Ready to deepen your spiritual journey and embrace a vibrant community? Join us as we embark on a compelling exploration of Madison Church's unique mission and practices. We'll dive into the heart of spiritual growth, uncovering the power of Bible reading, consistent prayer, and the sacred tradition of baptism. Discover how these practices serve as spiritual anchors, drawing us closer to God and enhancing our spiritual depth.
Then, let's journey together into the heart of community building, from sharing meals to resolving conflicts biblically. We'll unravel the three pillars of giving back - volunteering, financial contributions, and using our influence for Christ and his Kingdom.
So, whether you're a seeker or a long-time believer, this episode is your invitation to connect more deeply with God and others. We believe in the power of diversity, welcoming individuals from all faith backgrounds. We look forward to welcoming you into our Sunday gatherings, where we aim to grow together in faith, love and service.
Welcome to the Madison Church podcast. I'm your host, stephen Feith, the lead pastor of MC. Have you ever wondered what makes Madison Church unique and why it matters? Join us as we embark on the journey to uncover the heart and soul of Madison Church, exploring what sets us apart and why it's worth your attention. Be sure to tune in next week for the second part of our exploration into what makes Madison Church so unique and meaningful. Before we get into today's episode, we want to express our appreciation for your support. If you haven't already, please consider subscribing to the Madison Church podcast on your favorite platform. Subscribing to our podcast ensures you get all of the episodes as they come out and if you enjoy what you hear. We would be immensely grateful if you could rate and review our podcast, especially on platforms like Apple Podcast or Spotify. Your ratings and reviews help us reach a wider audience and continue to bring you valuable content. And lastly, don't forget to share the Madison Church podcast with your friends and family. Your word of mouth helps us grow and we're excited to have you as part of our community. Now let's get into today's discussion. At Madison Church, our mission statement isn't just words on paper. They're the compass that guides everything we do. Our mission is simple but profound. We exist to connect people with God and each other. It's more than a pithy statement. It's a blueprint for our actions. What does this mission look like in action? Well, let's break it down. We believe that you connect with God when you grow spiritually. So spiritual growth is how we connect with God and go deeper with God. We believe that we can connect with each other as we gather together. The church is not just a building, it's a community, and we connect when we unite to worship, learn and support one another. And we don't just connect with God and we don't just connect with other believers, but we connect with the world around us. We connect with the world when we give back, impacting our community and beyond, to the things we say and do. Let's explore each facet of our mission and discuss how you can apply these principles to your own life, to connect with God and each other. When it comes to spiritual growth, at Madison Church, we have identified three core practices that we believe are foundational. The first reading the Bible every day. We see daily engagement with the Bible as a powerful way to deepen our understanding of God's Word, god's will, and to connect with Him regularly. And speaking of regular connections with God, we also emphasize praying regularly. Prayer is our direct line of communication with God. Regular, intentional prayer cultivates a meaningful relationship with our Creator and, finally, being baptized. Baptism represents a significant step in one's faith journey, symbolizing a commitment to following Christ. While these practices aren't an exhaustive list of ways to grow spiritually, they do form the core of our strategy. We can create a strong foundation for spiritual growth by emphasizing these practices in our own lives. Now we're more than talk at Madison Church. How do we measure our success in this area? As a community, we track baptisms as an indicator of the impact our strategy is having. It's a tangible way to see the spiritual transformation that is happening within our community and to date, we've celebrated baptism every year at Madison Church and this year we're thrilled to share that we've baptized more people than ever before. The year's not over yet. We have more people who have signed up to get baptized later on next month. As you reflect on these practices of reading the Bible every day, praying regularly and being baptized, ask yourself how they align with your own spiritual journey. Are those practices significant in your life? Or have they been significant in your life and, as mentioned Madison Church, we're not just about connecting with God, but also deeply committed to gathering together as a community. When we talk about gathering as a church, we're talking about three components. The first being engaged in a small group community. Small groups provide a space for people to connect, to build relationships and to grow together. If you're new to Madison Church, our small group communities offer a casual and welcoming way to get to know other people. But our hope extends beyond organized midweek gatherings. We want to foster deep connections and friendships between people, and that's why we emphasize this next practice of eating together. Sharing meals isn't just about food. It's about building bonds and creating lasting connections with other people. We believe in the power of breaking bread together to strengthen our sense of community. And, finally, we believe in practicing biblical conflict as an essential part of our strategy in gathering together. In any relationship, in any healthy or meaningful relationship, conflict will happen, and that's why we place a strong emphasis on biblical conflict resolution. The best relationships in your life won't have no conflict. The best relationships in your life will know how to handle conflict between you and the other person. We follow Jesus' instructions and we encourage open communication and addressing issues directly with the person involved in seeking further help if that's not enough. These practices are essential to our mission and strategy at Madison Church. They help us create a vibrant and supportive community where everyone feels welcome and valued. Have you ever been in a small group before? How do you view the importance of sharing meals with others? And when conflicts arise in your relationships, how have you historically approached them? If all we did was connect with God and the Church, we'd be a pretty exclusive club, and that's not what we're here for. We have to stay missional, and so, when it comes to giving back, to connecting with other people in the world, we instruct people to engage in three essential practices. The first is to volunteer on a team at Madison Church. Volunteering is critical because each of us possesses unique gifts and talents that God has given to us specifically for his mission to expand his kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven. Whether you're a musician helping lead worship during our Sunday gatherings, or someone passionate about working with kids to create a culture of belonging and safety, your gifts make a meaningful impact. We also ask people to financially contribute. Jesus spoke about money more than any other topic, addressing greed and dissatisfaction that pervades our current culture. Generosity and practicing generosity and giving back is the antidote. We challenge people to make financial contributions a regular practice in their lives, recognizing that it's not just about money, it's about investing in God's mission. A note to consider here Sometimes people view volunteering and giving as interchangeable, thinking that they can just pick and choose. Well, I'll give money but I won't volunteer. I'll volunteer but I won't give money. Both are aspects of generosity. However, jesus encourages us and challenges us and instructs his followers to practice both. It's not an either or thing, but a balanced commitment to offering both our time and resources for the mission of God. Lastly, our mission is about more than just doing good things to be good people. We're on a mission to connect people with God. This means using our influence in our workplaces, communities and social circles to point others toward Christ and His kingdom. As we wrap up this segment, I want to emphasize that if you're new to Madison Church or you're just exploring, you're listening into the podcast for one of the first times ever that there is no pressure for you to jump into these actions immediately. My aim today is just to provide some clarity on what we expect from our community members down the line, because it contributes to a healthy and thriving church community that we hope people like you will want to be involved in. So, whether you're a longtime member or someone checking things out for the first time, we invite you to reflect on how you might contribute to our mission through volunteering, financial support or using your influence. In the future, how can you envision playing a role and connecting people with God and each other, because you do have a role to play. Now a couple more things about Madison Church before we wrap up. We're a non-denominational Christian church and our community comprises of individuals from diverse faith backgrounds. We have people who grew up Catholic and people who grew up non-denominational. We have people who rediscovered their faith at Madison Church and others who have found faith for the first time. Our commitment to diversity is intentional, as we believe in creating a place where people from various backgrounds and beliefs can unite around a joint mission. We maintain a minimal fundamental statement of faith as a foundational guide, ensuring that we share a vital minimum of core beliefs. However, we go way beyond this baseline individually. We trust our members people like you to reflect thoughtfully and explore theological topics on your own. We don't aim to provide various theological statements or dictate beliefs. Instead, our aim and my aim is to foster an environment where we can collectively shape how we think about these matters, without imposing dogma. We want to create conversations and help how you think, not tell you what to think. In addition to our commitment to a minimal theology, we have three theological position papers you can find on our website. The reason we have chosen to have three position papers is for two reasons. The first is clarity we want those considering our church community to understand where we stand on some very relevant issues. And secondly, the reason that these are theological positions and not a part of our statement of faith is because they don't have the extensive support of church history. This isn't terrible and common, as the church has evolved and adapted beliefs over the centuries. With time, I believe that the broader Christian community will embrace positions similar to ours. As I close today's episode to recap, we've explored what makes Madison Church unique. We've dived into our mission and strategies for spiritual growth, the significance of gathering together and our commitment to giving back in a way that stays true to our mission. And while we've covered a lot, there's always more to discuss and we invite you to continue the conversation with us. Join us in the upcoming episode where we'll discuss more topics regarding the uniqueness of Madison Church. But before we go, we have three favors to ask. First, share the podcast. If you found our conversation today valuable and believe it can resonate with others, please consider sharing the podcast with your friends and family on social media. Again, your support helps us reach more people and build a stronger community. If you would rate and review us, we'd greatly appreciate that on platforms like Apple Podcasts or Spotify. It boosts our visibility and helps us serve you better. And I want to extend an invitation for you to join us Sunday at 11am. If you're in the Madison area, or even if you're not, we'd love to have you join us at our Sunday gathering. It's a chance to experience our community's warmth and explore Madison Church's mission firsthand. Thank you for being part of our podcast community and we look forward to having you again with us in the future. I'm Stephen Feith. Have a great week.