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How do we Christians currently grow spiritually and emotionally?


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In today’s world we go to a building on a Sunday morning, maybe a bible study on a


Wednesday evening, or maybe even a three week program or a weekend conference.
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Is this working to live your spirituality this way? Do we see results of the church growing and
people maturing spiritually and emotionally? Do we see mature servant leaders being thrust
into society or do we see a building slowly emptying?
what’s the consensus?

According to the Barna Research Group and a 2007 survey of 16-29 year olds who do not
attend church, this is what they think of Christianity:
38% bad impression

38% have a bad impression


38% bad impression

45% are neutral

45% are neutral


38% bad impression

45% are neutral

16% good impression

16% have a good impression


38% bad impression

45% are neutral

16% good impression

Only that much think well of Christianity!


why?

Why is this? What is happening?


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Maybe the quality of our spirituality has gotten neglected, put on the shelf. Has the pace of
life gotten too fast? Do we have time for anyone else? Do we have time for ourselves?
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Maybe we’re alone in walking out our faith. Maybe we have no one outside of church to help
us. Maybe we’re on our own when we wake up on a Monday morning.
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Maybe we lead a double life; we present one face to the world but secretly everything is
falling apart inside and many of us are not connected to anyone to do anything about it.
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Meet Jane and her husband. They both attend church on a Sunday and a bible study on a
Wednesday. They’ve been going to church for 20 years but no one really knows what happens
in their home. Jane lives in an abusive relationship with her husband. She suffers from
depression and her husband uses pornography. They both work long hours trying to pay off
mounting credit card debt; everything looks great on the outside but inside they’re
crumbling.
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Then there’s Sarah. She lives miles away from home. Her parents disowned her when she
chose to follow her dreams to be a musician. She lives with her brother in a small town where
she’s trying to make it in the local scene. He borrows money from her and never pays it back.
Sarah is constantly angry with herself and her life. She attends church but fails to see any
significance in it or how it really affects her life on a daily basis.
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Or how about David? He lives on his own and attends a local church during the week. He
loves his job and gets a regular pay check but he knows there’s something more to life. He
attends all the meetings he can and even helps out at the churches soup kitchen for the
homeless. He’s hungry for something but feels alone in his search. Every morning he prays.
He’s longing and searching for a deeper connection to God but can’t find it.
?
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So what’s going to help?


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Individual communities of no more than five or six people living together practicing
intentional spiritual values and practices on a daily basis, working jobs in the city, living
transparent lives of honesty more closely connected to each other and God, each one
learning to live a life of integrity.
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The vision is to see many of these houses, people living and working together, connected to
Jesus, and taking that same connection to other cultures and nations.
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The mission, to cultivate these environments of safety for people to grow spiritually and
emotionally, through experiencing the love of Jesus in prayer, discipling each other, with the
intention of living lives like modern missionaries, going out and coming back, growing up as
leaders and sharing Jesus with others in their workplace or school.
spiritual
and emotional
growth
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The essence of our brand is spiritual and emotional growth.


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the brand attributes are contemporary,


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positive,
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diverse,
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and colorful.
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Our values are celebration... celebrating our life in Christ together around the communion
table...
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celebrating birthdays, holidays, accomplishments, food, simple pleasures and art and culture.
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simplicity... in finance, commitments, sharing responsibilities, resolving conflicts, taking care


of the earth, giving back, less is more, and getting enough downtime together and enjoying
the simple things in life.
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silence... that can be individual solitude, minimizing distractions, listening prayer, listening to
each other, fasting, watching rather than speaking, getting away from a lot of noise and
activity, slowing down and making time for each other, reading, study and respecting the
space of others.
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surrender... old ways of thinking, living a lifestyle of purity, waiting for God’s timing, to the
values and teaching of Jesus, to receiving input from each other, giving time to each other,
surrender to others that hold us accountable for our actions, surrendering our own needs and
wants, and preferring others before ourselves.
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Our guiding principles or key beliefs are:


Friendship with Jesus - a life rooted in Christ will be unshakable. We aim to see that built
through the strength of small numbers of people living together.
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Identity in Christ: that we’re all spiritual beings but the foundation of who we are is found in
who God says we are, not in how we’re defined by the world.
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The Kingdom of God: that we live in this reality in our world, with the values of God’s
Kingdom. This is not just one meeting a week or a service once a month, this is a living,
everyday reality.
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Key markets are: Sunday morning church,


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Christian conferences,
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and bible or ministry schools.


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In the current market there is the Church of the Sojourners in San Fransisco, a group of
people living a common life together practicing celebration and hospitality,
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The Jesus People in Chicago - they’re living communally and pooling their resources,
enabling them to minister to others
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and Reba Place Fellowship, another intentional community based in Chicago, Illinois.
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Our distinct competitive advantage is that spirituality is interactive. We get the chance to
work out our faith in the context of a body of people that is always together. There’s no
hiding from anyone and everyone is there to challenge you to go deeper.
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Our key product and service is strong and effective servant leaders. We have found that in the
constant daily challenge of living lives open before each other, although extremely
challenging, this is a great source of support, love and nurture for people growing in spiritual
and emotional character. We are always there to point each other to Jesus, along the narrow
road to freedom.