As members of the body of Christ, we have a unique relationship with others in the body. In fact, as believers, we are more closely tied with the body, in many cases, than we are our own families (Matt. 12:46, Luke 14:26). It is because of the love we have for one another that people will know that we are disciples of Jesus Christ (Matt. 12:46, Luke 14:26). Furthermore, Jesus, when praying for His disciples, prayed that we would be “perfectly one” so that the world would believe that the Father sent Jesus (John 17:20-23).
The sad truth is that in many of our churches today there is a disconnect in the fellowship that precludes this supernatural kind of unity and love that is more readily identified in small group settings like ours. Much of the “attraction” to larger churches is based upon programs, speakers, worship teams, plush seating, opulent sanctuaries, and productions that may actually run counter to creating an environment where loving, koinonia type fellowship occurs naturally. Often times there are people who fall between the cracks or are out on the fringe and may feel ostracized from the community of believers whether by their own “hang-ups” or by virtue of the fact that it is harder to connect in larger groups. This does not happen in a small family setting. In the family setting, there really is nowhere to hide (even if you wanted to), and families love every member and take care of its members. This is the kind of love and fellowship that we aim to share amongst our church family members.
Sometimes families can be painful. The truth is that there are no families that are free of dysfunction. It is through love and participation in each other’s lives that we are able to pour into one another to encourage, edify, strengthen, and yes, sometimes even correct patterns of life that run counter to godly living. This kind of interaction provides a rich environment for discipleship and accountability and can be the proving ground for the exercise of spiritual giftedness for each member of the body.
Our mission and the mission of every Spirit-filled believer is the Great Commission. As believers and followers of Jesus, we have been called to make disciples of all the nations (Matt. 28:19-20). We have grown accustomed to inviting people to church so that the pastor can do “his job” and share the Gospel of Jesus. While the pastor may share the Gospel, it is actually the job of every believer in Christ to share the Gospel.
Our mission is to provide an opportunity for everyone in our fellowship to fulfill the Great Commission in our spheres of influence. This might include evangelism efforts in the urban areas of our city, partnering with other ministries as we come alongside to witness to the lost, to simply opening up our lives to others in our neighborhoods, jobs, schools, gyms and other venues where we come in contact with the world. To this end, we are promised persecution (2 Tim. 3:12-13), and we stand together, united in one faith (Phil. 1:27-30), confident that our labor and suffering is not in vain.
We want to be so filled with the love of Christ and the Spirit that we are saturated only to wring ourselves out for each other and on the lost. A person could go to church all of their lives and become accustomed to being a “consumer Christian,” content with warming the pew Sunday in and Sunday out.
In smaller church settings we encourage the exercise of our spiritual gifts as we edify one another, comfort one another, and spur one another on to love and good works. In smaller group settings, these gifts are more easily identified and can be nurtured by the leadership to raise up new leaders and servants who are prepared to multiply and further the love of Christ in new churches as they are sent out.
Our aim is to see to it that everyone in our fellowship is being discipled and discipling others. Our leaders are discipled by the elders and trained to understand and have a firm foundation in the multifaceted disciplines of Christian orthodoxy including foundational knowledge in various studies including but not limited to ecclesiology, apologetics, hermeneutics, eschatology, etc… These disciplines, while effective in training leaders, is by no means a substitute for the command to love God and love others. Still, these disciplines help equip leaders to grow in their understanding of theology so as to better equip them to lead and identify heretical teachings which can corrupt the body.
When we gather, we believe in keeping it simple. There are no hype or seeker-friendly productions that we can find in the New Testament or Old Testament for that matter. While we will acquiesce to the fact that we live in different times, the eternal and immutable WORD of God precludes any of these practices that the modern church has adopted as necessary for a fellowship to thrive. These kinds of practices have been adopted and are traditions, not commands. While we do not decry or denounce these kinds of things, we have chosen to simply teach the WORD of God simply and to allow our gatherings to be unencumbered by the maintenance that these kinds of practices require. Our focus, instead, is upon Jesus. Anything that would distract us from Him is, in our opinion, not worthy of pursuing.