It is easy to consider activity as the starting point for a church. But just as you are more than what you do, so is a church. What you do flows from who you are.
Being must always precede doing
Often people ask questions about a church to find out what it does or what it might have to offer them, their families, or friends. Then based upon their discovery, they make an evaluation regarding participation or involvement. When we pick and choose from what we want or don’t want, we become consumers. So then, because we are called to be participants in the body and not partakers of programs, we do not view the following as optional activities for Christ followers who are part of our church.
GATHER: We gather to celebrate and worship Jesus
“And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” Acts 2:45-47
The clear pattern of scripture indicates that Christians gathered in public and in their homes. These two gatherings served unique purposes in the life of the growing Church. Both public and home gatherings were important and significant. Corporate Worship Gathering: The most recognized expression of church is the public or corporate worship gathering. We meet together as believers and Gospel Community members to hear teaching from God’s word, to sing our praise to God, to share and celebrate what He is doing and has done, to receive communion (the Lord’s supper) and observe baptism as new believers are welcomed into the family.
GROW: We grow in Christ together in Community
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25
Growth can and does happen in our corporate worship gathering, but we are called to live in community with others who see into our lives and challenge us toward gospel growth. We live this out in two distinct ways: Gospel Communities and DNA Groups.
DISCIPLE: We disciple and equip followers of Jesus for ministry in the church and mission in the world.
Few of us have had any formal training as a disciple or a disciple maker. In fact, discipleship is often cited as one of the most overlooked and neglected commands and practices in our churches. We believe that discipleship occurs in both formal (classroom) and informal (relationships) contexts.
GO: As missionaries we are sent into the world to demonstrate and declare the Gospel. Jesus has commissioned and sent us out into the world to make other disciples of Jesus.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8