We are a people called, as a matter of first importance, to bring others to a relationship with Jesus Christ that He promises will fill us with His Joy, regardless of who we are or what we have been through in our lives. We welcome all persons without exception to join us in our journey with Christ. However, it has been laid on our hearts to focus much of our attention on those who have been among the most ignored in our community: the young singles and families who are unchurched, and especially those who view life as inherently ambiguous, but who also desire the certitude of some controlling Truth outside of themselves that they can follow. We are focusing on those among the unchurched who want to know what is really True, but who do not want to be told precisely how it must apply to their own individual lives, preferring instead to explore how the Truth will apply to them. For some of us, then, how the Truth of Jesus Christ plays out in our lives politically, socially, economically, and even ethically, will perhaps take on a more “conservative” quality, while for others of us the Truth of Jesus Christ will lead us in perhaps a more “liberal” direction. This is part of the Joyful diversity of the Body of Christ that we celebrate at Immanuel Church.
To those ends, we are a people who have cultivated and are continuing to develop a family-friendly environment, where the children feel as much a part of the church as the adults because they are treated as if they are at least as important — consistent with Jesus’ teaching that unless we become as little children we cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. Our young children of all ages are respected as maturing Christians who teach the rest of us much about how to live by faith in Christ.
We are a people who are striving to be a church for others where the fundamental questions about ministry are not “What do I want?” and “What do we need?” but “What does the Lord want?” and “What do they need?” Accordingly, in striving to meet the needs of others, we are prepared:
- To do things that are increasingly new to us and different from the way we have done them before.
- To do things that are uncomfortable for us.
- To do things that require us to sacrifice.
- To do things that cause us to look beyond the conventional and customary.
It may mean, for example, new forms of worship, uncomfortable forms of service, sacrificial forms of mission, unconventional forms of evangelism, and pioneering forms of learning.