I’m glad you’re checking out our site, and I hope that more and more Jesus is finding his home in your heart. If you are new to Central or considering becoming a part of this community of believers, you may be wondering why we do things the way we do.
The way that we approach church is a difficult thing to write a few paragraphs about and can only really be explained and understood as a person becomes a part of this community and experiences it for themselves. However, there are a few things that may help you understand how we see “church” and how we approach “ministry.”
God. We believe that God is real, that he created everything that is, and that the basic point of our lives is to love him, enjoy him and bring glory to him by the way that we live.
Jesus. We believe that Jesus is actually who he says he is: the Son of the living God, the visible image of the invisible God. He is actually God in the flesh, and he came to show us the true heart of God (because he IS God) and to make the way for us to come to know God, the relationship that we were each created for. Because of the difference between people and God, because God is so great and so perfect and we simply are not great or perfect, we believe that a relationship with God can only be started and lived through grace and that grace only comes through faith in Jesus Christ, the one who took our mistakes on him and offers us in exchange his righteousness, his holiness, his sinless life.
The Holy Spirit. We believe that Jesus’ Spirit is present and active everywhere in the world. He is convicting people of their need for Jesus and lovingly drawing people toward God.
The Bible. We believe the Bible is the clearest revelation of God’s plan; it is the word of God and is the most important “book” in the world. Actually we believe that it is more than a book: it is actually the living, powerful, active word of God. It reveals the fulness of God’s plan to love the world, to heal the world, to save the world through his Son Jesus Christ, to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to earth. And by the way, here’s an awesome Bible website if you want to dig in.
Why did I take time to say all that? Well, because that’s really what it’s all about. We try to focus everything we do on pursuing the priorities set out for us in the Bible, the priorities set out by the life, teaching, death and resurrection of Jesus, the priorities we are lead toward by God’s Holy Spirit. We want everything we do to be focused on Jesus, in line with the teaching of the Bible, and open to leading by the Holy Spirit.
We have developed a sentence to help us remember our priorities and refocus us when necessary. We refer to this sentence as our “statement of calling,” realizing that even this has been given to us in the context of relationship, and seeking to keep an open ear at all times to the leading of God through his Word and his Spirit.
We are followers of Jesus who are becoming worshipers, servants and missionaries together.
Followers of Jesus. This, at the core, is who we want to be: those who actually follow Jesus in every way. Jesus said of himself that he is the way, he is the truth, and he is the life. We want to follow him by submitting our lives to him, having faith that he will save us and give us true life, and actually following his teaching in our day to day lives.
Who are becoming. We believe that growth and maturity in our relationships with God and others are life long processes, so in every area we want to avoid seeing ourselves as those who have “arrived,” and instead take a humble, growing approach realizing that until we see Jesus face to face we have not yet fully become who he is making us into. We understand from the Bible that “becoming” happens through the power of Jesus’ death and resurrection, the power of the Spirit, the power of the word of God (the Bible), and the power that comes from God through his people (the church).
Becoming worshipers. Jesus taught that the most important commandment in the Bible is to love God with everything we have. We use the word “worshiper” to describe this relationship. Becoming worshipers means growing daily in an active, tangible love for God.
Becoming servants. The second most important commandment according to Jesus is that we love other people the same as we love ourselves. We use the word “servant” to describe this relationships. Becoming servants means growing daily in an active, tangible love for other people.
Becoming missionaries. Just before Jesus left earth he commanded his followers to pass it on, to take the Kingdom of God to the world, to make more followers. We believe God wants to teach us to love those who don’t know Jesus and to share him with them in ways that are respectful, loving and ultimately fruitful. Becoming missionaries means growing daily in a special, active and tangible love for those who don’t know Jesus.
Together. Throughout Jesus’ ministry (and the rest of the Bible) it is clear that God wants us to follow him in the context of community, in the context of relationships with others who are also following. So we believe in this word strongly. Together means that we seek to walk in unity, encouraging each other, challenging each other, helping each other, blessing each other, working together as we follow Jesus. We believe significant fruit comes with “together.”
It’s really all about relationships from start to finish, and so we strongly value authenticity. We value people being who they truly are, the same people at “church” as they are at home, even if it means there are rough edges that need to be smoothed. We put no value on putting on a show because God knows the quality of our hearts and our relationships and he ultimately is the one we are aiming to please.
If you are interested in hearing or talking more about our approach, I would be more than happy to talk! Give me a call or e-mail me anytime, and I look forward to the potential of you beginning to walk along with us as we follow Jesus together.
* If you want to see even a more practical picture of our approach to ministry, please check out GROUPS@central.