At The Gathering, our vision is simple: we live near God in order to be sent to those far from him. Our mission - how we do that - is summed up in 6 words:
Near God. Near man. Making disciplers.
Each of those phrases represent one of three dimensions that we all need in our lives. Too many of us settle for a flat existance, and our Discover Classes are designed to help you live the full life that Jesus talked about, or "LIFE IN 3D" as we like to call it at The Gathering.
If we don't take intentional steps toward LIFE IN 3D, then we'll find ourselves living a flat life, and eventually, this 1 or 2D life will define even our relationships in church. We'll feel like we're not living up to our potential, we'll begin to feel disappointed and frustrated in our walk with Jesus, and we'll start to wonder if there might be more to the Christian faith than what we've come to know.
We're happy to tell you that there is, and we want to HELP YOU SEE YOUR NEXT STEPS CLEARLY. John 10:10 tells us that Jesus promises those who follow Him the fullest life possible, and so the question becomes, "How can we experience this full, satisfying 3D life that Jesus is referring to?"
At The Gathering, we want to help you move from the first dimension past the second dimension until you're following Jesus in the third dimension. Below you'll find a description of each dimension and the NEXT STEPS YOU CAN TAKE to begin to start living the most colorful, satisfying and deep walk with Jesus. We call it "living life in 3D" and we can't wait to GET YOU STARTED!
Most people that come to The Gathering start here. They like the atmosphere, the music, the teaching, the coffee or any number of things, and they begin to live NEAR GOD. When I live in the first dimension, I find that I am motivated by my good. That sounds selfish, but it's really only selfish if a person stays at this level. At The Gathering, this dimension typically happens in our LARGE setting during our weekend worship service. We think of that setting like the den in your home where you can sit down and relax and move at your own pace. That's why you'll see such a large variety of people in our services. We've all got a story and a journey, and no two are the same.
As you relax in the den, we know 2 things will start to happen. First, you'll find yourself being DRAWN TO JESUS, and this will lead you to the first 2 growth steps: SALVATION and BAPTISM. Then, you'll find yourself being DRAWN TO JESUS' CHURCH, and that will lead you to the next growth step: MEMBERSHIP (we like to call it being PLANTED). Those are the typical steps that people will take as they begin to move out of the first dimension and into the second.
Once you're a follower of Jesus and planted at The Gathering, you'll find that your motivation isn't really for your good anymore. In this secod dimension, you begin to be motivated by "our growth" and you'll find a greater desire to live NEAR MAN. We think of this as our SMALL setting - kind of like your dining room table - where you can sip a cup of coffee and not feel hurried as you dig deeper.
This is when you'll want to take the THIRD GROWTH STEP of a commitment to one of our COMMUNITY GROUPS. These groups meet for 3 quarters each year and each quarter lasts around 10 weeks. Commitment to a group for a quarter will allow you to be DEEPENED horizontally, and in the context of those relationships we've seen people crave to be DEEPENED vertically through our FOURTH GROWTH STEP: ONE ON ONE discipleship and mentoring. These relationships typically grown out of the existing Community Groups and allow 2 believers to meet regularly for an agreed upon timeframe to study and pray together.
Our experience is that the second dimension is where so many followers of Jesus experience dynamic growth. Unfortunately, many Jesus followers stay here and everything becomes a social gathering and before long, the believer is stale, disillusioned and flat. The solution is to press on to the third dimension.
The third dimension is where we want you to live. This is truly life in 3D, and here our motivation is no longer my good or our growth, but God's glory. It is in this dimension that we begin to be DEVELOPED FOR GOD and we find ourselves in the ALL setting - the neighborhood - where we can fully GIVE OUR LIVES AWAY IN SERVICE.
As with the other dimensions, there are 2 GROWTH STEPS in this dimension. Our FIFTH GROWTH STEP is being developed for ministry by SERVING ON ONE OF OUR iOS MINISTRY TEAMS. From guest services to production, we've got a place for you to jump in and start serving Jesus and his church. And once you start doing that, you may feel a desire to take the SIXTH and final GROWTH STEP by intentionally putting yourself in a CROSS-CULTURAL MINISTRY EXPERIENCE through a short-term mission outreach. If you're in a Community Group, you'll have the opportunity to participate in outreach ministries during each quarter, and we encourage all of our members to prepare themselves for yearly cross-cultural experiences. This is when we are most like Jesus, who left the culture of heaven to invade the culture of earth as a servant (Philippians 2:5-11).
When you have been DEVELOPED for missions, you'll find yourself back at the top of the 3D GROWTH CYCLE, only this time you'll be reaching out to others who are at the beginning feeling the first rush of being DRAWN to God and the church. As you walk with them through the SIX GROWTH STEPS and each of the THREE DIMENSIONS, you'll fulfill the third step of our mission by MAKING DISCIPLERS.
This is life in 3D.