To creatively engage the culture and help people know and follow Christ.
In the fall of 2008, we began to plant an innovative church in Northampton, MA, designed to serve a target population of young (18-40 years), artists, students, free thinkers, members of the alternative health community, and innovative professionals – those who may see Christianity as irrelevant or destructive. We will create a gathering place that will include worship, teaching, art, music, drama and dance, a unique children’s area, open space for performing arts and offices for spiritual direction and counseling. Our facility must be able to meet our ministry needs in fluid and dynamic ways. Its atmosphere will be designed to enhance evocative encounters with God. The beauty of the space will help ignite people’s hearts towards discovering a God who is far more than they can imagine. We want them to “come and see.”
Central to our vision is the designing and offering of worship experiences unlike what many expect. For example, the theme of our teaching series will shape the form of our worship experience from week to week. More than likely we will not look like church to most people. While striving to challenge their views of church as stale and irrelevant, we will observe all that the Scriptures require for a church to be the church. Everything else will be open to creative design and expression in order that the message – and the means to live it out – will be fresh and compelling to people who have little use for Christ-followers and their “organized religion.” We conceive worship as being filled with a creative, innovative atmosphere incorporating varieties of sight, sound, and movement, as well as silence. We will use any worship means or style as long as it enhances an enlivening encounter with the living Savior and Lord.
We are committed to being a sacrificial and serving community dedicated to loving people who are searching, unlovely, forsaken, and voiceless. We will do so over race, class, economic status, sexual orientation and religious barriers, working to “become all things to all people in order that we might win some.” We see the Kingdom of God and the mission of Jesus Christ through the church as one of breaking down barriers by persistent, unexpected love, and humble service. Reconciling, peacemaking, healing and restoring wounded, broken and lonely people separated from God will be at the heart of all we do through imagine/Northampton. We will discover the beauty of what will happen when we really love others the way Jesus calls us to. We will become fully contributing members of the community through our work, our relationships, and our service.