We are: Friends who connect people around Jesus through loving relationships.
Faith Community is a church aimed at an existing network of relationships. Faith Community has been described as “small enough to care but large enough to dare.” At Faith we encourage everyone to find his or her primary identity within this community, rather than, say, in the weekly worship service, or in a small group. In essence, we are a group of people who have become a close-knit spiritual family on mission together. Additionally, we want people to not have to gather at a place to “meet with Jesus.” Instead we want folks to take Jesus with them where ever they are going – that translates into low control but high accountability. We balance our foci between an upward movement towards God, an inward movement toward the kingdom of God as a place of identity, and an outward movement to represent Christ to our ministry or mission context in the world. When we gather, we express this in creative ways that are appropriate to our context.
What this means is you won’t find some things at Faith Community that you may be used to seeing at other churches. For instance,
We don’t have Sunday School. We offer classes, groups, studies at different times throughout the year as there is a need and an interest. But we hope and expect that every person is pursuing his or her own approach to spiritual formation within their network of friends and relationships. As needs arise for instruction, folks get stuck, or don’t know where or what they can do next, we want people to contact the elders, pastor, or other leaders in the church to seek their advice, counsel, encouragement, and support as it’s needed.
You won’t find pews or rows of chairs. Not because we think it’s cool or hip, but because Jesus did a lot of ministry around tables, sitting face-to-face with people. We want to emulate that as we try to follow in his footsteps. We think a key part to His command to “loving God” and worshiping him is that we do in fact “love our neighbors,” and in order to love them we have to be able to sit with them face-to-face.
We don’t have a lot of regular weekly programs. Maybe even more than money, we recognize that time is valuable to everyone. We don’t want to steal or rob folks of their time. We don’t think you have to come to our programs to grow in your faith; we don’t think you have to show up to our stuff to experience God, Christ, or the power of his kingdom in this world. You just have to be willing to search for it, and discover it. So we don’t want our people “here” when they should be out “there.” We want them taking their faith out onto the sidelines, in their workplaces, in their living rooms, volunteering somewhere, studying at the the cafe – meeting people, and sharing stories.
Here are some things you can expect to see at Faith Community.
Food. And lots of it. We like to cook (and we’re really good at it). We like to eat (we’re probably too good at this). We like to enjoy a meal together. When you eat, you’re sharing stories of life of the things that matter most to you – both the good and the bad.
Laughter. When you are with friends, you can relax; you can let your guard down. When you are with people you feel comfortable with you tell jokes, you share inside stories, and you make light of one anothers’ faux pas.
We take communion, break bread, celebrate the eucharist – it has many names – but all one meaning. It’s our time to share in Christ, and remember his sacrificial life, and the promise that it brings. We celebrate through the form of intinction. It’s a fancy word for dunking the bread into the juice.
Sharing the stories of our life, and what we are doing, and what God is doing in and around us. We do this in the smaller casual conversations, but we also do this in a larger context when we are gathered. In praise, we share the things with people that we are grateful for. In petition, we ask those around us to help us, and those around us in need.
Everyone is invited to come, to share, to laugh, to worship, and to follow. None of us has it figured out; we’re all stumbling our way into grace, and you are welcome to come stumble with us.