As an introduction to new folks at Evergreen and a reminder to long-time members of our community, we want to take some time working through our values and beliefs. Part Three continues with one of our core values: Community
Recognizing that Christianity calls us out of individualism and towards a life focused on the well-being of others, we’ve made “community” one of our core values.
Our hope is that this church will be something entirely different than a provider of religious goods and services where people come once a week to have their religious needs serviced by trained professionals. Rather, we dream of throwing in our lives together as a covenant community- a group of people committed to seeking God together, to serving the world together and to being there for one another through the joys and trials of life. Can you see the difference between the two?
When it comes to your experience with church, there are different ways to evaluate. The first is “I liked it/I didn’t like it.” This is where we all start- centered on ourselves and what the community offers to us. We all start there, but imagine what a shallow community we would have if we all stayed there!
The second is, “God used it in my life.” This is still centered on ourselves, but it goes a little deeper than the “like/dislike” categories. You may not have “liked” it, but you can see what God was saying to you and how it makes a difference for you. In a way, this is growing up, recognizing the value in something that may not be entertaining, that may even make you uncomfortable, but may also be exactly what you needed.
The third and deepest way to evaluate experience with church is “God used me in someone else’s life.” This is mature, recognizing that we come not to be built up as individuals (at least that’s not our regular motivation), but to be built up as a community, as a whole. And this only happens when a significant number of us move from an individualistic, “I like it/don’t like it” mentality to a community, “what difference can I make for someone else today?” mentality