As a church we will have a Passion for God’s People. This passion will be seen in a commitment to biblical discipleship and fellowship.
To summarize: our discipleship will be Word-based, mind-transforming, heart-changing, application-oriented, personal, and transferable. Our fellowship will be authentic, life-on-life, burden-bearing, joy-sharing, love-showing, and familial.
One passage that captures some of what biblical discipleship and fellowship looks like is Hebrews 10:23-25…“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.“
The goal in the passage is steadfastness in the faith (“hold fast…without wavering…to he confession of our hope”). Our goal is to be steadily growing as a disciple of Jesus. This goal is grounded on the faithfulness of God to keep his promise – his promise to save us, sanctify us, and bring us to final glorification.
The means to help us accomplish that goal is our being with “one another”. We are to “stir up” each other, to encourage each other, to love and good works. To be able to do this, it is implied that we need to “meet together”. Being together allows this stirring and encouraging to move from the theoretical to the practical. We talk about this being together in terms of being close enough to others to “know” them and to “be known” by them.
Therefore, as a church we will have two primary ministries to help the process of biblical discipleship and fellowship:
- Community Groups. Growth, care, and mission are essential for healthy body life and these happen most naturally in smaller, more intimate settings. We will not be a church with community groups, but a church of community groups.
- Discipleship Groups. It is helpful for people to get together to help one another pursue becoming like Jesus through the Word and accountability. We will help people to link up in discipling groups of 2-4 people. We anticipate these same gender groups largely flowing out of existing Community Group relationships.
A very wise 17th century pastor said, “Satan watches for those vessels that sail without a convoy.” God’s people who try to live disconnected from other Jesus followers are setting themselves up for spiritual danger.
At Mercy Hill, we are not content to just “play” church, thinking a once-a-week “fix” of church will keep us healthy. Our desire is to have a passion to pray and seek to really be the church for one another – helping each other grow to be more like Jesus; caring for one another’s needs; helping one another be the light of Jesus for our communities.