When we talk as a core group we dream out loud about the possibility of teaching the world to be the church, instead of just religiously attending Sunday Morning Clubs. Our vision doesn’t include mega worship centers or hospital-like parking decks. Nor do we envision hundreds of little specialized ministries. We aren’t opposed to mega churches, we simply have a different calling and while there isn’t anything wrong with specialized ministries we plan to focus on weekly conversations and small groups.

We do see (or hope to see) a future where dozens of groups are meeting all across Catawba, Burke, and Alexander Counties and beginning to expand more beyond this area. Each of these groups will share four key strategies. First of all we want to be sure that our primary goal is always Exalting Jesus Christ. Secondly, we believe that the word “church” or ecclessia actually means the called out ones gathered in a public place for the purpose of deliberation. Deliberation is discussion, but it is very different from debate. In deliberation we have a common goal, and we discuss how to make that happen. During our weekly gatherings we attempt to facilitate a communal Bible study. Our large group gatherings are intentionally kept smaller than 125 people (that number is based on Dunbar research). When the large group passes 125 in attendance, we start another group. In that larger group setting we have a conversation in place of a traditional preacher’s sermon. These gatherings are typically made up of around 50% teaching and 50% conversation.

We also attempt to always be intentional about celebrating everyone’s journey. Some people are attempting to make wiser decisions even before they come to believe in Christ’s reconciliation, others are beginning or are on their journey of following Jesus, others are agnostic or atheistic and are simply considering the claims of Jesus Christ. We see each of these as steps in a person’s journey. A journey that we hope (believe) will end with them being fully devoted disciples of Jesus Christ. We also realize that some will walk away from our fellowship as they follow Jesus, whether they are starting a new fellowship or going to the mission field. We are committed to celebrating their journey where ever it takes them.

Finally, we want to train every follower of Jesus to be a priest. This belief is commonly referred to as the Priesthood of Every Believer. Many churches share this belief but due to an un-biblical clergy / laity divide they don’t practice this belief. We don’t have a person titled pastor other than our High Priest (Pastor) Jesus Christ. Without an earthly dictator we attempt to equip and encourage each individual to hear from God and do as He leads.

We have summarized our vision by saying,
we are attempting to build a place where:
(1) Christ is Exalted,
(2) talking is normal,
(3) the journey is celebrated, and
(4) Priesthood is practiced.