance happens in God´s Kingdom in the absence of prayer. Therefore, we seek to make prayer a priority-inviting God to lead, restore, heal and transform our lives, our churches, our communities, and the world (John 14:15-31; Luke 11:1-13).
We are stronger together than alone. We are committed to identifying and training emerging leaders who are committed to Christ and to reaching their generation with the Gospel. We model ministry, maturity, and study to the whole congregation, knowing that we cannot lead where we are not willing to go ourselves. We desire authentic faith, community-mindedness, Godly character, communication of church goals, and servant hearts (1 Timothy 3, Titus 1, Luke 22:27, Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12-13).
Operating as a Great Commission church, we cannot help but reproduce. Life is meant by God to reproduce life. Just as having children is meant by God to be a natural, normal part of marriage, so starting new churches should also be seen as a natural, normal part of a local church´s ministry. We desire to plant daughter congregations. In effort to reach the community with the Gospel, we will support other denominations & organizations that may hold different doctrinal positions on the nonessentials. So long as they hold to the essentials of the Faith as literally expressed in the Ecumenical Creeds (Apostles´ and Nicene), we are willing to enter into cooperation with them to see Christ´s kingdom advanced.
We plant and water God´s kingdom around the world as he has so richly blessed us. We support and serve mission work in Africa and South East Asia (our sponsoring Provinces). We not only want to help reach these nations, but strengthen and encourage them to continue being sending nations (Matthew 6:9-10; 28:19, Acts 1:8).
Drawing heavily on the work of Dr. Robert E. Webber in Ancient Future Faith, we believe the best way to reach the postmodern generation is to present the truth of the Gospel through the experience of historical continuity and the mystical/sacramental, within the context of relationship. Therefore, our core values manifest themselves in the following styles, acceptable within the Anglican Communion, but uniquely expressed by ACTS Church. While ACTS adheres to all the purposes of a church, we are particularly gifted and called to prayer and hospitality.
Worship is first about God, not man. The Church is wise to remember this during this time when individualism and personal preference reign supreme in the world today. Much division has come to the Church in these areas. ACTS is committed to maintaining unity of understanding in the matters of worship, while realizing not all will be perfectly satisfied with every decision. ACTS asks, for the good of the Body, that congregants remember the heart of worship, God.
- The Majesty of God: God is high and exalted, absolutely holy, immense, and transcendent. We want to cultivate an awe and holy fear of God and help each other to see him more fully and to focus on him as the audience or recipient of our worship.
- The Presence of God: Although God is high and exalted, he is also intimately present with his people. Worship should be particularly Christ-centered and engage our hearts as we express our deep love relationship with Christ.
- Community: While God is clearly the primary audience of our worship, the assembly of believers is the secondary audience. As we participate in corporate worship, our hearts are stirred and we are encouraged to love and serve God and on another as we hear from God throughout the service (Word, liturgy, song, sermon, and prayer). This means individuals in the service should understand and actively participate in the worship activities. As much as possible, we should work together to develop a style of worship that is relevant to all members of our community.
- Outreach: We should expect and encourage the unchurched to be present in the worship services (I Corinthians 14). They represent a third audience to worship, and we should ensure that all aspects of the service are culturally relevant and understandable to the unchurched, realizing that God often uses the worship service to draw people to Himself through the sermon, testimonies, song, or other means.
- Heritage: While avoiding traditionalism and meaningless habits, we desire to respect and learn from our tradition while incorporating aspects of our heritage into our worship of God. We want to develop a style of worship that appropriately expresses the old and the new, the historic and the contemporary.
Liturgy means, the work of the people. While we will not be "high church" or formal in nature, we believe all people are to participate actively in worship through their will, emotions, intellect, physical posture, action, and words. Therefore, we will follow this ancient path, providing historic continuity, a mystical & reverent atmosphere, and a biblically rich, balanced order of worship, word, and sacrament. We will use a variety of liturgical expressions at ACTS, drawing from the historical wealth of the Anglican Communion. As the Province of Rwanda is our primary sponsor, and we are spiritual Rwandans in America, we will draw heavily on the liturgical expressions of our African brothers, making contextual and cultural modifications to best reach our community.
We will use the Anglican Communion Lectionary, the Book of Common Prayer, observe the Liturgical Calendar, and celebrate the Lord´s Supper weekly. We may from time to time, deviate from the lectionary in order to preach through one book of the Scriptures or teach on a particular topic over a series. We will offer prayers for any need during the Lord´s Supper at an inconspicuous location in the facility. We will primarily use the NIV Bible, though we may change to the ESV in time.
We will make every attempt to create an atmosphere of reverence and mystery, while maintaining a relaxed environment. Our clergy will vest according to the seasons, our chalice administrators will vest, and the altar will be prepared with linens, a cross, and candles. Clergy and other ministers will process in and out of the services before a cross and banners lifted high. The surroundings will be adorned with color, candles, flowers, and tasteful Christian art of the old and the new. It will have a celebratory and holy flair.
Congregants are encouraged to come as they are, while being mindful of others and that the worship service is considered sacred time.
In a day when so many churches have succumbed to a relativistic, entertaining, populist, feel-good gospel, few are growing in their faith and fewer are being saved. ACTS believes the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation, and that as such, we will not apologize for it, censor it, dilute it, or reinterpret it to fit within the parameters of pop-psychology or critical scholarship. The Gospel will be preached with all the zeal of the prophets of old, be as Christ-centered as the Apostles´ sermons, and be presented in culturally relevant and understandable language with illustrations while having a provision for immediate application across all age groups and socio-economic classes.
The Contemporary Worship Movement has won the hearts of many believers today. While we recognize there are negative aspects to some of the contemporary music today, we also recognize that much more of the music is good rather than the exception. Therefore, we will adopt this form of music, taking all precautions against notions of man-centered, entertainment-minded commercialism and theological confusion. We too, recognize the historical significance and the grandeur of the older hymns and the positions of those who hold tightly to this music. We will use a blend of historically connected ancient hymns performed on contemporary instruments along with Christ-honoring and doctrinally-sound contemporary praise and worship songs that are selected around the Lectionary Scriptures.
We recognize that the Bible speaks of making a joyful noise unto the Lord, dancing before the Lord, clapping, and celebration. We encourage people to be free in their worship, expressing it how they see fit, including singing, clapping, and lifting up holy hands. However, we are reminded that we are not to be an obstacle to others and draw a line at "decent and orderly". We want both the hand-raiser and the pew-sitter to be comfortable in our service.
ACTS will use relational learning style. In other words, while preaching will be the primary method of instruction during the worship service, small groups and Sunday school will form the core of our teaching ministry. It is fair to say that large group instruction, as in the Sunday service or Sunday school, is by necessity geared towards the greatest common denominator. However, in small group environments, information may be presented more fully and due to the relational nature of a small group, tailored more directly to the hearer in a personal, trusting, and mutually encouraging environment between student and instructor. Great emphasis will be placed on learning our Bibles, understanding doctrine, maturing in the knowledge of God, defending the Faith, and sharing & articulating our hope. The leadership of ACTS is deeply committed to teaching.
ACTS will use a cell/celebration model. The heart of our congregation will be the Community Group, numbering about twelve members each. Each group will meet weekly to every other week. There will be multiple Community Groups that come together on Sunday morning to form the worshipping community. The Sunday service will support the Community Groups by providing corporate worship, expository preaching, corporate prayer & confession, the administration of the sacraments, and common mission and vision.
The Community Groups will support the Sunday service by raising up the congregants, individually ministering in prayer & confession, and engaging in outreach and service. Our Community Groups are not social clubs existing to keep the people busy in fellowship. They are an extension of the larger worshipping community established to provide an environment where we care deeply for one another like family, strengthen each another in the Gospel, bear each other´s burdens, and minister to the surrounding neighborhoods. We intentionally found and nurture honest relationships in hospitable environments and maintain an open chair policy.
Our Community Group leaders are well trained in doctrine and demonstrate teaching and leadership abilities. They are committed to raising up new leaders that start new groups through apprenticeship strategies.
Evangelism & Outreach
Evangelism is a natural outward expression of receiving and living in the kingdom of God. It is not an option, but a requirement. If evangelism is not a part of our lives, something is broken. From start to finish, we expect that all we do bears witness, either positively or negatively, to our Lord. We want to make sure we are honoring God in all of our lives, at all times, that our witness may be proper.
Evangelism is not an act, but a mindset. We are not about evangelistic programs primarily, but about cultivating a mindset of evangelism in our midst. Every member is expected to enter into fervent prayer, witnessing, and frequent church invitations to their unchurched friends and family. Only then will our evangelistic programs be truly effective and God-honoring.
Our culture of evangelism will be built on four principles:
- Spiritual Authenticity: An authentic and maturing relationship with Christ is critical and foundational for evangelism.
- Relational Connectivity: Our members engage the culture and develop relationships with non-believers.
- Gospel Clarity: We will train our members to share the gospel clearly and directly to our target group through cultural exegesis.
- Church Community: The goal of evangelism is church membership, baptism, confirmation, and Christian service.
We will use a threefold method to bring people into our worshipping community and Community Groups: front door, side door, and community outreach.
We expect the strength of our preaching and worship to have a reputation in the community that will draw the unchurched in the front door of the church for the worship service. Members should be aware that front door strategies only work well when they are actively engaged in gospel proclamation in their circles of influence and foster hospitable environments in both the church community and the small group meeting. All members will be equipped and expected to share their hope in Jesus Christ with those in their circle of influence.
We will use side door activities that aim to bring people into the community indirectly. We will address community needs by offering events inside our church that speak directly to our neighborhood, but not as part of the Sunday service. We will engage in relational evangelism, and intentional evangelistic networking in our circles of influence including, work, school, home, and our neighborhoods.
Lastly, we believe that people learn best by doing, and hold that learning through service is a godly prescription. We will engage in community outreach projects that benefit those who might not otherwise ever hear of or see our church, or its members. All members are expected to serve in some capacity at some time.
We believe in an organic, team-based style that fosters input from all and seeks decisions based on consensus as much as possible. Our leadership embraces the mindset that they are leaders among equals, always remembering humility. Recognizing an organization is only as good as its leadership, and that the ethos of the leadership embodies the broader community, we will strive to create an environment of unity and respect at the leadership level and will not be partial to gender, financial status, race, or age.