We are a community of Jesus. Now you might say that doesn’t mean much, because most Christian churches would claim the same. Well, that’s true. But saying and doing aren’t the same things.
Shaped by Jesus
We are trying to be shaped by the message of Jesus and the biblical text. We see ourselves as disciples or learners, before other roles in our personal lives. With the support of a community and a close sense of belonging, our faith community attempts to be a learning environment for what is God’s Will.
But we also share a more recent legacy. This legacy is connected to the churches of Christ, but also related to a Restoration Movement that involved many other groups as well.
This restoration impulse was principally about continuity and relevance. The continuity was about loyalty to the original message of Jesus and the common life of the earliest communities of disciples. But it isn’t an attempt to live in the past. This legacy is also to be a relevant community of Jesus for right now. The restoration impulse is always attempting to hold these two qualities in active tension.
It is important for us to recognize the commonalities we share with other communities of faith.
We believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus. He is now our Risen Lord. We also know Him as the Son of God and Christ/Messiah.
We believe in the God of Jesus, that is Yahweh-whom Jesus called ‘Father’. This Yahweh God is the creator of the world.
We also believe in the Spirit of God that indwells believers. The Spirit also gives disciples a new spiritual nature, but also guides believers in Jesus. This same Spirit guides the church and moves it toward mission.
Father, Son and Spirit form the Trinitarian God. This is difficult to understand, except to say that there is an interrelationship. Their functions seem to overlap, at times. But essentially, there is also a unity in God. We take the monotheistic faith of Israel seriously, because it was also the claim of Jesus.
But there are distinctive things about us too. You would notice that we sing without praise bands. Some call it accapella-style worship. It’s not so much that we are against other practices as much as we like to preserve another tradition about worship-one that has ancient roots.
Another is that while many churches may not share in the Lord’s Supper or Eucharist every Sunday. We do. It something consistent about us as a community.
Another practice that has ancient roots is when and how we baptize people. It might go by the name of Believer’s Baptism. We think that each person needs to make up their own mind and that baptism occurs when someone can make a life-long commitment to follow Jesus. Also, it’s like a journey. At some point in the walk of faith in Jesus, one obediently does what Jesus himself did. It’s part of living as a disciple. The how involves an immersing of a believer under water and bringing them out again-it symbolizes the death and resurrection of Jesus. So it’s big thing, but it is also a beautiful action.