VISION:   To be a catalyst for discovering, developing and experiencing Christ.

MISSION: We are a community of followers of Jesus Christ, committed to live by faith, to be known by love and to be a voice of hope.  Our name comes from an understanding that Jesus came so that ALL could find hope and life.  The church is the hope of the world.  The church is the ‘gateway’ to personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

VALUES: Authentic Relationships; Creativity; Relevance; Growth; Generosity; Biblical Authority

 WE WANT TO “LIVE DIFFERENT” Live Positively, Live Dangerously, Live Spontaneously, Live Generously and Live Intentionally.  Gateway Church / Grace Connection    “An EPIC journey”

E xperiential

P articipatory

I  maginative

C onnective                                    “the ‘C’ wins out every time”

Relationship are critical to reaching the younger generations of our day.  Thoughts to consider as we interact with people in our culture that shows that we value authentic relationships:  They are screaming:  (From unchristian.  Dave Kinneman – pg 194,195)

  1. Listen to me
  2. Don’t label me
  3. Don’t be so smart
  4. Put yourself in my place
  5. Be genuine
  6. Be my friend with no other motives

C.S. Lewis  “There is someone I love, even though I don’t approve of what he does.  There is someone I accept, though some of his thoughts and actions revolt me.  There is someone I forgive, though he hurts the people I love the most.  That person is me.  There are plenty of things I do that I don’t like, but if I can love myself without approving of all I do, I can also love others without approving of all they do.  As that truth has been absorbed into my life, it has changed the way I view others.” 

 In essence:  It is NOT my job to change them or judge them.  (that is God’s job).  It is y job to love them and point them to the love of Jesus.    That is GRACE CITY – those are GRACE CONNECTIONS!

Some say ‘love has no agenda’  I say, ‘love is the agenda’!  John 13:35.  We will know that we get it when we are not just talking about those things we care about, but people we care about. 

We are all provided with equal GRACE in the eyes of God.  We all share the same fallen DNA.    Jesus ENGAGED with those who were being crushed by their mistakes and bad choices.  Jesus wiped away the tears of the prostitute, held the hands of the outcasts, and touched the wounds of the sick and the crazy.  He hung with the not-so-perfect people of the world and showed them what Christianity was all about.  WE ARE ALL IN NEED of this beautiful thing called:  GRACE!

 Let’s Think People…Let’s “LIVE DIFFERENT”

 Christ followers must learn to respond to people in the way Jesus did. 

 Respond with the right perspective – ‘ears to hear and eyes to see”

  1. Connect with people – through relationships and friendships.   “we don’t spin the Christian message, we live it.”  If we don’t demonstrate loving relationships within the church, we have nothing to say to outsiders.  They already see Christians as those ‘who eat their own.’
  2. Be creative.  Jesus was a master communicator. 
  3. Serve people. – We must cultivate deep concern and sensitivity to ‘outsiders.’
    1. Gen 12:2-3 – God wants the lives of his people to bless others
    2. Is. 58:10 – God followers should spend themselves on behalf of the poor.
    3. Micah 6:8 – We should be known for living humbly and pursuing justice and offering mercy.
    4. Matt. 5:44 – Love people who seem to be ‘enemies’ and pray for them.
    5. Matt 25:34-40 – Whatever people do for the ‘least of these’ – forgotten and overlooked people in society – they do for Jesus.
    6. Mark 9:35 – The greatest role in life is to serve others.
    7. Luke 4:18 –  Jesus’ ministry was first introduced as freeing captives, serving the oppressed, and healing the sick.
    8. Luke 15;3-7 – God pursues people like a shepherd would search for even on str
      aying sheep.
    9. Luke 15:11-32 – God is described as a father who patiently waits for the return of his child.
    10. John 3:17 – Jesus came not to condemn the world but to save it.
    11. John 15:13 – You cannot love a person more than by giving your life up for him or her.
    12. Galatians 5:13 – Christians have freedom to love unconditionally, as Christ loved people.
    13. Phil. 2:17; 2 Tim 4:6; 1 John 3:16-19 – Our lives are to be ‘poured out’ and spent to serve God’s purposes.
    14. Phil. 2:5-11; Col. 1:21-22 – Our attitude should be like that of Jesus, who loved and accepted humans even though they were ‘enemies’ of God.  Then he changes their status from enemies to friends, even sons and daughters of God, when they commit themselves to him.
    15. 1 Tim. 3:1-7 – One of the qualifications of Christian leadership is to have ‘a good reputation with outsiders’ v. 7 NIV
    16. Tutus 3:2 – Christians should be peaceable and considerate, showing true humility toward everyone.
    17. 2 Pet. 3:9 – God wants everyone to repent and turn to him.

Colsen and Pearcey (How Now Shall We Live?)  “God cares not only about redeeming souls but also about restoring his creation.  He call us to be agents not only of his saving grace but also of his common grace.  Our job is not only to build up the church but also to build a society to the glory of God.  As agents of God’s common grace, we are called to help sustain and renew his creation, to uphold the created institutions of family and society, to pursue science and scholarship, to create works of art and beauty, and to heal and help those suffering from the results of the Fall.”

Being Christian means being God’s agent of common grace in the world.  That includes:  putting the needs of others above your own; loving your neighbor, doing good to those who would do evil to you, exercising humility, suffering with those less fortunate, and doing it all with a pure heart is nearly impossible.