“As God has loved us, we will meet people on common ground and journey together to the higher ground of life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Our mission statement (above) has three movements to it:
*Solitude (As God has loved us)
*Community (we will meet people on common ground)
*Ministry (Journey together to the higher ground of life in Christ Jesus our Lord.)
It’s the same pattern of discipleship that Jesus used:
Scripture says he spent the night with God in prayer (solitude), then he chose 12 disciples to join him (community), before healing and teaching people (ministry).
All three work together, they complement one another, they build on each other. Remove one and it’s incomplete. This is why our structure of worship might be slightly different than the “norm”. Our Sunday mornings begin with a time of solitude and prayer, followed by worship time with the community, and then moving into classes which prepare us for ministry.
Solitude: The auditorium will be available for anyone to come into for prayer and silence, to be still and quiet, to remember and know that we are loved by God.
Community: After solitude comes community, meeting people on common ground. You are beloved by God and I am beloved by God. That brings us together here for worship. We are in community. We will listen and grow. Our services, however, will not always look the same. Scripture, hymns, sermons, and fellowship all have meaning, and we use these components in a variety of ways to best relay and understand the message of that week.
Ministry: After worship in community, we then move into smaller communities or classes. These classes are the transitional movement from community to ministry…continuing in a smaller setting the community we just experienced, and as they are dismissed, the smaller groups commission one another into ministry – going forth, sharing God’s word and presence wherever they go next throughout the week.
For more information on the adaptation of this rhythm within our congregation, see Henri Nouwen’s article entitled “Moving from Solitude to Community to Ministry.”