We believe the Bible tells one story from beginning to end, the true story of the whole world.
Our desire is to know this story and its Hero and to play our part faithfully.
The story begins with one God who created everything and everything he made was good, right and perfect. He placed humans in a garden at the center of His creation. God called these people to be servants who would reflect his goodness as they lovingly cultivated the world under God’s loving care and protection.
Rather than trusting God’s goodness and greatness, the humans chose to rebel against God, serving themselves instead of God. The consequences were massive as the entire creation fell under a curse. Sin, like a parasite, entered into God’s good creation and began eating away. God’s good creation fell further and further into despair. The people who were supposed to lovingly cultivate went further into hatred and violence and selfishness.
God promised to deal with the problem of sin and death that were infecting His good creation. He called one family to be his servants demonstrating and declaring His good reign. This family became a great nation charged to carry this blessing to every other nation. He rescued… them over and over and over again. But they continually rebelled until finally God let them go. Years turned into decades, decades turned into centuries. The people dreamed and hoped for the day when God would return, and all creation would be restored.
Jesus was God’s servant who would straighten out the mess, rescue his people, and carry the blessing to all the other nations. If Jesus was the one to save, that meant the other powers weren’t and they didn’t like that. Jesus was killed on a cross, bearing the sin of the world in his flesh. But two days later, Jesus was raised to life. The long awaited restoration had dawned!
The story wasn’t over yet. That the killed and raised Jesus was King over all the earth was good news and must be announced to the whole world. Jesus sent his followers out into the world to be servants who would demonstrate and declare this good news. They were to live together as a foretaste of what has already dawned and will soon by fully revealed.
Jesus will return one day at the end of the story. He will put an end to all the evil, wrong and brokenness once and for all, finally and fully. He will win. He will rule. And the humans will finally be able to serve the creation and reflect God’s goodness and greatness to the world again forever.
People are exhausted from working hard to create an identity for themselves. The gospel story offers the liberating reality that through Jesus our identity can be given, not earned. We strive to view ourselves through the lens of these four Gospel Identities: Family, Learners, Missionaries, Servants.
We are a Family. God, the perfect Father, has adopted us as His children. Rather than a random collection of individuals, we live in committed relationships as brothers and sisters. We arrange our lives to maximize the opportunity to be a part of each others’ lives. We gather regularly to eat, celebrate, and share life.
We are Learners. We don’t have it all together, rather, we are called into a lifelong journey of humbly learning how to follow Jesus. To do this, we dedicate ourselves to understanding our story and our culture’s story through the lens of the biblical story.
We are Servants. Jesus not only rules supremely over all the earth, but he intentionally disadvantaged himself for the sake of others. Because Jesus was willing to serve us to the point of death, we are committed to serving each other and our cities. We humbly and sacrificially serve by blessing people in word, deed and gifts.
We are Missionaries. Jesus sent His Spirit to enable His Church to be a conduit of blessing to the world. We actively engage and bless our communities with the good news that our world belongs to God.
We shape our lives together around the following relationships and rhythms.
Formation is about growing in our love of God. We live in such a way as a community that we engage with God together through regular times of learning from the Bible, prayer, and worship.
We intentionally live life together in community. It’s crazy, but we have to do it intentionally because naturally our lives are independent instead of interdependent. We believe that as part of our human DNA, we are meant to both enjoy relationships and grow through them. We pursue deep community where people live life with each other: sharing meals, meeting needs, hanging out, mourning, and celebrating together.
The gospel is to be declared and demonstrated in tangible, obvious ways by those who are following Jesus. God has called us to be actively involved in His ongoing work in this world and we embrace this reality as a practice of our life. This mission aspect isn’t supposed to be the exception to life, but the natural response to who God is and what He has done (is doing) for us. We grow in our love of our neighbors together.
Notice that all 4 identities above are plural and it is hard to do any of the BLESS rhythms alone. We need each other. We gather in the following two ways.
We are convinced that the best way to be disciples of Jesus and bless our city is to live together as families of missionary servants. Each Missional Community is unique in how they might look, but they all have the same DNA, living together out of God’s story through Gospel Rhythms in every sphere of life. None of them are perfect but each are wholeheartedly engaging in the mission of God. For more information on our Missional Communities or how to connect with one near you shoot a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday Gatherings are a unique opportunity to gather as God’s people to hear from his Word, be reminded of his Story, sing his praise, and enjoy his presence. As a church family, we gather around Jesus and his remarkable grace. We also welcome those who are seeking, skeptical, or curious. If you’re visiting for the first time, you can expect to meet a warm, casual community that cares about one another and the needs of our cities. We’d love to meet you. We now have three gatherings: Camelback, Peoria, and Tempe.