Who We Are
Vision: We exist to usher in God's mission of Shalom through an interdependent network of churches.
Mission: To connect existing and new church expressions, supporting and empowering the saints to unique mission and calling.
What We Do
Our rhythms and practices are simple:
Gather as unique churches
Gather as a network body
Fellowship & break bread
Openly share what we have
We gather around God throughout the week in our unique churches in their own contexts and locations to experience intimate community and discipleship. These gatherings are based on any combination of geography and ministry focus. We also gather weekly as a Network to promote unity in the greater body of Christ and live into our identity as God's Church first (John 17:20-26). We desire a culture of unity & collaboration, held together by shared vision, mission, & values while leaving ample room for every person and church's unique mission and calling.
Because of our reconciliation to God through Jesus our Salvation and the Empowerment of the Holy Spirit, we are inspired towards these values and practices.
1 Timothy 4:7-8
The Bible is the inspiried and complete Word of God, and is for our "teaching, reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness" (2 Tim. 3:16). We look to the Bible alone as objective Truth, and seek to learn from it and live into it's instruction for our lives as followers of Christ.
1 Peter 1:25 || 1 Thessalonians 2:13 || 2 Timothy 2:15 || 2 Timothy 3:16-17 || Ephesians 6:17 || Hebrews 4:12 || Matthew 4:4
Throughout the Scriptures, we see numerous instances of people being "filled", "impelled", and "led" by the Holy Spirit - including Jesus (Luke 4:1). Walking by the Spirit is an active way of being - praying without ceasing, meditation, resisting evil, and sensitivity & obedience to God's leading. We seek to bear the fruits of the Spirit in our lives (Gal. 5:22-23).
Luke 4:1 || John 16:13–15 || Acts 1:8 || Romans 8:9, 14, 16 || Galatians 5:17-18, 22-23 || Ephesians 5:18–21 || Psalm 139:7-10 || Psalm 143:10
Prayer & Worship
Prayer was constantly happening throughout Jesus' life and ministry. The Bible urges us to "pray constantly" (1 Thes. 5:17). We are to strive for a lifestyle of prayer over all things, at all times, for all reasons. We have assurance that God hears and responds to our Prayers (John 16:23). Constant prayer keeps us in a minset and posture of reverence and worship towards God. Worship is a response to God - a lifestyle of giving glory, honor, praise, and reverence to God for who He is and what He has done. This includes but goes far beyond a worship service.
John 4:23-24 || John 16:23-24 || Romans 12:1-2 || Ephesians 5:18–21 || 1 Thessolonians 5:16-22 || Psalm 75:1 || Psalm 99Hear this value's podcast
Shalom | God's Mission
2 Corinthians 3:18 through 4:10 gives instruction on a primary ministry that we have as Christians - the ministry of spiritual transformation. While Jesus loves and died for us as we are, the intent is not that we would stay as we are but that we would become fully alive and whole human beings. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says that Jesus has taken our sin and replaced it with his righteousness. This means that as we die to ourselves more and more of Christ's righteousness is revealed in us.
2 Corinthians 3:18 - 4:10 || 2Corinthians 5:21 || Romans 12:2 || Ephesians 4:17-32
God's desire is for things to be reconciled to his original design - shalom. Christians have a responsibility to work towards justice, meaning that every person and system would be restored to God's design. We get to be a part of this aspect of God's mission for restoration and transformation of the world.
Deuteronomy 32:4 || Psalm 82:3 || Psalm 89:14 || Isaiah 1:17 || Micah 6:8 || Luke 11:42 || Romans 12:2
Jesus has come to restore and reconcile all things to himself. He is the only way to eternal Salvation, the giver of forgiveness and grace. We have been empowered by the spirit to go into all the world and proclaim this good news freely and boldy (Matthew 28:28-20). We are to be faithful proclaimers of the gospel where we live, work, and play.
Matthew 28:28-20 || John 14:6 || 1 Peter 3:15 || 2 Corinthians 5:20 || 2 Timothy 2:15 || 2 Timothy 4:5 || Ephesians 2:10
We are called to love and seek unity. God intends for His Church to be whole and unified despite different backgrounds and small differences. Jesus prayed for this (John 17)! This doesn't mean allegiance to one giant organization or denomination, but laying down differences for the sake of realizing and living into our shared identity as God's Church. We are all members of the same greater body.
John 17:20-26 || Romans 12:4 || Romans 12:16 || 1 Corinthians 1:10-17 || Colossians 3:11 || Galatians 3:28 || Ephesians 1:10 || Ephesians 2:14-19 || Ephesians 4:3|| Ephesians 4:11-13 || Psalm 133:1
Simplicity & Empowerment
The gospel is simple and needs no embellishment. We believe in simple, reproducable church gatherings - fellowship, breaking bread, giving to any in need, reading of scripture, and prayer. We believe all believers are called priests of God and are equally equipped and gifted to be ministers of the gospel (1 Peter 2:9-10). We aim to equip, enable, and empower each one to use their unique gifts and passions both within and outside the church.
Acts 2:42-27 || 1 Corinthians 2:1-7 || 2 Corinthians 1:12 || 1 Peter 2:1-12
Sharing & Giving
We are called to give freely and generously to those in need. We give to God and others in response to God's generosity and provision towards us. Paul recounts Jesus' words in Acts 20 - "It is more blessed to give than to receive". Generosity free of boastfulness and self-interest is in line with the heart and love of God (Matthew 6:1-4,1 Timothy 6:17-19). God loves and honors a joyful, faithful giver (2 Corinthians 9:6-8).
Psalm 112:5 || Proverbs 11:24-25 || Acts 20:32-35 || 1 John 3:16-18 || 1 Timothy 6:17-19 || Hebrews 13:16
1 John 2:10–11 || John 13:34-35
Every believer in Christ is called to be a disciple that makes disciples. Being a disciple means abiding in God's Word, actively learning about and from God, taking up your cross daily (Luke 9:23), honoring God above everything, and seeking to be an imitator of Christ (Ephesians 5:1-2). Making disciples is relationally teaching others with all wisdom about God (Colossians 1:28-29) to the ends of the Earth - this is the Great Commission given to every believer. God desires His Church to have a thriving culture of discipleship.
Matthew 28:16-20 || Luke 9:23 || Luke 14:33 || John 8:31-32 || Ephesians 5:1-2 || Colossians 1:28-29 || 2 Timothy 2:2 ||
We are designed for intimate community - to participate in everyday life with others. This begins in our homes, and expands to the people we are surrounded with regularly. We are called to love one another as God loves us (John 13:34) - with patience, gentleness, and humility (Ephesians 4:2-3). Our family and close community fosters this love, encouragement, empowerment, spiritual growth, and overall well-being.
John 13:34 || Colossians 1:24 || Ephesians 4:2-3 || Peter 4:8 || 1 John 3:18 || 1 John 4:12-13
Hospitality is an attribute of God. We are to seek to practice hospitality (Romans 12:13) with a positive attitude (1 Peter 4:9) towards loved ones and strangers alike. This could be sharing in our homes, a meal, filling others' needs, and more. We don't give in order to recieve, but as a demonstration of our love and obedience of God. We do this with a servant heart, in the spirit of love, kindess, and selflessness.
Matthew 25:35–40 || Romans 12:9-13 || 1 Peter 4:9-11 || Hebrews 13:2
The Church At Network began as a common contemporary church group. In late 2016, as we entered into a season of gathering weekly with multiple small established churches & groups on Sundays and having talks of mergers / partnerships, it became clear that God was calling us to something different and we were challenged in a whole new way. Our conversation changed direction and picked up steam as we looked again very closely at the early Church in the book of Acts, were inspired and challenged by works including Francis Chan's Letters To the Church, and realized that God was moving in similar ways with other groups in our city and beyond. God was pointing us toward something specific. We were affirmed in scripture that:
- We (believers in Christ) make up the Church. 'Church' is not - and biblically, cannot be - a building, service, or time-frame. We as believers make up the temple of God, each with the Holy Spirit dwelling in us (1 Cor. 6:19). Our identity as the Church cannot be limited to Sundays or separated from the rest of the 164-some-odd hours of our week! What we are doing every minute of our lives, the Church is doing - because we are the Church.
- We are each uniquely created and gifted. (Psalm 139:13-14, 1 Cor. 12) We want to open up opportunities for people with their unique gifts and passions to use them for God's glory in the Church, and to have leadership opportunity with the avenues of ministry that arise from them. 'Leadership' isn't just for eloquent speakers and great musicians. There are many untapped resources and gifts within our church communities, and we want to create space for them to shine!
- We are made for intimate community. Evident throughout scripture (Hebrews 10:24–25, Psalm 133:1, Acts 2, Colossians 3:13–14, Romans 12:4–5), we were made by God to be in close fellowship with others. Not just once a week at a service, but living life together!
- We are to be unified. In Ephesians 4:3 Pual tells us to "maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace...", among other things. We as people come from such a vast number of unique backgrounds and histories with different values and beliefs, yet we are told that we are to be unified in Christ despite this. There are many divisions and separations within the greater body of Christ, and this simply isn't God's intended design for His Church.
After a season of prayer and discernment, we were led towards restructuring ourselves as a 'network' of smaller, autonomous churches/groups that are intentionally living life together, serving their communities, communing despite differences, and being the Church where they are. We also have weekly Network worship gatherings on Sundays as a way for the network as a whole to commune and worship as a larger group - which is crucial for the unity of the greater body! (Hebrews 10:24-25).
We desire to be a church that loves its neighbors as itself. We desire to be a church that is for God's Mission and purpose, not our own. We aim to actively fight against separation and division within God's Church by being a collaborative network of unique churches with uniquely gifted people and unique backgrounds. We believe we can be different and united , because we were commanded to be (Ephesians 4)! Christ is not divided, so we want to strive to mend divisions at every scale of church by encouraging partnership and greater community.
Let us be clear - we are not saying that traditional or 'larger' contemporary churches are all "doing it wrong!". There is value in the larger church with the structure and resource they bring to the table. God uses larger churches to do incredible things! This is the specific direction that we felt God impress upon us given our history and context. We believe that this is a fruitful and beautiful step towards a return to God's intention for His Church, and you're invited to join us.