Welcome and thanks for taking time to learn more.
We believe God is at work on the First Coast and we want to be a part of it. And while we believe God has plenty of work to do in us (because, frankly, we’re a mess), we also believe God invites ordinary, messy people like us into his work. It is an astonishing privilege to be a part of what God is doing!
We try to answer two important questions:
- Who are the people God is calling us to?
- What is good news to those people?
In our city, in our region, there is much poverty, loneliness, despair, brokenness, addiction, injustice, and all the normal results of personal and systematic sin. We believe God cares about those problems because God cares about people and because it was not his intention for such things to be normal and accepted in his world.
And we believe God has done, is doing, and will continue doing something about it! We believe that in Jesus Christ, God has entered into our messed up world and as a result, God’s kingdom has been growing and advancing. When God’s Kingdom prevails, people find forgiveness, reconciliation, and redemption for every circumstance. There is good news for everyone in Jesus Christ. Where Jesus is, the Kingdom of God comes near.
We believe that Jesus is the most important person in history. If you want to know what God is like, look at Jesus. If you want to know what a human being could be like, look at Jesus. We have learned that, by the power of the Holy Spirit, God delights to do extraordinary things through ordinary people surrendered to him! We want to see God glorified and his kingdom advance, here.
Now here’s something we don’t believe: we don’t believe we can improve on what Jesus did. By looking at the New Testament, it is not too hard to discern the rhythms and patterns of life enjoyed by Jesus and his early followers. We try to organize ourselves for ministry like Jesus did. Specifically, we try to live like Jesus in terms of community, discipleship, mission, and worship.
Community: We see Jesus gathering a group around him that became like an extended family. We organize ourselves into small communities (less than 30 people) that do life together.
Discipleship: We see Jesus teaching (or discipling) those in his community as a lifestyle. He didn’t just give them words to live by, he modeled that life by living with them. His disciples imitated him. They learned it so well that, later, they taught others to imitate Jesus by imitating them. We intentionally try to learn from Jesus in order to live like Jesus, and then try to help others do the same – life on life.
Mission: We see Jesus going out with his disciples in mission, meeting the world’s needs with God’s love, grace, and power. So we are intentional about going out together in mission in ways that keep us dependent on God. (You won’t find us simply throwing money at a problem or telling people to vote in politicians who say they’ll fix it.)
Worship: Jesus see Jesus doing everything to the glory of God the Father. His life and practices were all worship! Sometimes he worshiped at larger gatherings in the synagogue and temple. Sometimes he worshiped with the disciples (especially at meal time). Sometimes, he would seek time alone to be with the Father in prayer all night. We try to gather for worship, worship together when we share meals, and encourage time alone with God. We usually meet in homes, but when we need to, we borrow space from generous friends and partners.
So we may not be like the traditional churches you are familiar with – but we are trying our best to be like the New Testament church – which was a bunch of ordinary people who believed that in Jesus, God has come near, changed them on the inside, and invited them into his work. They actually believed that Jesus sent them out to people, in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth, and they bore witness to the good news! In Jesus, the kingdom of God had come near.
If you have more questions, contact our lead pastor, Jesse Alexander (firstname.lastname@example.org).