Church is More Than a Building: What We Believe Part 1
At aware3, we tend to like things that come in threes. Some of our favorite things come in threes: musketeers, rings in a circus, little pigs, stooges, the number of pieces in a proper gentleman’s suit, and of course, Destiny’s Child.
In fact, the core of our business is built on three beliefs that drive what we do, build, and how we engage churches. This will be the first of a three-part series, where we explore a bit about each of our three core beliefs. Over the coming weeks, return to the site to see a glimpse of what we are truly passionate about and what drives aware3 to partner with and support churches through member engagement.
We know that there can be complex and dense language that is used when people describe what they believe. If you read most theology books, it can be easy to get lost in the sea of words. At aware3, we value simplicity and strive to reduce everything down to its core elements. While this allows us to use plain language to describe our beliefs, it does mean that to get the full meaning, you have to unpack the deeper context. We will begin with digging into our first belief and looking at it from 6 perspectives: Church is more than a building.
The idea that church is a building is not a biblical or first-century concept. The Greek word ekklesia refers to “the gathered ones,” not a gathering place. The ‘church’ is really just a community of people with a shared purpose described in Matthew 28. In verse 18, Jesus reveals that all power is in his hands and ask us to respond by saying “Therefore, GO”. We are to be a people on the move and about a cause. This directive is to not sit around and wait for them to come to us, instead, we need to GO to them.
We think of extension in several ways. We aim to extend beyond the traditional forms to reach others. We want to extend welcome to those whom we reach, and we want to support churches in extending beyond Sunday mornings into their community. At aware3, we invest in technologies like geo-targeted text messaging and outbound messaging so that churches can not only be where their people are at but can also extend a hand of welcome to them.
In addition to not being a building, church also isn’t an event. Our identification as people of faith isn’t an association with an institution and it isn’t measured by attending an event. Ideally, our faith is core to who we are and integrates into every aspect of our lives. Technological advancements have made that easier than ever. With looks like live streaming and real-time access, we can stay connected to one another and to the mission of the church, no matter the time of day or where we find ourselves.
There are some things that are meant to be done together. Playing ping-pong is way more fun when you are not alone. While our faith journeys are deeply personal, it is a path designed to be walked together. Sharing our faith doesn’t have to feel like being a part of God’s sales team. Instead, it can feel more like a beggar who has found food sharing that new bounty with the other beggars. That sermon video that was impactful to you, or the class that was a formative experience can be shared with others you are connected to using aware3’s platform. By providing tools to develop disciples and engage others in their journey, aware3 aims to foster deeper community.
Reading through the stories of the early church, there wasn’t much sitting around. The church can be a place of rest and healing, but it is not intended to be a place of passivity. Our aim is to help people move from pew sitting to action and involvement. That can look very different from person to person, but each of us has unique gifts and interests that can be used to make an impact in our community. Using the tools that are now available, we aim to activate people into increased engagement.
Often, our deepest desire and our greatest fears are being fully known, but our faith communities should be a place where we can have meaningful connection. Connection begins with the first interaction and is part of every subsequent one. We desire to be a part of something that matters, making a meaningful contribution and to be on the inside of something bigger than ourselves. Meaningful connection doesn’t happen by chance. It is an intentional process of creating the right context and safety for people to go deeper. We put that intentionality into the tools we develop to foster connection within your community.
How is your community of faith more than a building?