A Commitment to Local Congregation.
A local congregation is a community of true believers under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. It is the redemptive fellowship in which the Word of God is preached by persons divinely called and the sacraments are duly administered according to Christ's own appointment. Under the discipline of the Holy Spirit, the Church exists for the maintenance of worship, the edification of believers, and the redemption of the world.
The Church of Jesus Christ exists in and for the world. It is primarily at the level of the local congregation that the Church encounters the world. The local congregation is a strategic base from which Christians move out to the structures of society. The function of the local congregation, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, is to help people to personally know Jesus Christ and to live their daily lives in light of their relationship with God.
A Commitment to Relational Geography.
Geography is a literal expectation because the entire Law of the Prophets can be succinctly stated in two commands: (1) Love the Lord your God and (2) Love Your neighbOUR. NeigbhOURHoods are a literal construct to the strategic fulfillment of Gospel Saturation.
Our missional community accepts utmost responsibility as NeighbOURHood Connectors serve every census block territory. Our Discipleship Coaches support Connectors within zip codes. Our County Navigators position believers in the community for opportune mission. Area Coordinators provide guiding leadership within an area code within each regional area servicing a population around 5 million residents.
The Prayer of Jabez
The Prayer of Jabez comes from the Bible. In 1 Chronicles 4:10, we read:
"And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that Thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that Thine hand might be with me, and that Thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested."
The prayer is composed of four parts. First, Jabez asks God to bless him. Second, he asks God to enlarge his territory or increase his responsibility. Third, he prays that God will be with him and stay close. Lastly, Jabez asks that God keep him from harm so that he will be free from pain.
Why such a formal relationship? We do not serve the curious but those committed to the prayer-care-share lifestyle modeled by Jesus.