We believe that a healthy church will be simple. Church life should not add dimensions and burdens to an already overloaded suburban schedule. Rather, life in Christ should permeate all of our current activities and responsibilities. The Imperfect Church seeks to have simple and infrequent programming that serves as a catalyst for authentic and abundant Christian life in the context of our worldly responsibilities.
To that end, we offer only three simple programs in the church: The once-a-month Sunday night “catalyst” of corporate worship, communion, and teaching; multiple weekly small gatherings of believers and seekers for relationship, transparency, conversation, study, and prayer; and occasional, intermittent special gatherings for unique study, missions, outreach events, and social experiences.
Once-a Month Sunday Night Large Gathering: Once a month, our Sunday night Large Gathering is designed to be a catalyst for spiritual growth and encounter with God as we come together to worship, share in communion, and learn through powerful biblical teaching.
Our services are designed to be a guided experience for people at all places along the continuum of spiritual life. From the skeptic who is just exploring religion to the mature, seasoned believer hungry to go deep in relationship with God, the Large Gathering is designed to fuel the transformation of the heart, open us to the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit, and deepen our knowledge and hunger for the Word of God.
In our Large Gathering, we focus our programming around these elements:
Each service is roughly 70 to 75 minutes long—just enough to go deep without being a test of endurance
Our content is crisp, concise, and creative
We seek to create defining moments in each gathering where we experience a quieted soul, a deeply felt emotion, and a moving conviction towards change
We purpose to guide people of all walks through what we are experiencing together, so that no one is lost or feels like an outsider
We engage in active community, shared communion, and open conversation
We believe shared communion (sometimes called “The Lord’s Table” or the “Eucharist”) is the central purpose for our Large Gathering. As a symbol of God’s unconditional love and unlimited grace, it is an opportunity each week for us to reflect on God’s desire to live in reconciled relationship with every one of us. By sharing this symbol together, we reinforce how belonging to the community of the local church provides the most important set of relationships we can have to help form our understanding of God’s love and grace.
Just as every human being is welcome to approach the unlimited grace of God provided at the Cross, so everyone is welcome at our expression of The Lord’s Table. Regardless of where a person is in their spiritual life—to include places of struggle, doubt, or sin—we believe that this symbol of God’s mercy and grace poured towards us is an important place of reflection. The scriptures tell us to approach this with sobriety, carefully examining ourselves so as to not take this symbol lightly, or to scorn its meaning by treating it trivially. But this does not mean we cannot approach this symbol while we are in our deepest place of need. Some churches would teach that non-believers, or those who are presently struggling with sin, or those who have not pledged a certain allegiance to the church should not approach the Table of the Lord. We believe the contrary—that based on God’s appeal for all of us to approach the “throne of grace boldly to find mercy and help in our time of need,” the Table is the most important place for any sinner, any skeptic, or anyone in struggle to come.
We believe that worship is an active communication with God. It is a vital focal point of our Sunday Catalyst. Worship can take on many forms. It is not just about singing in church—though worship through music is an important part of our time together. Worship is also found in silent reflection, individual and corporate prayer, reading and reflecting on scripture, sharing in the sacraments of communion and baptism, journaling, artistic expressions, and open conversation. We devote about 35 minutes each Sunday to engaging a variety of worship elements that incorporate these tools to help us encounter God.
We believe that the teaching of God’s Word—the Bible—is an important catalyst for life change. As we hear and discuss the scriptures in a corporate setting, it leads to the renewing of our mind, it deepens our understanding of God and spirituality, and it opens our imagination to what our spiritual life can and should look like.
We believe uncompromisingly in the authority and inerrancy of the Christian scriptures. We believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, is inerrant in meaning, authoritative in defining Truth for all humans, and effective in transformation for those who will believe. Those who wholeheartedly accept the teachings of the Bible and surrender to its leadership will find a genuine and actual path to measurable life change.
In our Large Gathering we spend about 35 minutes in open study and conversation about the scriptures. We seek to provide significant and relevant teaching that applies the Bible’s truth to our everyday lives, while also helping the newcomer understand and navigate this ancient and powerful text.
We believe that Small Gatherings are the core of our church: The most important fabric of our church is the multiple Small Gatherings that happen in homes, coffee shops, and gathering places around our community. Groups of individuals and families meet on a consistent basis in organic, relaxed, and authentic settings to “do life” together and to fulfill the greatest purposes of being the church.