We are those who profess the LORD Jesus Christ as our Messiah, our Saviour, or LORD, our hope, our joy, and our life. We believe He has sent His Spirit into us, has forgiven all of our sins, has cleansed us from all unrighteousness, and now we walk in the newness of life as new (kinos) creations!
The Bible tells us that the Church in the early first centuries was an organic movement of Holy Spirit through the ministry of the early apostles, evangelists, prophets, and shepherds (pastors). The Church - through the power of Holy Spirit ministering and empowering them - was an unstoppable force! The gospel was being preached, miracles were being performed, the Church was being built up and edified in a way that people were willing to go even to the grave for the sake of Jesus, though they had never met Him physically when He walked the earth. He was so tangibly present in the Church through the indwelling presence of His Spirit, that they knew Him in an intimate a powerful way. "Though you have not seen him (Jesus), you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls," (1 Peter 1:8-9 ESV). The same is true today in churches that understand their identity in Jesus, the ministry given them by indwelling Holy Spirit, and who desire to participate in worshiping and manifesting the presence of Jesus in the Church through manifesting Jesus' very presence in the Church (the ekklesia = assembly or gathering of the Saints).
WHO ARE WE?
What is a "Saint"? If you believe in, follow, submit to, love and are in Jesus Christ, do you see yourself as what is typically known as a "Saint"? A "Saint" is often defined or understood as a person who is "really holy" or someone recognized as possessing an higher degree of holiness or likeness or someone who is really close to God. The word for saint is "ἅγιος" (hagios) meaning "holy one." The word for Christian is "Χριστιανούς." It was a vulgar Roman (not Greek) way of referring to followers of Jesus Christ. It is made up of two words put together "Christ" obviously referring to our Saviour Jesus Christ, and "-ian" meaning "belonging to the party of," so therefore we are those "belonging to the party of Christ." The name was given to us by the Romans in Antioch as Luke tells us in Acts 11:26, but nowhere does any Apostle cherish or call those in the Church "Christian" in a positive light. It was a dismissive term given to us who believe that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. In the New Testament, the one time it was used by any Apostle as a reference to believers in Jesus is by Peter in the 1 Peter 4:16 - "if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name." He says if anyone "suffers AS a Christian..." He's not saying that we are actually taking upon ourselves that name, but that those who are persecuting those in the Church are persecuting them for "belonging to the party of Jesus Christ." It was a derogative word akin to racial, sexual, and gender slurs given to those society desires to belittle and marginalize. Over 60 times in the New Testament those of us who believe in Jesus, have been baptized into the Church, and are filled with Holy Spirit are called "Saints." It is the standard address for God's New Covenant people. It is almost always used in the plural and always in reference to the entire Church, not just to those "especially holy" and "morally superior" followers. If you are in Christ, you are a new creation! Wrap your mind around that...if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you are filled with His Spirit, and you called...wait for it...a Saint! You are a Saint!! You are a "holy one of the living God!" You are given God's Holy Spirit to manifest the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in the assembly (the ekklesia) the Church. You are called a "holy one" then that is your core identity! Do you get that? So the Church is literally the assembly of a holy group of people washed clean by the blood of the lamb, Jesus Christ. Peter tells us this very clearly when he says "you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy," (1 Peter 2:9-10). We are God's Holy ones! So when we meet together, we gather as the Church, a chosen race, and royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of His own possession! This is who we are! This is what we do!
So how does this affect our meetings? If you come believing that you are a holy one of God, filled with His powerful Spirit, then you are an active participant in the life of the gathering. You are called to manifest Jesus through His indwelling Spirit in the gathering of the saints of Christ. He'll use you in any number of ways to prophesy, to heal, to teach, to lead, to serve, read scripture, encourage, pray, sing, and many other ways in order to love, bless, and edify your brothers and sisters in the Church and see the LORD add to our number daily those who are being saved. They are intimate gatherings in homes in every city or town. One of the things most people will give of their time, energy, and money to cultivate in their lives is community. One of the most powerful things in humanity is connecting in community. This is exactly the way Jesus desired His people to experience Him; living life together, sharing meals together, praying over each other, manifesting Jesus' presence among them, encouraging one another, BEING God's Kingdom. And when were understand that we ARE God's Kingdom, then we can truly be used to BRING God's Kingdom to earth and be used to BUILD God's Kingdom.
Because we have a desire to connect the Church together in intimate relationship, we are no officially associated with any institutional church organization. Rather we want to be a source of community, connection, and unity among local church organizations. We want to encourage to continue to be an active participant in the local church organization, gather with brothers and sisters to sing songs to the LORD and hear the preaching of the Word of God by gifted teachers, and be an active participant in the programs as an outflowing of being a part of the transformative work of God in this world. Church organizations are a benefit, and not necessarily a hindrance to the life of the Church, but an hour and a half to three hour service once a week and being involved in the programs of an organization cannot be the culmination of the life of God's saints. We are called to experience much more! This is that opportunity!
We desire to no only connect with one another in each local home setting, but to be networked together (organized), so that people coming to the area or are locals looking for community can find a local expression of the body of Christ.
If you are a brother or sister in Christ or someone curious about Jesus Christ and what this is all about, come join one of the gatherings of the Church. I (Alan) am organizing a network or these house churches in the city of Belgrade and desire to reach people from any and all church organizations and church backgrounds. If you're already meeting and would like to be included in this resource, I'd love to list your gathering. Click here to contact me.
Currently we have organized two meetings occurring of core groups starting the home of Alan and Amberlyn Felts.
Sundays - 5pm-8pm
Tuesdays - 6pm-9pm
(we have a babysitter Tues nights)
Wanna go on some wicked awesome adventures?!
Wanna go backpacking, go for a day hike, go kayaking, or biking?
Wanna learn the basics of outdoor activities, survival skills, and all of the things no one ever taught you about being outdoors and enjoying nature?
We exist to both organize groups of people to go on adventure's outdoors, but also to walk along side of you and teach you through hands on experience, preparing you for a lifestyle of being outdoors.
We want to cultivate a community of and for people who want to enjoy the outdoors, but also know that everything is better together with others. Don't just experience something amazing, share these amazing life-changing experiences with others.
Our mission is to threefold: