Have you ever pondered what makes your church unique and essential in your spiritual journey? Well, we did just that at Madison Church. In part two of this series, we delve into the distinctive elements of Madison Church that make us who we are. On this exciting journey of discovery, we unpack the six core values that form our community's backbone: Jesus is Lord, Disciple Making, Missional-Incarnational Impulse, Community, Organic Systems, and an APEST culture. Each value acts as a compass, guiding our actions, molding our decisions, and strengthening our bond with God and each other.
Continuing on this path of revelation, we share our ambitious vision of establishing ten micro-locations within Madison. By doing so, we aim to meet the diverse needs of the community and create a platform for spiritual growth. We shed light on the checks and balances in our leadership structure and the importance of membership within our congregation. So, are you ready to uncover the essence of Madison Church and how these guiding principles help us in our continuous mission? Let's get started!
Welcome to the Madison Church Podcast. I'm your host, steven Feet, the lead pastor of MC. Have you ever wondered what makes Madison Church distinctive and why that matters? In this podcast episode, we are exploring what sets us apart and why we think that's worth your attention. 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 will ensure that you get all of the episodes as they come out. And a note this is episode two of a two-part series on what makes Madison Church distinctive and why it matters, so be sure to check out part one, which came out last week. Let's move on to today's content. I'm going to begin by talking about our values At Madison Church. Our values form the cornerstone of who we are and how we operate. These values serve as guiding principles that shape our culture, inform our decisions and inspire our actions. They reflect our collective identity, representing the core beliefs and priorities that unite us as a church community. Our commitment to living out these values is central to our mission of connecting people with God and each other, and they provide the framework for everything we do. We have six values, and I'm going to unpack those briefly here. Jesus is Lord. This is our first value, and it's not a mere religious phrase. Jesus is Lord is a profound declaration that shapes our beliefs, our actions and our purpose as a church community. This value reminds us that Jesus's Lordship is all-encompassing, transcending time and space, and it calls us, every single one of us, to live out our faith in a way that reflects God's love and glory. This foundational value guides us on a faith journey and challenges us to continually seek out Jesus's Lordship in every aspect of our lives and in the world around us. So that's value one Jesus is Lord. Value two disciple making. Disciple making is an active commitment to a lifelong transformational process. It inspires us to continually seek a deeper understanding of Jesus's teachings and live them out authentically in our daily lives. This value is a call to grow in our faith, love and Christ likeness, while also sharing the hope and message of Jesus with the world around us. Next is missional, incarnational impulse this value. The title of this value always draws a lot of confusion, so I'm happy to explain it now. This value is the driving force within Madison Church that urges us to go beyond ourselves. It's about going beyond ourselves, transcending cultural boundaries and impacting lives in our city with the gospel's transformative power. It's a call to engage with intentionality, authenticity and compassion as we seek to share the love of Christ and bring hope to a world in need. Community Community is a value to us. Madison Church is not merely a group of people who gather together once a week. We're a vibrant, purpose-driven and supportive collective. We unite through shared experiences, rally around missions that transcend our individual lives and we find strength, purpose and belonging in one another. Our community thrives on unity, diversity and the shared responsibility to make a meaningful difference in the places we live, work and play. We value organic systems. The value here embodies really our commitment to creating adaptable, efficient and inclusive structures that support our church's growth and movement. We value the dynamic nature of our community and our mission and we aim to establish systems and policies and procedures that embrace change and power individuals and align with our overarching goal of connecting people with God and each other. And finally, we value developing an A-PEST culture At Madison Church. An A-PEST culture is about holistic and an integrated approach to ministry, where each function plays a vital role in our mission and community's well-being. The A-PEST stands for apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds and teachers. These reflect our commitment to being a church that embraces diverse gifts and calling, while continuously seeking out God's guidance for our church community and being dedicated to fulfilling the Great Commission by nurturing spiritual growth, outreach and discipleship. And so those are the six values. Our vision now at Madison Church is to establish 10 microlocations within the city of Madison. This vision represents a dynamic and adaptable model of church that aligns with our values and the mission of connecting people with God and each other. Our vision of 10 microlocations reflects and acknowledges that the traditional model of a single church building may not effectively serve all communities and their unique needs. By embracing microlocations, mc adapts our approach to better accomplish our mission. Our vision is inherently community-centered. It recognizes that the most effective way for us to connect people with God and each other is by meeting them where they're at. By establishing multiple microlocations throughout the city, we aim to be present in various neighborhoods, we're going to engage in diverse communities and we're going to be able to build meaningful relationships that we just couldn't do with one location. Each microlocation will be a point of access for individuals seeking spiritual growth, community and connection. These locations enhance our outreach efforts by making our church community more accessible to those who may not have engaged with us otherwise. The vision of 10 microlocations it represents exponential growth and what I hope and believe will be an exponential impact. I envision a network of interconnected communities, each contributing to our collective mission of connecting people with God and each other. This multiplication is a testament to the success of our values and mission and, while our immediate vision focuses on Madison, it also opens the door to future growth and other opportunities, perhaps in the suburbs. Ultimately, our vision culminates in living out our values and accomplishing our mission. It signifies the tangible outcome of our commitments to our community, discipleship and outreach. This vision vividly represents what we see as a result, or what we hope to see as a result, of our faith in action. So those are the values, those are the. That's the vision. We have a leadership structure. Last week we talked about how we're a non-denominational church, but that doesn't mean we don't have accountability. We actually have quite a bit of accountability. As I mentioned in this episode, I'm the lead pastor. I have a team at Madison Church who reports to me. They lead the children's ministry, the student ministry. They are in our band and they have roles and responsibilities, but ultimately they report to me. So who do I report to? We have three different boards at Madison Church that I, who I report to the first board and these aren't in any particular order. But the first board is an elder board and the elders and I partnered together for the vision and spiritual development of our church. We get together monthly to discuss what we see, what we feel like God is telling us and where we feel like God wants us to go. Elders are nominated once a year and they serve a three-year term. And then we have the trustees. The trustees don't serve in a spiritual capacity, but a financial and legal one. This is our legal board. They work with me to go over the finances, to make sure we have good policies in place and spend the money that we are given wisely. Trustees, just as elders, are nominated once a year and serve a three-year term. Then there are the overseers. The overseers do not go to Madison Church. The overseers are only ever called in if there's an issue with me and Madison Church, like, let's say, I do something really wrong and it requires an investigation. And then there's a congregation and that's probably some of you listening. Our congregation is made up of our members. The members are the ones who get the nominate trustees and elders. The congregation would also vote for a new lead pastor, should that ever come up in the future. You may be wondering now well, how do I become a member of this congregation? We have membership requirements. At Madison Church, we hold membership in high regard. It signifies a deep commitment to our church community and our mission. Those are both aspects of our church that we take very seriously, and so, to become a member, we have established specific requirements that reflect the values and expectations that we believe will create a thriving and healthy church body, and all three of the expectations are things we talked about last week in our strategy. The first is that we require members to have experienced baptism, to have been baptized at some point in their life. Your baptism may have occurred before joining Madison Church, and that is way okay. We don't believe that you have to be baptized at our church, but what we do ask is that you have been baptized at some point, as that shows, as it symbolizes, your spiritual rebirth and a commitment to Christ. As we said, we value that. Jesus is Lord. It's not just a statement, but it is something that we believe, and so we require that our members be baptized, and we do encourage that, if you were baptized as an infant, to seriously consider being baptized as an adult, as that's the model we see in the New Testament. If you have not been baptized yet but still wish to become a member, we have that door completely open. We just ask that you be baptized within 12 months of becoming a member. If you've been baptized or are going to be baptized, then we ask that you're involved in our small groups. Since we value community and spiritual growth, we want all of our members to actively participate in a small group community for at least two of the three sessions we host annually. Small groups provide the space of building relationships, connecting with God and offering support to one another. Through these connections, our members deepen their faith and find a sense of belonging within our church. Family Baptisms, small group involvement and then, finally, giving Our expectation is for members to financially support our church. It's rooted in a commitment to living open-handedly in a culture driven by greed. We encourage our members to trust God with their financial resources and to support the community generously. And while we recognize that the biblical Principle of tithing is just the baseline, we emphasize the New Testament's call to surrender everything we have to God for the good of our community. For those of you who want to become a member but you're not at a place where you can financially contribute the way that I just mentioned, that's okay, hear me out, that's okay. What we want to see is you just get started somewhere. Perhaps that's with a monthly donation or weekly donation. It's a first gift, it's consecutive gifts, whatever it is. What we're really hoping to see is that you take a step and we're not gonna kick anyone out and we've not kicked anyone out. The value really is ingenerosity and the value is living out that generosity by practicing financial giving. So again, these membership requirements at Madison Church. They reflect our core values of faith, community and generosity. Baptism signifies a personal commitment to Christ, small groups involvement and fosters the spiritual growth and relationships we're seeking, and financial giving demonstrates trust in God and supports the wellbeing of our church community. These requirements are not intended to be burdensome, but rather ensure that our members, you, are fully engaged in the life and mission of our church and that we're aligned together as we connect people with God and each other. We've covered a lot and there's always more to discuss, and we invite you to continue the conversation with us. Join us in our upcoming episode, where we'll explore more topics that people at Madison are asking about. Before we go, consider leaving a rating and review wherever you listen. We greatly appreciate your ratings and review. If you listen to platforms like Apple Podcast, it boosts our visibility and helps us serve you better, and if you're in the Madison area, we'd love to have you join us this Sunday at 11 am. Thank you for being a part of our podcast community. We look forward to having you again in the future. I'm Stephen Feith. Have a great week.