Love God. Love People. Get Trained. Make Disciples.
OUR APPROACH TO CHURCH
We don’t believe the Bible is a book about religion. We believe it’s so much more than that.
In response to this belief, we’ve adopted a non-traditional church structure that emphasizes four distinct values that describe the “church” in Scripture:
Above all else, the church is called to love. We are to love God first, and people second. Jesus said that “by this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35). But if we’re being honest, we often barely even know the people in our churches, much less display this supernatural type of love. Because the truth is that it’s far easier to invite someone to a church service with a gifted speaker, a rocking band, a great children’s or youth program, and a comfortable venue, than it is to actually care for and love that person. In order to show that Christ-like type of love, it requires real sacrifice and dependence on His Spirit daily.
Scripture makes clear that every person’s needs should be cared for (Acts 4:32-34), with the church taking it upon itself to care for its members. This is a kind of love that points people to Jesus.
As followers of Christ, we are called to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20). But how often is this viewed as only the pastor’s job? Rather than tell friends about Jesus, we’ll invite them to church so the pastor can do it for us. Yet, the Bible never says this is the job of the pastor – it’s the mission of every follower of Christ.
The reality is that we all spend our days in the mission field: our schools, workplaces, neighbourhoods, coffee shops, or wherever else we spend our time. So when we gather together, the mission of the church is to equip its members for the daily mission field, empowering each other through prayer for wisdom and boldness. Scripture promises us that while persecution and suffering will come as we share the gospel (2 Timothy 3:12-13), we can stand firm together in one spirit and one mind (Philippians 1:27-30).
During his earthly ministry, Jesus issued only one invitation – to be his disciple. Jesus said that, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” To be a disciple literally means to be a “learner.” It means learning daily to become more and more like Christ. Jesus himself had twelve disciples who were learning from their master, and Paul also called the believers in his care to grow up into the full maturity of faith in Christ (Ephesians 4:13).
Yet, it’s often all too easy to attend a church for years without ever being equipped to serve and live out the call of a disciple. As consumers of church, we come in, get filled up by the worship and message, with our only option being to come back week after week to get filled up again and again. However, if all we ever do is consume, how do we ourselves ever become fishers of men? (Matthew 4:19).
We believe that in a smaller church setting, people are more willing to build up the body using their particular gifts for the benefit of others (1 Corinthians 12:7-31). New leaders are continually being trained by the current leaders in the specific theological and practical concepts necessary to lead God’s church.
Just as children are expected to grow up and move out of the home, all members are being prepared to be able to stand on their own (Hebrews 5:11-14).
In Acts 2:42, we’re given a glimpse into the daily lives of the early New Testament Church. What we see is four basic principles, or cornerstones, that they devoted themselves to: teaching, fellowship, breaking bread, and prayer. Just as those early Christians formed around these four cornerstones while seeking to live out the purpose and mission of Jesus, we desire to do the same. As we look to their example, there’s no indication of anything flashy or glamorous—just a focus on the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.