The most obvious thing you’ll notice about The Orchard is that we are outward focused by design – sometimes this is called mission work, outreach, helping those in need, or loving our neighbors. Why are we out-going? Well, Jesus tells us that the Church’s message of love and salvation is not delivered only by words, but demonstrated in practical ways like the story of the Good Samaritan who cared for an injured traveler.
So, over 50% of our tithes and offerings are typically used to help people in need, and most of our members are engaged in local or international missions.
But there’s more …
To be an out-going people, we need a different love. As we learn more about Jesus, we discover there exists a supernatural love that compels us to love beyond ourselves and our close friends – it pours out to the stranger, the hurt, the put-down, the lost, and the unloveable. Jesus describes this miracle as a “new life”, and different love comes out of this different life.
For some that’s confusing, and for others that’s scary. We’re here to help one another. The Orchard promotes interaction between Christians to help us discover and envision this new life. People at The Orchard have the space and opportunity to explore, to learn, to interact, to receive mentoring, to sample spiritual adventures, so as to understand what it means to have a life with changed love.
So, when you visit us on a Sunday, you’ll find familiar church stuff like preaching, worship, communion, Bible study, prayer, etc. but you’ll also find interactive stuff like testimonies, questions after a sermon, and lunch together.
And yet, there’s more …
None of us has the capacity to love the way Jesus describes. We try to follow God, and its too costly … we try to love enemies, and its uncomfortable … we try to make a difference, and its too risky … we try to move away from sin, and we fail. If we’re not careful, we grow weary, lose our passion, and collapse into a Sunday routine (or no routine at all). This isn't the Christianity of the Bible.
God doesn't expect us to go on spiritual adventures with merely our own limited abilities and talents — spiritual success comes only when we have faith that connects us to the power of God. Beyond Sunday is Faith development, where a community seeks to mutually discover and grow their faith together. We use special adventures, engagements, challenges, environments, etc. to help move us out of our comfort and safety zones, and find dependency on the power and will of God.
Here are some of the ways that Beyond Sunday challenges us to improve our posture of humility, sacrifice, trust and dependency upon God: