We aren’t trying to do anything new
We gather to love God, love each other, and love our neighbors. That’s the bread and butter of Christianity that’s been working for 2,000 years, and while there is nothing original about it, we believe a life lived in pursuit of those three goals is rich and magnetic.
We are, however, trying to approach our faith from a different angle. If people are looking for a service with a 30 minute talk and 4 worship songs, that can be great, but there are already a lot of options for that in Seattle. We are hoping to create something different. We hope to be a community hub where leaders are developed, thoughts are discussed, people who are not Christian are welcomed, and plans are hatched to bring the love of God to every corner of Seattle.
Here are some of our guiding commitments
The loneliness characterized as “the Seattle Freeze” is possibly the most deeply felt need in Seattle. We believe God wants to thaw that freeze. Early Christians didn’t invite people to a Church building, they invited them into their own homes. We want to be a community not an event. We are bringing Church back to the dinner table. We believe that food and conversation are a better vehicle for scripture to change us than sitting in a pew. We think discussions over meals are an ideal place for friends who aren’t Christian to explore Jesus. A lot of people think of God as distant or even unreal. The reality is God is always near us, and as we meet God, His presence feels more familiar than our own home. Home is that place where everything feels right: we are known, we are content, we can rest, we can relax, we can belong. Jesus claimed that the eternal home of God is open to all of us, that God has opened his life to us. At Open Home Church we believe him, and in return the least we can do is open up our homes and our lives to others.
THE GOSPEL AS DRIVER:
We want the love of God to be what drives us. Jesus proved his love for us by dying our death so that we can live his life: the gospel. Being in God's presence and love is the best thing life has to offer. It changes everything, from how we see ourselves to how we spend our time. More than anything else, we want to cull an awareness of that love and let it power us.
The chaos of ever shorter and faster moving ads, the increasing distractions that buzz in our pockets, the accumulating pressures of work: we need holy silence. There is a reason all the architectural trends in Seattle are towards minimalism, and yoga is taking off. The internet age has brought new levels of chaos into our lives, and we need space to share silence with others. Every week we make space to hear from God as we take communion during a period of silence and reflection.
Jesus' last instruction to his friends is our first ambition: “to make disciples of all nations”. That’s what Churches are supposed to do. In pursuit of this goal we end all of our meetings by breaking into groups of three to talk about how we want the scripture to change us. We also create smaller clusters of people who help coach each other towards spiritual health. These meet in Capitol Hill, Ballard, and Wedgwood.
We think Church community should serve as a hub, the central part of a wheel from which the spokes radiate. God calls everyone to meaningful work. The focus of a Church shouldn't be on drawing people in for a teaching, but instead on sending people out to live the kind of engaged lives we read about in scripture. We love Seattle and aim to help Seattle flourish by creating community and advocating for the powerless. At Open Home we hope to be a hub where people can cluster around redemptive endeavors. For example, our community has been pitching in to get an app called Samaritan off the ground. Samaritan allows people to give to homeless folks cashlessly. We host a monthly meal for folks without homes at the corner of Pike and Boren. We have a “man group” where dudes are getting uncommonly honest and growing together. We’ve got book clubs, brewery meet ups and hikes. We hope these will just be early examples of many to come as Jesus powers us to make his beautiful, redemptive, fun, soul affirming, creative community in Seattle.
It is ironic that commitment to justice has become a divisive topic in evangelical Christianity. God stands squarely on the side of the poor and oppressed. God stands on the side of the orphan, the widow, the immigrant, and the racial outsider. At Open Home so do we. We have no business declaring the love of God if our community isn’t demonstrating that love by working for and with these causes.