What follows is our philosophy about our life together as a church. If you would like to jump directly to one of the three main parts of our church life, click one of these:
As a church we are a gospel community because we are people bound together by God in Christ through the gospel. But we are growing in what we already are. If you remember photography from "the old days," one would take a picture and then develop that picture over time in a darkroom. We are like that. God has already taken the picture but He is still developing us more and more clearly into that picture. We "develop" – we grow into Christ – as we live out the implications of the gospel together in ordinary life. So we are a gospel community and because of that we pursue gospel community. That's how we grow; that's how we develop. As we "speak the truth in love" to each other (Eph. 4:15), we grow up in every way into Christ. We seek to grow up into Christ not only in every way, but therefore in everything we do as a church.
At EFree we pursue gospel community through three main contexts. We believe that all three contexts are necessary for both personal growth as well as faithfully living out the gospel in this community called the local church:
Here we gather corporately to study His Word in adult Life Training Classes. Here we worship Him together with one voice (Romans 15:5-7) and we hear God's Word preached. Sunday worship pictures for us those things that are central to our life together: the display of His glory as we hear His Word taught and preached, as we depend upon Him in prayer, and as we enjoy fellowship with each other in His name.
Community Groups provide a context for us to meet others and live out the gospel with them in ordinary life. These groups are geographically bounded, which means they transcend customary age and stage-of-life classifications. We gather monthly to share a meal, but more than a meal: to eat together in love, enjoying our joint salvation together. Community Groups also serve as a helpful launching point to living in love with each other in more practical ways in ordinary life.
It's in Discipleship Groups that we most intensely attend to one another's souls with the gospel. In Discipleship Groups we prayerfully take the truth of the gospel and intensely apply it, together, in ordinary life. Most Discipleship Groups meet weekly, usually in the early morning or evening. Some discuss the previous week's sermon while others explore other biblical material.