A Church Without Walls

Let’s not refer to the church building as “the church.” The building is not the church. In a humorous way we’ve identified it as a “sheep shed.” It is important that we understand that no physical walls can define the church (1 Peter 2:4-5; 9-12).

A church without walls is the church at all times and in all places: Imagine a community of faith that can’t be pinned down to a single piece of property or to a set of buildings, but our relationship with Christ spills out into everything we do-into our homes, our communities, and into our workplaces-24/7. If God is in control, where we live, work, and play is no accident. God has placed us strategically to demonstrate his love and be his messengers. Whether it is in small groups, the workplace, over lunch or across the backyard fence, we can creatively engage and embrace our “world”, individually and corporately, so that they might see a little bit of Jesus in us.

A seeker’s first experience of Christ may not come in our weekly celebration of worship. Rather, that first experience comes because a committed Christ-follower has reached out and has been Christ to them. Our growth reflects God’s blessing and has more to do with new people starting the journey with Christ than it does with people transferring from other churches. No geographic or social walls limit  involvement. (Acts 1:8)

A church without walls is a missional church: A missional church builds bridges to people that don’t know Christ or see his relevance to their lives, whether it is in Burma, Brazil, or our own backyard. A missional church is committed as much to the needs of people outside our walls as those inside. We want to be a church that is known-and valued-by our neighbors. Therefore, we look for ways for our faith to be relevant to our communities without compromising our commitment to Christ. We seek to promote social justice and creation care. We will lovingly, but courageously, stand up for our faith and be willing to engage society and to take a stand for justice and compassion. No walls should exist between us as Christians (Ephesians 2:14-22).

A church without walls extends ministry into the community: God has called us into one body, one family. We believe effectiveness in engaging our world is directly related to the degree we are able to live in authentic biblical community with one another. Compassion and accountability characterize this kind of community. We recognize that we are a broken, yet redeemed people. We are a church that is learning how to love. When we get together to worship, we reflect the diversity of the communities God has placed around us. What brings us together is Christ; we don’t get hung up with how much money a person makes, the color of their skin, the sin they struggle with, their age or their background. In fact, we do everything we can to tear down the walls these things have created. We believe people matter to God – and we seek to be a church where the broken have found a true home. No walls stand between God and us (John 15:5-8).

A church without walls is an empowered church: Jesus Christ has torn down the wall of sin that divided us from God, and now we belong to him. We are dependent solely on God for effectiveness. Prayer is always our first course of action. Moving people toward Christ, and serving them as they become his devoted followers, is at the center of all that we seek to do. We believe that lives are changed through the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. Effective ministry is borne out of an ever deepening relationship with God and other people. We encourage each other to grow in Christ, and to seek after God with our whole hearts, so that God may reveal his will for us, individually and corporately — and empower us to do it! No walls stand in the way of our personal development and service (Ephesians 4:11-13).

A church without walls is an equipping church: We seek servant-leaders who are learning how to raise-up other servant-leaders. Living on the front lines of ministry demands skill and support. We endeavor to equip people toward developing life skills (not just “church” skills), and seek to support them as they serve. We will encourage others to discover their spiritual passions, make good use of God’s gifts, and discern God’s call on their lives. We seek to pursue excellence in service. We seek to serve in teams. The seek an atmosphere here that will be charged with the excitement and zeal of the changed lives of people committed to Christ and his service.

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