1) BE God's Kingdom
The Church is not a building, nor is it a place. The Church (the Ekklesia) is a gathering/collection of PEOPLE called according to God’s will to manifest His presence and Kingdom in this world. The Church gathers together into a local collective. A collective is a little different than a community. A community is “a group sharing a common understanding and often the same language, manners, tradition and law.” Whereas a collective is “formed by gathering or collecting; gathered into a mass, sum, or body." A community is defined by what they DO (objectives, laws, plans) or where they live (i.e. a neighborhood or city, civic/community club) who rally around shared interests, activities, or geography. A collective is defined by who they ARE. They have a shared identity, ethos, or spirit. We are gathered because of who we are and what we’re all about, we all have invested ourselves out of a common ethos, identity, and values, not laws, rules, regulations, or simply because of geographical location. We gather to BE not simply to do. We WANT to express God’s presence by building up the body of Jesus Christ.
We express this by meeting house to house so that we can organically express our identity as the temple of the Holy Spirit and manifest the presence of Jesus relationally with one another (Acts 2:42-47). We disciple one another in the Church to grow in the knowledge of the truth, to grow in maturity in our faith, and discover more of His righteousness that He has made our identity. (2 Cor 5:21). We go on adventures to enjoy the LORD’s creation together, grow relationally with one another, and grow in our ability to work and accomplish goals/tasks together as those who are a part of God’s Kingdom. (Romans 15:1-5).
2) Bring God's Kingdom
When we know who we are, that we are God’s very presence in this world, because He is in us, and when we rest and live by faith in that identity, we manifest the presence of Christ in the world around us. We reflect this in our everyday living - “that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). We are not just to be IN and FOR the Community, but we are WITH the community. We ought to actively be a part of the community in which we live, seeking to do good, and bring the presence of God into every corner of our city. We do this by being a good, responsible, and respectable neighbor. We are God’s ambassadors - God making His appeal to this world through us, His people, the Church (2 Cor. 5:20). As an organization, we make our building a place the community around us wants and desires to come to, not just on Sundays, but everyday.
We express this by intentionally living in our identity as new creations, walking in the reality that God has made us His righteousness. We express this by intentionally being a part of our city, the schools, clubs, organizations. We express this by using our facilities to be a place of meeting for local, state, and national organizations. We express this by transforming our facilities into a place that people want to come and spend time in on a daily basis, creating a “3rd Space” (coffee shop and concert/event center) for people to exist. Be a place that is the center for culture, creativity, music, and community gathering for our city.
3) BUILD God’s kingdom
We proclaim the gospel! We look for ways to love and opportunities to connect with people in our community specifically to make disciples, seeing the LORD add to our number those who are being saved and brought to spiritual life. We don’t operate only in realms where we ONLY want to proselytize, but we put ourselves into positions where we are capable of having those faith conversations, loving people, and creating opportunities to be a divine presence of the Holy Spirit to connect with people in our communities.
We express this by bringing the gospel and the truth of God’s creation to the culture around us through any and all means (1 Cor 9:22). We write articles/blogs/vlogs/journals giving a Biblical worldview to those in the Church and those in the world around us (1 Pet 3:15). We actively participate in events, organizations, and any opportunity afforded to us as residents of the USA, Montana, and specifically the city of Belgrade (John 17). We lead groups from the community (through the coffee shop) on adventures. (Romans 1 & Acts 17).