10 Helpful Ideas to Know as a One Life Newcomer
1. Our name is a reminder
There were a few reasons we chose the name we did. But, the most important reason was the simple but very important reminder that all of us have only one life and we are in it right now. Whatever you do, don’t wait around to live your life.
2. Our first goal is to be helpful. You will hear us quote our mission statement often, “Help people far from God experience Jesus.” “Far from God” is not designed to be a put down or even a judgment. It’s a statement that we exist to help those who may feel distant from or unfamiliar with all things God, Jesus, Bible and Church.
This idea of being helpful is honestly the reason we do many of the things you may experience that aren’t quite your typical church experience. One small example is, our worship bands will often begin a service with a song known on the radio. The goal with this simple gesture is to give newcomers something to relate to.
3. We know we are not for everyone.
How we go about fulfilling our mission may not be a fit with your personality. God uses all kind of churches to reach all kinds of people. We would highly encourage you to examine who we are but be honest with yourself and, if you don’t feel like One Life is your place, please keep looking for the right church fit for you.
4. We are built around 3 fundamental priorities: Worship, Love and Compassion.
Our strategy for helping people experience Jesus is to place special emphasis on the areas we would maintain represent life’s most important ideas. Someone has said, “worship is understanding who God is; understanding who I am and responding appropriately”. Our hope is to inspire lives of worship. Out of worship, the Bible calls love “the greatest thing”. Our conviction is that there is nothing like doing life with others in genuine caring relationships. Finally, compassion is the word we use for our outward focus. We want to look go into our community and our world with compassionate hearts to help in any way we can.
5. You will be challenged.
The group that originally formed One Life were asked at a founding meeting: “what kind of church do you want to have?” Their answer: “a high challenge environment.” We believe in personal growth.
On one hand, we certainly can come across as pretty free and loose. On the other hand, our goal is to create a culture that constantly inspiring and challenging people to grow in their experience with Jesus. The goal is not guilt. The goal is growth. There’s a difference. A good rule of life is stay in your strength zone but push out of your comfort zone.
6. There IS a place for you.
We’ve heard enough people comment that the impression created is, “they don’t need me. They have everything covered.”
As a matter of fact, it’s very important to understand that, since a fundamental goal of ours is to grow and start new sites, we technically will always have a place for new people to serve and be involved.
Studies have shown that new churches are the most effective way to reach people far from God. Because of this, from the very start, our vision has been to form an organization that planted new churches.
Our hope and plan is to continually plant new sites. What this means to all of our people is they can be a part of a place that is always moving and taking on new challenges. If this is you, we would highly encourage you to throw in and serve.
7. We want you in a group or on a team
One of our core values is simply. . . teams. At the core of who we are and all throughout our church we believe in doing life in teams and groups. A team of elders leads our church. Teams of volunteers produce our worship services. Our experience is that life works best in groups small enough to help everyone feel like they belong but large enough to be mutually helpful. We are always working to see groups meeting in homes and teams serving together in various areas.
8. We will continually challenge you to prayerfully read the Bible.
You will hear this from the front a lot. There’s a simple reason. A very in-depth study was conducted on how people grow in their experience of Jesus. Researchers concluded a very interesting fact – of all the things that a person can do – reading the bible (in a prayerful, reflecting on life fashion) is the single most effective thing you can do. We are committed to being relentless about this. Since we began we have brought it up again and again and you can rest assured it’s not going to go away. In return, because we know that many people can find the Bible intimidating, we provide daily reading plans and other resources.
9. We are active outside the walls of the church.
One Life has a strategy to helping the under-privileged and under-resourced in our community. “Engage” is the name we have given to our strategy for raising the quality of life in under-resourced neighborhoods. If you want to be a part of watching communities be transformed, keep your eye out for opportunities to show compassion by doing anything from fixing a house to mentoring a child.
10. We believe you can impact the world.
We have a deep belief that Jesus’ call is to have a heart for the nations. We give ongoing support to an organization founded by a few One Lifers called “Uncharted International”. Uncharted focuses attention on China, Afghanistan and Myanmar. Because of our focus in these areas over the years we have developed growing and deepening relationships that give all of us the opportunity to truly impact nations. You will often hear about teams traveling to one of those 3 countries. Start thinking about how you can be involved globally.
Please use this post to ask questions about anything to do with One Life.