Everyone wants a life of meaning and purpose. Everyone wants to find a community where they can experience freedom, wholeness, beauty, and belonging.
The problem is that we live in a broken world, and as much as we love Plain township, it’s a broken community. Instead of a place of belonging, we live in a place that’s divided. There is a real divide between wealth and poverty, social groups and ethnicities, church and community. Instead of beauty and wholeness we have broken homes and broken hearts. Instead of freedom we’ve become a hot spot for human trafficking and addiction. Instead of meaning and purpose we have elevated suicide rates, and joblessness. Not somewhere else, but here where we live. Not someone else, but our own hearts, and our own lives.
We believe that Jesus has so much more for us and for our community. Jesus is on a mission to make what’s wrong right, broken whole, old new, and set captives free. He wants to do that in us, and in Plain Township, and we want to join Jesus on His mission.
We believe it starts by joining with others who are joining Jesus on mission. We grow when we are together in healthy relationships. So, we have small neighborhood gatherings in people’s homes regularly all-over Plain Township, called Neighborhood Groups. This is where authentic community happens. Families, friends, and neighbors share a meal, talk about life, have fun, and live on mission together.
Our dream is to see every neighborhood in Plain township become a place where authentic community happens, and to see our community at large set right, made whole, made new and set free by the love of Jesus.
Everyone is the hero in their own story. The problem is that sometimes we can see ourselves as a hero to those around us, trying to swoop in and save the day for them. When in reality they are the heroes of their story and we are called to simply come alongside them as a guide. That is how good stories work, and that is how good discipleship works. When we see people as heroes not projects, and we see ourselves as guides not heroes, we can help those around us overcome and live an awesome story.
Fake anything is never as a good the real thing. Yet, sometimes we can fall for the lie that people will accept us more if we pretend to be someone we are not. And Sometimes it’s just easier to be our fake selves than our true selves. Being who we truly are, which is exactly who God made us to be, takes honesty, courage, and vulnerability. But it’s worth it, because there is nothing more beautiful in a person, community, or church culture than authenticity.
As a church we are one big messy family where everyone belongs, and where there is always room for one more at the table. We do life together, serve together, and have fun together. We were made for community. We don’t grow in isolation, we grow together.
Red Oak trees have deep roots and wide branches. Healthy spirituality is like that. We want to grow deep inwardly, deep in the love of Jesus, deep in spiritual disciplines, and experience deep healing and wholeness. We also want to grow wide in our reach to the world around us, wide in our love and acceptance of others, wide in our generosity and collaboration in our community. We don’t ever want to be deep and narrow, or wide and shallow. Healthy spirituality is deep and wide.
God’s kingdom is a multi-ethnic, multi-generational, country without borders. The kingdom of God in Plain Township is no different. We embrace diversity in unity. We stand against racism and injustice. We stand for equity and harmony. We celebrate our uniqueness and differences. We are not a part of a kingdom of sameness, the Kingdom is diverse.