Church - Cause

What We're About

This Saturday, we're hosting a Family Conversation to address questions about our church from newcomers, prospective members, and the people who already make up Christ Church. If you consider yourself part of Christ Church,  you should plan on being at Faith Church from 8:30-11:00 on Saturday morning (you can register at http://familyconversation.eventbrite.com/). As a sneak preview of sorts, here's one question that was on my mind earlier this morning:

Q: What is Christ Community Church about?

A: We want to take the Bible seriously - which might sound like an obvious thing for a church to say. But I think churches in the American South struggle to believe what the Bible says to believe and to do what the Bible says to do.

Can I give you just three examples?

  • We want to be about the message of the Gospel. Our only hope in life and death is that we belong to Jesus. Christianity is not about what we must do but what Jesus has already done.
  • We want to be about life in community. We were not made for isolation. We will struggle, scratch and claw to build life around each other in a busy world that seemingly forces us to exist on an island.
  • We want to be about God's mission. Life and its blessings never terminate on me. We will shape our life to extend blessing to the people God has placed around us.

We will unashamedly call our church to this kind of life. And look - I'll be the first to admit that a life saturated in gospel, community, and mission is difficult. In fact, I would call it a life that is impossible without the continuing work of the Holy Spirit changing my heart and compelling to live this way.

So we will pray and create a process that is both patient and persistent - but make no mistake, this is the life we were made for and the life we intend to live as Christ Church.

 

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Use Your Best Judgment

We only have one rule for our members, officers, staff and Protege team - use your best judgment in every situation. Maybe that doesn't seem very spiritual but to me this is simply one way to wrap our brains around the biblical call to love God and to love each other. The best decision we can make is to choose the path of taking initiative to declare and display God's infinite value by seeking what's best for the people around us.

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I Want A Better City

The last chapter of Darrin Patrick's book Church Planter resonated with some deep desires that I have for our church:

  • I would rather be a good preacher in a great church than a great preacher in a good church. If texts like Ephesians 3:10 are true then I want the beauty of the gospel to shine through the church, not just my communication gifts.
  • I don't just want a great church. I want a better city.

 

 

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Turned Inside Out

Our spirituality is personal but not private; Jesus' work in us is shaped by and has implications for the community around us known as the church.

Individual renewal is indissolubly connected to the renewal of the whole church. We cannot attain the fullness of the Spirit without being turned inside out so that our central focus is no longer our own growth, but the glory of God and the growth of Christ's kingdom.

- Richard Lovelace, Renewal As A Way Of Life

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Your Community Group Is Dying Right Now

Earlier this month, we launched a new season of community groups - families of missionaries empowered by the gospel. Two challenges that every group must tackle head on:

  1. The desire to have real community without addressing the very real costs of time, energy and emotion that it inevitably takes to build life around each other.
  2. The default operating system that turns community groups into little more than a Bible Study. We do study the Scriptures in community groups but that serves as one aspect of building life around each other.

If you're part of a community group, I promise that these two issues will come up this fall and are most likely a very real part of your group right now. You should probably do something about that today.

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...All For The Glory of God

From Christopher Wright's The Mission of God's People:

The mission of God's people is carried on in and for the world; it centers on the gospel of God; and it lays a demanding privilege on the church.

Wright goes on to show that this involves serving creation and society with a gospel that integrates the individual and the cosmic, believing and living, proclamation and demonstration as part of a people who own up to our own failings and shortcomings, live a countercultural ethic, make disciples among the nations - all for the glory of God.

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Just So We're Clear

You don't show up in our worship gatherings on Sunday to support Aaron and me in our ministry. Aaron and I show up to support you in your ministry. And just so we're clear, your ministry - the one that really counts as mission - is outside the walls of the church, in the world, being salt and light in the marketplace.

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