Whenever you step into a new organization, workplace, or culture, there will be words and phrases thrown around that are unfamiliar to you. The same goes for our church. To help you, we compiled a list of frequently used terms. With each term you’ll find a simplified definition, some biblical context for each, and an explanation of why we use the language we do.
In regards to living on mission, as a LifeGroup we always want to initiate (or “build”) relationships with people in our lives who aren’t part of a church family. You can do this by inviting a coworker to a Sunday Gathering, giving some practical help to a neighbor who has a need, or planning a LifeGroup rhythm to get a friend around church family.
See also: Rhythms
Every Group Around the Pool
This is an initiative to encourage our LifeGroups to build with unbelievers around them, with the hope of seeing them come to faith in Christ and be baptized. Everything we do should be done with the purpose of showing Jesus to others around us. A natural result of doing that is welcoming new believers into our church family.
Click here to listen to a sermon where we explain this goal in greater detail.
Family of Churches
Midtown Fellowship began in 2007 as one church in downtown Columbia. Since then we’ve planted churches in the Two Notch area and in Lexington. While each church has its own “personality,” and operates separately from the others, we all share the same vision of being a “Jesus-centered Family on Mission.”
Click here to read more about how and why we operate this way.
Every Sunday, our church family comes together to worship and hear teaching from God’s Word. Rather than “going to church,” we are gathering as the church. While there are many ways we do life as church family throughout the week, God calls us in Hebrews 10:24-25 to gather together on a regular basis. Click one of the links below to find out when and where you can come to a Gathering or to listen to any of our sermons if you’ve missed a week.
Related term: LifeGroups, Family of Churches
In LifeGroups we regularly confess sin as the Bible calls us to (James 5:16, 1 John 1:9), but we don’t just leave it there. We also want to remind ourselves of the power, forgiveness, and victory we have in Jesus to heal us in our sin and brokenness and how we can fight sin together. In confessing we want to offer the good news of the Gospel before we offer good advice. Good advice only says, “Have you tried doing this or stopping that?” Good news followed by good advice says, “Jesus loves you and has forgiven your sin, now what does repentance/fighting this sin look like?”
Related term: Idols
Related resource: Verses for Gospel Fluency
In LifeGroups we practice confessing sin to one another as prescribed in James 5:16 and 1 John 1:5-10. When we talk about “deep idols,” we are referring to the underlying sin beneath our external sinful actions. Those underlying deep idols can include a desire for power, control, approval, or comfort. For example, a burst of anger is the external sin, whereas the deep idol at work underneath was a desire for power. When we confess both the external sin and the deep idol at work, we see ourselves more clearly and allow for deeper healing to take place.
Related term: Gospel Up
Related resource: Idols Chart
We believe church is a terrible hobby, but a great family. In Acts 2:42-47, we see examples of how the early church shared life together. We don’t want to think of church as one more routine thing we do every week; we want to be part of each other’s lives outside the walls of our building.
LifeGroups are the primary way we live as a community. Groups meet once a week in members’ homes to catch up on life, discuss the sermon, confess sin, and encourage and pray with one another. This is much more than just a weekly Bible study. Our goal is for LifeGroups to be small families within our larger church family who are living on mission together! Click the link below to sign up to join a group within your church family.
Related term: Rhythms
Each LifeGroup is unique in who they want to reach with the gospel and how they aim to do that. Together LifeGroups write up a statement of what they’re wanting to accomplish so that they can be united in being on mission.
Related resource: What is a Covenant?
Parenting is hard, and we want to help! Milestones is our 18-year discipleship program through which we offer biblical wisdom and practical advice to equip parents to walk their children through every stage of growing up.
Click here to learn more about each of the Milestones stages and transitions, and get resources for wherever your family is at in life.
Every Christian is a missionary. Life is no longer about us. It’s about experiencing the good life Jesus has for us and ultimately inviting others in on it. So we equip one another, we give financially to this end, and we orient our time so that friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers can hear the good news of Jesus and experience it in Jesus-centered community.
Related term: Every Group Around the Pool, Building With
This ministry is for anyone who is going through anything that feels unbeatable. Whether someone is struggling with an addiction, going through a season of grief, suffering from depression or anxiety, or anything else that’s keeping one from finding hope, there is freedom and healing in Jesus. God calls us to confess our sins to one another (James 5:16) and to bear each other’s burdens (Galatians 6:2). Recovery is a powerful way we are able to walk with church family through the most difficult parts of life.
Click here to learn more and see upcoming dates.
This is a leadership development program designed for anyone who wants to spend a year growing spiritually and professionally. Residents lead in the church in various capacities and work alongside our full-time staff to develop skills that will allow them both to excel in any ministry or career path while living on mission wherever God leads them.
Click here to find out more or to apply.
Related resource: Midtown Residency: Savannah’s Story
Outside of your regular meeting, we encourage LifeGroups to have a less structured time that can be more natural to invite friends into. This could be anything from a monthly game night to lunch after Sunday gatherings to playing in a softball league together.
Related resource: How to Choose a Mission & Rhythms
Serve the City
Because Jesus calls us to be on mission wherever we are, we partner with several organizations around Columbia who are doing great work in the community. Every Lifegroup is encouraged to serve throughout the year with one of these partners. Click here to learn more about each of them and how you can get involved in serving.