love . live . lead
IT ALL STarts with Love
At the heart of the Gospel is love. God's love for people fully realized and demonstrated in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. When asked what was most important in all of his teaching Jesus said, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39) Love in the early church was not optional, it was the mark of a Christian; by this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. (John 13:35)
So we asked ourselves, if love is this important, if God emphasized it so much, if the early church was so committed to it, may we should be too? For us this takes shape is four ways:
1. We strive to love God and love people.
We are unapologetic in taking Jesus' command seriously. If Jesus said this is what's most important, then its most important to us.
2. We create warm and caring "family" environments.
In scripture, followers of Jesus regularly referred to each other using family terms: brother, sister, mother, father. We want the people in our houses churches to have this same sense of family for each other. We want everyone to know they have a strong system of support, accountability, and care around them.
3. We are welcoming to all people.
Jesus regularly spent time with those who were outcast, rejected, and looked down upon by the rest of society. Maybe we should too? Who are we to judge who can and cannot be part of God's family.
4. We will always be open and honest with each other.
Loving one another means being real with ourselves and each other. We believe that true growth and connection only comes when we are honest and open. Is it scary? Of course it is! But does it lead to deep relationships and true experience of the abundant life God promises? Absolutely!
Live out your faith
We believe that faith and our relationship with Jesus is not simply head knowledge. Nor is it just a golden ticket to heaven. Jesus came to earth and walked among us. He sat with, ate with, talked with, and even stayed with people. Jesus' life is a demonstration for us that faith is not simply something we believe but should be lived out daily. Living for God cannot be accomplished by only giving God an hour of our week. Rather living for God means letting faith affect each and every decision we make. We believe this can take shape in three ways:
1. We live in community
We are not designed to do life alone. We are made to be in community. It's amazing today how connected you can be without actually having any real relationships. At Revive House Church we believe life should be done together. This means sharing meals together, spending time together and supporting one another in both the true struggles and joys of life.
2. We live missionally
Living missionally means living for others. The way we live should cause others to notice there is something different about us, it should point people to source of our joy, to Jesus. Matthew 5:16 says, "In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." Whether it's in our neighborhood, at work, during one of our mission projects in the community, or on an international mission trip, we want God to be glorified through the way we live.
3. We live sacrificially
We believe we are called to live not for ourselves but for others. This means we are willing and encourage each other to living sacrificially for other people in our house churches as well as anyone around us. The Bible teaches there is no greater demonstration of unconditional love than to be sacrificial towards each other. This means giving and sharing of our time, presence, money, and resources to the work of God however the Spirit leads.
LEAD and be led
The model of ministry that Jesus taught and demonstrated was built around focusing in on a small group of people and developing them to lead others. Unfortunately in many churches today leadership is done by a small few, while a majority of people simply receive and are never developed into who God may be calling them to be. We strive to be a church that places leading not only at the heart of our ministry but also a the core of how we live.
1. Led by God
Leading for us begins with being willing to be led by God. We don't just want to turn to God when times are tough. And we don't just want to connect with God when we need something. God is not a genie, God is Lord! This means we not only invite Jesus into every part of our lives, but we also seek his teaching, wisdom, and guidance in all things.
2. Lead by example
As we thought about what it means to model our lives scripturally, we came to realize that leading people was done far more through modeling than monologue teaching. Yet today, in numerous churches training and teaching are primarily done by listening to one person speak for 20-30 minutes. Call us crazy but we can't think of too many things we got good at by listening to someone for 30 minutes a week. We want to lead by shaping our lives into the example of the message we proclaim and follow. The word challenges us, what good is it to simply wish someone well, and yet doing nothing to help them out. (James 2:14-17) So we hold Matthew 5:16 as a guiding scripture for our lives; let your light shine before others, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven. We want others to see our lives and not see us but to see the one who guides us and loves them.
3. Lead others
This is our way of thinking about discipleship. We believe that a gospel centered life does not come easy and it does not come in isolation. Rather becoming a disciple takes time, relationship, and leadership. Chances are we are all at different stages on this journey. Some of us might just be looking for community, others might be seeking answers to questions, and some may be contemplating how to take the next step into a radical life of following Jesus. We want to meet people wherever they are, journey beside them, and lead them into the deeper, abundant life of joy, peace, and salvation that Jesus promises.