We want you to know how much we appreciate your presence in our community! A couple of things we also want people to be thinking about as they engage with Evergreen:
1. Community is something you create, not something you find– We hope your experience of Evergreen is one of deep community and finding God in the midst of others who are seeking Him as well. But, community isn’t something that just happens. It’s something that is cultivated, often with great effort. To that end we invite you to move beyond mere attendance to true presence. Come early, stay late, check out things other than the Sunday gathering, invite others over and ask them to tell you their story, tell them yours… Community is created best when we offer it to others!
2. We will let you down– It may sound odd for us to say this just as you are getting to know Evergreen, but we think it’s important to keep in mind. All churches are made up of fallible humans, people doing their best to follow Jesus and often failing… and Evergreen is no different. The good news is that it’s in our disappointments that God has an opportunity to work formation in us. When we disagree with something when we’re offended or overlooked, when our toes get stepped on in some way, these are moments when God can step in and build character, grace, forgiveness in us. We promise- we try our best not to let people down, but we know it will happen. The question isn’t if, but when, and more importantly, what happens next.
3. We’re different because you are here, but you need to let us know how! Though our community is built around certain core values and commitments, we also recognize that in a way it changes every time someone becomes a part of it, or chooses to leave. Your presence matters in ways we’re excited to discover. So let us know- talk to one of the pastors, elders or other staff. We’d love to know what you are passionate about, what skills you bring with you, and how you think God might want to use you in community!
4. Places to connect- To truly be a part of community, it’s important to see involvement go beyond Sunday mornings- Here are some important on-ramps you should consider this Fall.
The Table– The Table is our online community for discussion and connection. Find out what’s going on, share needs, join community discussion, connect with others. You can find the Table here.
Home Communities- our home communities serve to connect the people of Evergreen at deeper levels relationally than are possible on Sundays. Consider checking out one in your area. A list of current Home Communities/contacts can be found here. To contact the leaders of a group, log in to the Table where you can send a quick note to anyone in the church.
Discipleship Huddles- interested in an intentional group centered on learning the skills involved in following Jesus? A discipleship huddle may be for you- contact Bob for more info on huddles forming now (but don’t wait- they are starting now and open for the first few weeks, but after that they close up and you’d have to wait for the next round next Summer or Fall).
Lastly, we don’t want to fill your calendar- We encourage people not to be doing more than two out of the three main areas of involvement at our church at any one time; so, serve the homeless with us and be in a home community. After a season, maybe rotate out of serving and join a discipleship huddle or do that season’s theology pubs. After another while, take a break from home community and begin serving again, perhaps in a new and different area.
Just as in farming, when the farmer rotates crops between fields, letting a field rest after a couple of seasons of use, we hope that this approach prevents people from becoming burned out on any one of what we see as vital areas of growth, community building and service in our church.
Any questions? Please don’t hesitate to ask!