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Encounter Christ Home
  Friday, February 23, 2018

Our Vision

~ Every soul in daily communion with God through Word and prayer. ~

~ Every soul in basic Christian community. ~

This double-edged vision drives everything we do in Encounter. All of our time, ministry, decisions, resources, etc. must pass the test of this vision: is it developing the habit of daily communion with God? and / or is it developing basic Christian community?

If so, we’re in with both hands and feet. If not, it’s back to the floor in prayer.

If you look a little closer, you might notice that these mandates are simple expressions of the 2 greatest commands as spoken by Jesus in Matthew 22.34-40. When the incarnate Son of God was asked what was most important in life, most important to God, to what does it all come down, he said:

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and most important commandment. The second is like it: love your neighbor as yourself.”

We believe that this vision expresses the core of God’s will: loving God and loving people.

But how do you show you love them? Well, how do you show someone close to you that you love them? There are many different responses to that, but eventually it all comes down to this: spending time with them. But wait! Jesus also said in John 14 that “if you love me, you will obey my commands.” That certainly is true. We might take note of the order of his statement, however: if this, then that. Love comes before, and thus prompts, obedience. How will we know what to obey if we don’t check in with him for orders first?

This is why we highlight the disciplines of Word and prayer as central for the disciple of Jesus in having daily communion with God. There are many spiritual disciplines, but these two are foundational both in the life of Jesus and in Scripture itself.

So: the first component of our vision reflects the habit of spending time with God each day in two ways. Reading from his Word for wisdom, nurture, sharpening, help, etc. fills us with his instruction, shapes us for purity and action, and equips us to remain in his will and avoid the pitfalls of sin which harm us. Spending time in prayer positions us for God to transform us by the Holy Spirit who does his work in us. It is time spent both in speaking and listening to God.

The second component of our vision supplies the human element of community made effective by Christ’s presence among us. People need people; nobody needs to go it alone. God designed the church, Christ’s body, to be his plan ‘A’ for accomplishing his purposes and meeting all of our needs. No “Lone Rangers” around here… and how *did* he ever get that name anyway? After all, where would he have been without Tonto?!

We’re on the journey together, discovering real life (from God) in community (with each other).

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law? Jesus replied, '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. All the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments.' ”
Matthew 22.36-40