BECOMING A DIVERSE FAMILY
We are passionate to see our church increasingly become diverse. If we take the Great Commission seriously (i.e. making disciples of ALL people groups), then we should over time begin to look more and more like a beautiful mosaic of people of various ages and ethnicities.
Diversity takes several forms:
- Ethnicity. Only 2% of the over 300,000 churches in the United States are considered “multi-ethnic.” This must change! We want our body to be represented by various ethnicities.
- Age. We want to also be a multi-generational church. We need older adults with wisdom who can be “spiritual fathers and mothers” to the young adults and families in our church. We also need younger adults, college students, teenagers, and young children who gain a passion to see Jesus made known in our city and beyond.
- Socioeconomic Status. In the early church, people from every walk of life were represented. The wealthy often took care of the needs of the poor and cared for them. This was not just a “one-time” event but an ongoing ministry to the widowed and orphaned. We want our church to be marked by generosity and the type of openness that welcomes everyone in.
Living to Make Jesus Known
The church is a family of disciples who live to make Jesus known to others in everyday life. "Making Jesus known" is another way of referring to discipleship, which is increasingly growing to love, trust and obey Jesus. As we pursue submitting all of life to Jesus, we call others to do the same.
Discipleship is not something that happens only, or even primarily, in a classroom; it is something that happens 24/7. Discipleship is also something that happens best in community. We learn from each other as we encourage and challenge one another to bring all of life in line with the gospel. The primary context for discipleship at Immanuel are our Gospel Communities and our DNA Groups.
The Real Jesus
Most people in Birmingham have at least heard about Jesus. The problem is, they probably haven’t met the real Jesus of the Bible. People often picture Jesus as a good man, a talented teacher, or an all-loving person, but not a God who is to be worshipped. We want to introduce people to the real Jesus. We want them to meet the Jesus big enough to pay for their sins, reconcile them to the Father, and satisfy their deepest longings. We want them to encounter the real Jesus who is worthy of their entire life.
BIRMINGHAM AND BEYOND
As we live to make Jesus known, we want to make, mature, and multiple disciples to go reach neighbors, co-workers, friends, and family with the good news about Jesus. Our vision is to saturate the city of Birmingham with the gospel.
We also believe that God will send many out from our body to go to other places with the good news of the gospel. We dream with the prophet Habakkuk that one day the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.