The vision of The Dwelling has morphed right along with our hearts during this process of walking by faith and drawing near to God. But the same convictions that propelled us into this journey are still very much alive and burning in us.
Over the next few blog posts, I would like to go into some depth to communicate the vision of The Dwelling.
"THE DWELLING EXISTS TO CREATE SPACES FOR PEOPLE TO ENCOUNTER GOD, DISCOVER THEIR IDENTITY, AND FULFILL THEIR PURPOSE."
We believe that our specific vision for our church mirrors God's heart for His Church as a whole. And His heart is for encounter.
A good definition of "encounter" is "when God invades our present reality with a tangible sense of His nearness." Through encounters with God, we come to know more of His heart as He reveals Himself to us. The experience of salvation is an encounter in which we come face to face with the truth of our own condition, and the goodness of God draws us to rethink and turn from our sin. We owe it to the world to create spaces for people to have this kind of encounter. It's the reason we exist.
Futhermore, for a son or daughter, encounters with the Father are not limited to an initial salvation experience. Encounters should be the norm -- the fruit of hunger and intimacy with God.
An encounter can be a dramatic event that shakes us out of our spiritual slumber. Or, an encounter could be as simple as an eye-opening moment while reading the Bible. Whatever the experience, the result is the same -- a deeper knowledge of the Father and a stronger affection for Him.
The bottom line is this: God is not a subject to be studied. He is a person to be known and adored. The experiential element to Christianity has been quietly divorced from the modern Church. The passion of our hearts is to help people discover the mystery and wonder of a God who is personal and close. Encounter is essential.