Gatherings and Geographic Distinction


Gatherings are family-integrated (intergenerational or age-integrated) and are centered around the Lord’s Table, which is taken as part of a full fellowship meal (The Love Feast), each and every week. Gatherings are interactive, but orderly. We spend our time singing, praying, sharing testimonies and prayer requests. All teaching is done by the Elders and gifted men in the body.

Other gatherings, fellowship and ministry to one another and the world taking place throughout the week.

Gatherings
  1. On the “first day of the week” in the late afternoon/evening.
    • In a home or home-like setting...Home setting facilitates a more intimate and close knit gathering. A home setting could range in size from 25-200 people depending on the size of the space.
    • Have the center of the gathering be the Lord’s Table and celebrate it during a common meal…The Love Feast.
    • Surround the Lord’s Table with Prayer, Profession, Praise and Preaching/Proclamation. 
    • An interactive service where more than one or two members,minister under the oversight of Elders.
    • Music that combines the best of the old with the best of the new, that is not worldly or secular in sound and/or arrangement.
  2. Throughout the week
    • Together Daily (Gathering and ministering more than just once per week): “Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart.” –Acts 2:46
    • In one another’s homes for the breaking of bread, fellowship, prayer, worship, and bible study, etc.
    • Minister to their community together through evangelism, hospitality, service, etc.
  3. Intergenerational/Family Integrated
    • All ages gather together
    • Children participate by praying, making prayer requests, singing, reciting scripture, etc.
    • Nursing mothers and babies are welcome and expected to be part of the gathering . Mothers that are uncomfortable nursing in public or have fussy babies are free to step out for a time at their discretion.
  4. Worship and The Word: Worship is not and should not be designed to be entertainment. It should especially not be designed to appeal to non-believers. 

    While music is part of worship, it and its performers are not to take front and center stage. Christ Himself is to take front and center stage. Front and center stage music can very easily become idol worship, where the music, the arrangement and the “band” become the center of attention. 

    Worshipping for the “experience”, the feeling or the emotional high is not why we worship. And just because we feel like we are experiencing an emotional high, does not mean we are truly worshipping Christ and Christ alone. Worshipping for the “experience” becomes a self-centered form of worship. It is about me and how I feel, not about Christ and who He is and what He has done and is doing. 

    So we worship not for ourselves, but for God, because we want to praise Him…it is a natural outcome of our love and devotion to Him. This does not mean we don’t experience the presence of God, sense His wonder and love for us and become wrought with emotion. We can, we should and we do, if our worship is about Him and not about idol worship or me-centered worship. 

    With that said, our worship is comprised of the following:
    • Prayer 
      • Individual 
      • Communal
    • Praise 
      • Personal Testimonies
      • Singing of Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual songs: Includes the best of both past and present music.
    • Preaching and Teaching the Word
      • A mixture of sound expository, gospel and relevant topical preaching from the text of scripture…Done solely by men gifted in teaching.
      • For the thorough edification of the saints
      • For the encouragement of the saints
      • For the admonition of the saints
      • The discipling and training of the saints 
      • For the perfecting and maturing of the saints

Geographic Distinction
  1. A local church that is defined by the geographic region in which it is located and to which it ministers. Example: The church of Corinth, the church of Ephesus, the church of Philippi, etc.
  2. Within this local church there are/can be multiple places of worship/gathering places. We see in the New Testament that churches met in homes; it is not likely that all the saints in one geographic region gathered in the same house after the church grew. There must certainly have been multiple house churches (gathering places) within every local church once members outgrew the capacity of one home. The writings of the Ante-Nicene Fathers confirm this fact.
  3. This local church will seek to develop/plant multiple churches. The Elders will provide oversight of all new church plants until there are a plurality of Elders within the new church.