We will accomplish our mission to love Jesus, love our neighbor and live faithfully in three ways: 1) the Sunday gathering, 2) groups and 3) service.
1) Sunday Gathering/Worship
The essence of our Sunday gathering is that all who come will engage the living God with a loving and worshiping community of people. Jesus calls us to share the Gospel and develop disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). As a community whose mission is to love our neighbors, love Jesus and live faithfully, we believe these two endeavors are to exist in harmony (1 Corinthians 3:7-9).
We envision Sundays when people confess Jesus as Lord for the very first time and those who already know Him are transformed toward His likeness. We believe this transformation happens as a result of people encountering powerful worship and the truth of the gospel. Jesus says, “A time is coming…when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks” (John 4:23-24).
The key principles of our Sunday gathering strategy are: loving community; gospel centrality; Biblical preaching in context; worship in spirit.
2) Groups (Acts 2:42)
God created people to be in community. While Sunday mornings are excellent opportunities to engage the living God in a loving and worshiping community, the essence of our group strategy is to provide opportunities for smaller, more intimate communities to grow spiritually by being vulnerable, taking risks and trusting God to move supernaturally. A person matures spiritually in many ways, but particularly we believe it happens in small gatherings of people who meet regularly to pursue Jesus, share His story and express love for each other and our neighbors through service.
To foster both individual and group spiritual growth, groups must wrestle together through the tensions between human knowledge and experiences and God’s wisdom as they study His Word. They must actively love and care for each other as they grow in Christ-likeness. Together, they will strive for unity in Christ as they build each other up in Jesus, the source of life (Romans 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 2; Proverbs 27:17; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; John 13:34-35; 1 Corinthians 12, 14:26; John 14:6, 15:5).
The key principles of our group strategy are: gospel-centered; Scripturally grounded; safe place; wrestling; leadership development; missional or service-oriented.
3) Service (1 John 3:16,18; Romans 13:9)
Serving others is a fundamental component of Grace’s identity and of the Christian life. We believe all ministries of the church must provide opportunities that actively engage the community in service to others through Christ’s example, thereby creating heart connections, building community and expanding God’s kingdom. Congregants must also be encouraged to share the Gospel as they serve their neighbor. Service at Grace is embodied by the following verses: “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers …. Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth” (1 John 3:16,18).
The principles of our serve strategy are: loving our neighbors; changing lives by giving; living out the gospel; group-centered; involvement of all ministries.