The most common question we (Jeff and Kari) are asked these days is this:
“What makes this new church-plant any different from all the other churches all over the place?”1
This is usually asked by people who are fed up with church or frustrated, or who have been hurt or who are searching (aren’t we all?). Most recently someone asked me to answer that question in four sentences. While we might want to do it with only four words — as in our core values of Grace, Renewal, Hope, and Love — those are not quite specific enough to describe the why and how we will live as a church family.
So, in four sentences, here is what we said:
1. We exist to spread the gospel, making disciples, furthering God’s Kingdom. This direction is contrasted with spreading our church name, making followers of us, furthering our own empire.
2. We equip people to go live for God where they already are. This means in their workplaces, communities, families, and current spheres of influence, rather than programming frequent events and asking people to come to us and support our activities.
3. We let resources flow through our church. This means keeping our operating expenses as ridiculously low as possible so that funds can be used to bless and serve a world in need of hope, rather than on creating a comfortable environment for ourselves.
4. We encourage multi-generational, family-modeled ministry. We make every effort to find avenues where all ages and life-stages are learning and serving together, rather than dividing people into homogeneous and unnatural groups.
Now here’s the thing—while God’s word clearly spells out how He wants us to live, exactly what that will look like is going to vary with each person, church, family, situation.
But we must think long and pray even longer to ask God who He wants us to be.
- Please note: our response is sure to eschew any talk of being a “better” church, because competition in the Kingdom of God is anathema. Jesus uses all kinds of local churches. We compete with the powers of darkness and only try to out-do one another in showing honor and embodying love. ↩