As we continue to prepare for our transition to a new Gathering Space at the start of September, here is a good – but not exhaustive – summary of what we have been wrestling through as a church…
A Practical Summary of Indy Metro
1.) Every believer is a Missionary :: Matthew 28: 18-20 :: As we move into the new building in September and as we launch the next iteration of small groups called “Missional Communities”, the goal is not to change the details of our lives. We do not want the people of Indy Metro Church to feel that they must physically move homes to be closer to the new gathering space, nor do we want people to feel that they are being asked to start interacting with entirely different people than they currently are.
Instead, our vision is that we are working together as a church and as Missional Communities – together interacting with the neighbors in the community around the new gathering space and with the people we meet serving together as Missional Communities – in order to learn how we can know and follow Jesus in our individual, daily lives. We want each person in Indy Metro to grow where they are currently planted, believing that God has them there for a reason!
Each of us interact with a variety of different people – none of our lives or rhythms are exactly the same. We want to celebrate and leverage this fact! God is sending us all out to be a part of different people’s lives! Our goal is to work together as a church to learn HOW to live missionally and then each of us apply these lessons to our daily lives – as missionaries sent to different people.
As a matter of identity, we want everyone in the church to see themselves as messengers of the Gospel. Because of this, we want our time spent together to teach us how to best live this sort of life – not just when we are gathered… but when we are scattered too!
2.) The church is not a hierarchy :: 1 Corinthians 12 :: We are literally a family. Each of us have different gifts, roles, and responsibilities but we are all equally important in the life of the church. In the church – especially at Sunday Morning Gatherings, there is no such thing as “elite Christians” running the show with everyone else showing up to observe in a passive posture.
We gather as a church to worship God and to help and encourage each other to grow as disciples of Jesus Christ. We are called to deeply know each other and to be a part of one another’s lives. We are each to speak into one another, holding us all accountable to a holy life of freedom in Jesus Christ. We are not a club, an organization, or a production… we are God’s people – His children – brought together under the banner of Jesus Christ.
It is our responsibility to discern how each of us are called to meaningfully contribute to the overall health of our family. We are called to live life together in unity, submitting our wills, our preferences, our schedules to each other and – most importantly – to the Lord.
As a matter of identity, we want everyone in the church to see themselves as members of God’s family, each with different roles to play in order for us all to be healthy and growing in the Lord.
3.) We are invited to participate in the Kingdom of God right now :: Isaiah 1: 16-17, Matthew 25: 34-40 :: It is certainly true that when we die, as followers of Jesus we will see the Lord face-to-face and be fully redeemed as we forever enter His presence. But God is inviting us to live as members of His Kingdom right now! We are invited to be aware of God’s presence at work in the world around us right now!
Issues of poverty, racial/cross-cultural reconciliation, caring for the marginalized and forgotten within our city – Social justice – these should all be things we care about and working to alleviate in the world around us because these are things that God cares about. We aren’t to merely wait for God’s Kingdom to arrive… we are to join God in His work going on all around us in having His Kingdom arrive right now!
As a matter of identity, we want everyone in the church to see themselves not as someone plucked from eternal destruction in hell, now waiting in the basement of life trying to weather the storm as they await heaven, but as those who have been saved from eternal destruction and are now sent out here and now to embody the values of God’s Kingdom… helping others to find relief from the storms that they are in.