Encountering Jesus Together

By definition, an encounter is a meeting that defies expectations. We believe our encounters with God are often different than what we've expected. Encountering is not simply meeting Jesus. Encounter implies struggle and confrontation. Jesus confronts and contradicts our sensibilities. He says, "the first shall be last." "Don't sit in the prominent seat." "Sell everything you have." "Go the second mile." "Deny yourself." "Take up your cross." He healed those who knew they were sick. He opposed those who used religion for their own gain and significance. God rarely encounters us in the way we expect. (Genesis 32:22-32, Exodus 19; Exodus 3:1-5; Job 38; John 4:1-26; Luke 1:26-38; Luke 7:36-50; Jonah 1-4; Acts 9:1-6)

We believe that Jesus' example is one of humble mercy. Jesus defies our expectations for a savior. He confronts the religious, hangs out with sinners, speaks to the marginalized, and shows mercy to the undeserving. He is our Savior, our ultimate example of wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. In and through him, we experience the fullness of the Christian life. We say yes and respond to his invitation to follow him. To encounter Jesus is to encounter God. As Jesus was sent, so he sends us. (1 Corinthians 1:30, Luke 9:46-48; Luke 6:27-31; John 15:1-8; Matthew 5:3-12; Matthew 11:28-30; Titus 3:4-5; John 1:4-5; John 8:1-11; John 3:1-21; Matthew 28:1-10)

The Christian life is a life of diverse community. We walk the way of Jesus together, following his desire for unity. We follow the example of the early church who shared meals, possessions, and concerns with one another. We desire to be a community of relationships marked by love, respect, honor, humility, and kindness. We will reach out to our neighbors in love and service. We act out of our own unique callings and gifting as individual members for the greater good of the body of Christ. Together, we prepare one another to serve God as a community. When we encounter Jesus together, God brings surprising changes into our individual lives and community. (John 17:20-24; Acts 2:42-47; Romans 12:9-21; 1 Corinthians 12:12-31; Ephesians 4:12-16; Colossians 3:12-14; Micah 6:8).