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Encounter Christ Home
  Friday, February 23, 2018

About Us

Encounter is a community of believers in the Memphis area who operate out of our homes. Let us explain…

First of all, “church” is who we are, not where we “go” or what we “do.” While many Christians would agree with this in principle, language often betrays us. So “church” often conveys ideas that are foreign to God’s intent and design, such as going to a particular place / building, or formal meetings, etc. Normally, when we think of “church” we have a default mode that kicks in, causing us to think of these things by association because they essentially (and unfortunately) define our understanding of “church.”

The concept of church according to God is in essence a living organism; a people, not a place. This is why we say that “people matter most.” There is plenty of stuff usually associated with “church” that really amounts to clutter, but what does matter to God are people. And he desires more than anything to be in us and among us – his presence is one of blessing and power.

We describe ourselves as home-based for several reasons:

  1. It emphasizes the home as central to our ministry activity and orientation.
  2. It allows tremendous latitude in our approach in order to by-pass many initial perception hang-ups folks might have due to prior associations, either with church in general or a particular model.
  3. It communicates the idea that we are based in, but not limited to, the scope of ministry in homes.
  4. It provides a wonderful lead-in as we share with people the idea that church is about the people, because that is in fact exactly and completely what it IS.
  5. We are convinced the home is the simplest and most original format for being who we are called to be, freeing us up from external baggage that hinders genuine community.
Perhaps the term “simple church” best encompasses the ideas of how Encounter functions in contemporary terms, but in the purest sense… guess what? It’s just “church.”

Okay… enough about that. What are we really all about? What kind of church are we? Good question – so here it is:

We are relentlessly pursuing this depiction of God’s original design:

“They were continually devoted to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” (Acts 2.42)

These four characteristics are foundational priorities for us, the things that must distinguish the body of Christ:

  1. We are absolutely devoted to the authority of God’s inspired word (the Bible or Scripture). It is the record of the “apostles’ teaching” and God’s revealed will. The Bible is not merely a text, however; it is “alive and active” and speaks relevant wisdom and truth to every conceivable circumstance in life.
  2. The “fellowship” is not a category of activity; it is the operational mode of the body of Christ -- having life in common. The original term there for “fellowship” can also be rendered as “community, sharing, partnership, participation, communion, and contribution.” It is uniquely and directly the work of God in us and among us; it is genuine community.
  3. The “breaking of bread” is the sharing of the bread and cup of the Lord’s supper, or communion. We share this experience every week to remember Jesus Christ as well as our pledge to one another as family with life in common.
  4. “Prayer” is communion with God. It involves both speaking to him and listening to him, and must be a default habit of a disciple of Jesus.

These are the things you can expect to experience in Encounter.

“All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved”

Acts 2:44-47