Last Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, as I observed Kari DiDonato assigning the households to which we would be delivering Thanksgiving dinners, I once again noticed something about the personality of Imagine Church. Though we don’t do it perfectly, it’s our desire to be Jesus in our community — his hands, his feet, his eyes, his ears, his voice. We desire to be about his business and to reflect what Jesus reflected.
It’s our hope and our prayer that people will be attracted by what goes on at Imagine Church and ultimately be changed by the message that we teach and preach and attempt to live. Simply put, that means we desire to be the church that the New Testament explains that the church should be. From the start, we have chosen to focus on two main things: to make church fun and to serve the community. We strive to be a force for God as the center of Christian activity and caring in the Lake Wylie community and the surrounding region.
Let me tell you what I believe that means. It means bringing men and women together in such a way that there is a natural sense of accountability, a natural sense of belonging, where human beings care for each other — not because their names are on a list somewhere, but because they’re experiencing life together, and they are seeing what God is doing in their hearts.
What we’re discovering at Imagine Church is that transformation — life change — takes place not when we try to do Christianity alone, but within the context of Christian community. Like everything else that is meaningful, life change takes place when we live in relationship with each other.
I’m proud . . . no, proud is not the right word . . . I’m grateful, that we have felt called to be as Jesus in our community. I hope that implies that the people “out there” in our community and in the wider region will always know that we are here for them, that Imagine Church will be a center of Christian activity and caring.
You see, our greatest potential as a church is not found in what happens in worship on Sunday morning. Our potential to impact lives, to impact our community, has everything to do with taking what we gain in worship on Sunday mornings and applying it to the needs of others. And the beauty of it is, when you commit yourself to Imagine Church and give, and pray, and serve alongside one another, you get to receive the incredible blessing of watching God at work. That’s why we strive to be Jesus in our community.
In the name of the One who can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,
Bruce Jones, Pastor and Co-Creator,
Imagine Church of the Carolinas