Where We’re Headed
Our long history notwithstanding, we are currently a church in transition. Established in the 19th century and perhaps too long-wedded to the mindset and methodologies of the 20th, we are at last ready to explore and embrace all that God is calling us to be in the 21st!
We’re in the midst of several steps toward fulfilling His vision for us today . . .
Reviewing Our History
With a heritage of more than 150 years behind us, we’ve had more than our fair share of both milestones and missteps. It would be sheer folly of us to ignore that—we want to learn all that we can from the generations which have preceded us and on whose shoulders we stand. Where they have been faithful and done well, there’s no need to “re-invent the wheel;” we can simply build upon their progress. On the flip side, we don’t want to repeat the mistakes of those who have gone before—and perpetuate their foolishness within a new generation either.
Repenting of Our Past
There is much in our long history that is worthy of celebration and of which we can be justifiably proud. You can’t be around for as long as we have, however, without doing a lot of dumb things as well.
For too long, too many Christians have made the mistake of acting as if we’re somehow better than others; our church has been no exception. We’ve sometimes gotten hung up on things like how people dress or talk, whether or not they drink or smoke, and what they do (or don’t do) on Sunday—as if righteousness is defined by silliness such as that. Too often, we’ve been known more by the things we’re supposedly against rather than articulating all that we’re FOR.
God has graciously given us the chance to come to our senses and recognize that we’re just exactly like everyone else—we’re all in the same mess! We’re ready to apologize for all the times that we looked down our noses at those outside our walls—instead of doing everything possible to get them to the One Who’s helping us grow well!
There was a time when we foolishly let a handful of people run things—and run some off in the process! Without meaning to, we let ourselves be seen and known as a “do-nothing church”—partly BY doing nothing for too long.
That’s all in the past! We’re ready to be all that God has called and placed us in this community to be TODAY!
Obviously, we’ve got a lot to live down—both good and bad!
This is a brand-new day—and we’re grateful that God has given us an opportunity to re-introduce ourselves to this community in which He has placed us. This website is a part of that process—through which we hope to reveal something of what God is doing here in our midst TODAY!
We’re essentially hitting the “RESET” button in our lives and ministry here. We’ve taken to heart the Lord’s word to us: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!” (Isaiah 43:18-19).
Re-defining Our Mission
Too often, the church has misunderstood its mission—as that of helping others learn to clean up their language; put out their cigarettes, pour out their beer; and come to church on Sunday so that they can become good people like us. God, in His Mercy, has helped us to recognize that erroneous view as the wicked perversion of His Gospel that it is!
As you’ll find reflected throughout this website (and in the lives of our people), we’ve come to recognize how badly mistaken we’ve often been with such a belief and approach.
We’ve come to realize that we’re ALL a bunch of broken people—whether in the church or out!
All of us are broken by the sin which poisons our nature and wrecks our lives. The only thing that’s making a difference with us is that we’ve met the greatest Doctor in the world . . . and He’s helping us get well!
Clarifying that point has helped us to understand how much of our time and energy was formerly spent on trying to do the Holy Spirit’s job for Him. It’s NOT our mission to choose your beverages nor tell you how to dress and wear your hair or what kind of music you should listen to. We’re leaving all that behind.
Frankly, it’s taken a lot of pressure off to realize that our actual mission is quite simple: we’re just here to love you and to refer you to the Doctor Who’s curing us of what ails us. We’re here to invite YOU to join us—in growing well together!
Refining Our Vision
Rather than try to do everything, we are choosing to focus on doing a very few things WELL!
We’ve come to the conclusion that all the most important things we do really revolve around our central mission of growing well together. These involve three basic areas (which we like to think of as the “Three Rs”):
- Regular appointments with our Doctor
We have standing appointments with the Great Physician (on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights) when we let Him examine us thoroughly and then take careful note of the prescriptions He’s written.
Beyond that, He’s always “on call” and available to us 24/7–even giving us the opportunity to meet with Him daily in private consultation. We have the added advantage of being able to read and study the Manual written by the One Who has made us, designed us, and knows us best!
- Rehab sessions
There’s nothing quite like “Group Rehab!” It can often be hard trying to go it alone but, recognizing that we’re all in precisely the same boat, we enjoy getting together and drawing strength and encouragement from each other. We may be at different points on the road to recovery—but we’re all in this together!
Having met the only One who can heal us of the fatal disease which afflicts us all, it would be unconscionably selfish of us to keep Him to ourselves! Our greatest joy is in making referrals and inviting others to meet our Doctor and join us—in growing well together!
Rebuilding for the Future
We’re trying to go back to “ground zero” in re-visiting all that we are in terms of both program and property, re-evaluating every aspect of this ministry on both a physical and spiritual level.
Physically, we’ve already done a lot of work to get our existing facilities beautifully renovated and in tip-top shape and are proud of the results thus far. Renovations alone, however, cannot create the additional space we’ve come to need! With the Lord continuing to send more people our way, the limitations of our present facility are being keenly felt. As a result, we’re preparing to expand once again as we move toward building a new Fellowship Hall and enlarging our educational space.
Property aside, we’re also in the process of re-vamping all our ministry programs as well. Our goal is to channel all our energy and resources into doing only those things which are most important—but doing them with excellence! That will sometimes mean that we may not always do everything that we once did in the past (Sunday evening services, for instance), but are always on the lookout for new opportunities in the future (such as our currently expanding youth and children’s ministries).