What should a church look like? The Bible gives a pretty good description in Acts 2:
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer…All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who 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.”
When our church was in its early days I was asked what word would best describe how I felt God wanted our church to be. I said I wanted a place where people would be embraced by God; engulfed by God; and the word “Immerse” seemed to express it best. I pray for a church that will “Immerse” people in the love, grace, mercy and knowledge of Almighty God. That’s how Immerse Church came about.
Later, someone ran across a phrase that I also liked: “Immerse Church – Where Jesus and Life Connect”. We’re doing life, Jesus loves us and wants to reveal how to do life through Him (true life; real life), so let’s let God connect that.
We want to be the kind of church that welcomes people who may have been turned off by a bad church experience. We welcome people who are fed up with religious routines that make them feel good, but lead to no real change in their lives. We open the door to people who may feel like God has given up on them; people who may feel unwanted and unworthy. We want those people to come to Immerse Church so we can love on them and reveal to them who God is, so God can change their life. I’ve always felt like those are the kinds of people God wants us to connect with.
Have you ever been in a place where you felt unwanted, where you just weren’t up to someone else’s standards? That should never happen in the Body of Christ. We are no better than anybody else. We are all sinners saved by grace. What right do we have to condemn?
I want Immerse Church to be the kind of place where people are not afraid to come and ask questions about things they don’t understand. We need to embrace people that ask us challenging questions in search of truth, and we need to help them seek answers through God’s word. I want us to hear the Word, see it, eat it, taste it, digest it and have it manifest itself, grow in us and be productive in our lives. To do that, we need to be people who aren’t afraid to admit we don’t know everything. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. I want this to be a church where people can feel totally free to come here and challenge us. It’s okay to disagree. Even the apostles disagreed while seeking the truth.
And we need to teach the truth, even if it offends someone. We need to be real with each other, and still love each other. Sometimes God sticks our beliefs in the fire to help us see if they withstand the test of truth. What I hope Immerse Church will be is a body of believers who will invest in and equip each other, and who will embrace and love those who are far from Christ.
For these things to happen, we need to invest ourselves. Everything we are, and everything we have belongs to God. So how can I withhold anything that God has given me? Everything I have needs to be surrendered to God to be used to the benefit of others who need to know Christ. We are going to have to turn loose of some things. What we are investing in is people who don’t know Christ.
How much are you investing of yourself? Let go of whatever has your heart, give it all to Christ, and let him use you. Let’s be the Church of Acts 2, that gathers together, learns, challenges, teaches, grows, goes out, reveals who Christ is and who brings in people who are hurting and broken.
I love this church and what God is doing here.
And you can be a part of it!
Just ask questions; grow; invest yourself; get Immersed!