I hate sales. I don't like trying to sell people things, and I tend to not trust people if they're trying to sell something to me. So, I hesitated a bit when I was recently asked in one of our Vision Gatherings, "What makes Border City Church special? What differentiates it from the other churches already in Detroit?"
Great question. The problem was this: 1) answering it felt like unwillingly making a "sales" pitch, and 2) it was very hard to answer in such a way that didn't imply that other churches don't have what we have.
However, people won't know what we're about unless we explicitly tell them. So, without at all suggesting that we are saviors come to rescue Detroit, that we have what other churches don't, or that we want anything other than to partner with, befriend and honor other churches in the area who've been here far longer than we have, here goes...
1. Jesus is everything. Ultimately, the great things that this church has been called to do stem from a connection to the real, living Jesus. And, ultimately, the best...the only lasting thing we have to offer people is this connection with Him. He is, therefore, the central focus and theme of all we preach, all we pray, who we are and all we do. On our journey as a church, we will unapologetically talk to Him and talk about Him...a lot!
2. Relationships and community, not just meetings and programs. While meetings are essential, and programs can be very useful, they do not define what we are as a church. The church is people. Therefore, how we build will facilitate the reality of community and relationship, not only well-constructed church services and programs.
3. Love and grace, not law and manipulation. So much of what is seen in church today is often well-intentioned leaders holding scriptural truth over congregants, exacting adherence to the right thing...but, the wrong way. Transformation comes from inside-out, as people experience the love and grace of Jesus, and have the eyes of their softened heart opened to His truth. Then, and only then, can one walk in that truth. When that happens, the truth "makes you free," rather than becoming another law and duty.
4. Developing & releasing gifts, not filling slots. Rather than trying to cram people into our predetermined ministry areas, we are looking to discover and unleash the unique calling inside of each person.
5. Leadership from the front, not top-down. Very simply, to lead is to go somewhere first. We choose to never use authority to tell others to do what we aren't already doing. Leaders at Border City Church will live amongst the people, be connected and accessible to the people and model their message.
6. Multiplication, not just addition. Rather than endlessly building a larger and larger local church, we want to multiply by planting other churches and sending teams to plant regularly. This requires a few things: 1) all hands on deck, 2) leaders with capacity being recognized, raised up and released, 3) every individual's gift and ministry being developed, 4) being of a pioneering spirit...pushing the boundaries and crossing borders.
So, there you have it. A bit of how Border City Church can be identified.