The mission of the Evergreen Community is to make disciples of Jesus as we invite others to join us in the life of the Kingdom. We do this through intentional communal practices of worship, listening to God, attentiveness to His word and through loving and serving one another, the neighborhoods in which we live, the City of Portland and the world.
Vision for the next season of life at Evergreen
For more than 12 years we have been a community without a home. Though this nomadic existence has allowed us to prioritize people over buildings/property, and to become a widely dispersed community with Evergreeners coming from all four quadrants of the city and many of the suburbs beyond, it has also led to a feeling of rootlessness, tiredness from constantly setting up and tearing down, and an inability to focus mission geographically. As we have grown and matured as a community, we have felt for some time the desire for a more permanent home in which to worship and out of which our missional efforts can flow. For a number of years now we have sought that more permanent home. Now that we have found what looks like a long-term solution for our community in the PCL building, we want to intentionally choose to look ahead. No living thing, including communities of faith, can remain the same for long- we are either maturing and growing or we are stagnant and in the process of dying.
To that end, we, the elders, see the priorities for our community in the next season as being:
1. Spiritual Growth- Our primary purpose at Evergreen is to help people become disciples of Jesus. Whether they are moving from no relationship with God to relationship, from spiritual immaturity to maturity, or starting at a spiritually mature space and being challenged to build into others, our desire is always and in all ways to help people take the next step with God. This will not change as we grow and move into a new season in our life together. In fact, it becomes all the more important. Without maintaining and refining this focus, we run the risk of stagnating as a community, feeling as though once we inhabit a building we have somehow “arrived,” or conversely, being caught up in nostalgia for the “good old days” in the pub spaces.
To that end, we desire to see our focus on spiritual growth sharpened through increased commitment to discipleship huddles, theology discussion groups, spiritual direction, home communities that challenge/encourage each other and the rhythms of worship/learning we engage in.
2. Hospitality/Invitation Culture Growth- We have never prioritized numerical growth, because too often that devolves down to a race to see who can attract more Christians from other church communities. And while we want to avoid falling into that trap, we also want to avoid becoming lax about creating a welcoming culture for those who do visit as well as seeing our community grow in their commitment to forging relationships with those who don’t know Jesus and and through those relationships inviting them to explore who He is within the context of our community. These disciplines could rightly fall under the category of “spiritual growth” as concern for others (that they be welcomed and introduced to Jesus) is rightly part of the spiritual life we are called to, but we feel that at this stage in our community life, we need to challenge one another to turn up the heat on this value.
3. Financial Growth- As we have matured as a community, so have our needs. Where once we had a patch of carpet in the back of the room with space for two or three babies to play on, now we have a burgeoning children’s ministry that serves nearly 70 children. For the first time, we have the need to develop a middle school ministry and as our middle schoolers grow, a full-fledged youth ministry. We are moving from once-a-week space to 24-7 space. All of this will require increased funding. And again, while generosity, giving, and supporting the faith community to which you belong are rightly seen as pieces of spiritual growth, we feel as though it’s important enough to highlight at this time.