1. Who is welcome at imagine/Northampton?
Everyone! Whether you are a Christ follower or not, we are all a journey to discover the God who is far more than we can imagine. People who do not share the same faith we do, are unsure what they believe, are seeking answers to spiritual questions, or are searching for church to call home are all more than welcome. We seek to create a “come as you are” environment, so come and join us as we all seek a deeper relationship with God.
2. Can I just attend certain events?
Yes, we invite you to participate in imagine to the degree you feel comfortable. We offer various opportunities to get involved and connect. Our desire is to build a relationship with you, but without pressure or manipulation. We care deeply for everyone who comes through our doors and will do our best to be sensitive to your needs.
3. Why do church so unconventionally? Is there something wrong with the traditional church?
There is absolutely nothing wrong with traditional churches. People need to worship in places that meet their needs and speak their language, as well as places that will give them a strong foundation in faith. Every culture and generation must take the timeless truths of the Scriptures and seek to communicate them in a way that connects with people. That’s our goal.
imagine/Northampton is not seeking to be unconventional for its own sake. However, we are always looking for fresh ways to connect the beauty and truth of the Kingdom of God in ways that inspire and captivate people of this generation. We don’t reject the old; we discover the new to reveal the ageless message of the Gospel to open the hearts of people who have not been able to hear it.
4. I am wondering about God, can you help me?
Here are a number of ways you can pursue your search:
- Ask God to reveal himself if you’re not sure he’s there.
- Read the Scriptures — start with the New Testament books of John, Acts, and Romans.
- Ask God to help you hear him speak to you in your thoughts. Ask him to help you recognize his voice and to open your heart to him. Write down what you hear.
- Spend time in nature, observing and experiencing God’s creation.
- Recognize that following God must make sense. Truth may go beyond reason, but not against it.
- Scour the “shelves” online or a church library for credible authors, or ask your Christian friends for a list of authors who have inspired them in their walk with God.
- Write down your questions and take them to a knowledgeable Christ follower who respects your seeking process.
- Talk to people who display a genuine relationship with God—those who obviously love Him and who live by a different set of principles—ask them why they believe what they believe and how they know their beliefs are true.
- Know your presuppositions—the things you already believe—and try not to let them interfere with your quest for the truth.
- Stay open to actually finding what you’re looking for. Fear of commitment and change can keep you from finding the truth.
- Keep a journal of your thoughts and feelings during your search.
- Know your personal issues: your past will profoundly influence your present ability to be objective. Pay attention to negative self-talk that sounds accusatory or directed toward shaming you. God does not speak that way. He desires to heal any emotional or spiritual issue that seems to separate you from him.
- Be patient. God wants you to know him. Humbly and persistently seek him with an open heart and he will be found by you.
- Speak to a member of our Leadership Team. You can find their email addresses on our Leadership page.
5. How will imagine/Northampton help me grow as a Christ-follower?
1. We will get to know you and listen to your story no matter where you are in your spiritual journey.
2. We will encourage you to grow a number of ways by:
- Preaching and teaching in worship.
- Involvement in outreach activities and missions.
- Offering counseling for inner healing and overcoming psychological, emotional, spiritual and relational problems.
- Offering spiritual direction to help people grow in spiritual maturity through the classical spiritual disciplines.
- Mentoring people who desire to “step up” into volunteer roles.
- Getting together informally for coffee or over a meal to “check in.”
- Exposing people to books, films, conferences, and other opportunity to grow.
- Forming Cohorts
6. How do I join or become a member of imagine?
To be a part of our community at imagine, all you need to do is come. There’s no membership process. We will do our best to serve you, teach you, share with you, love you, and allow you to serve no matter where you are in your spiritual journey.
7. How do I get involved in serving?
- Talk to a Leadership Team member about serving in an area of interest.
- Suggest new opportunities to serve that are in line with your passions.
- Volunteer where you see we have need in the on-going life of the church.
- Show up on our Service days once a month.
- Look for ways to spontaneously help people when you see a need.
8. How do you view missions?
Mission and outreach is central to the DNA of imagine/northampton, especially in Northampton, but not exclusively so. We believe the Church universal is to be the incarnation of the redemptive Kingdom of God in and throughout the world. God has “sent out” the church to bring and proclaim the Gospel. It is not enough to merely care for our own within the church, although that is not to be neglected either.
Imagine/northampton is as much here for the people outside its walls as it is for those already within its gathering. Therefore, we will constantly create opportunities to be involved in mission.
A missional church is simply one which has as its focus deliberately moving toward, serving, and connecting with people who do not know Jesus and helping them open to him through the gospel. While missional churches nurture, care for, and disciple people in the church, that is not their main emphasis.
9. Is imagine/Northampton part of a denomination?
We’re not part of any denomination. If you want to know what we believe, check out our What We Believe page on this site. We are, however, a member of the Mosaic Alliance, which is an inter-denominational organization of hundreds of churches around the world who are committed to using innovative ways to reach people who don’t go to church.
And another thing, we love to work with other churches. We believe that a lack of unity among Christian churches breaks God’s heart and is a waste. You’ll see us partnering with others to make things happen.
10. Are there small groups offered through the church?
Yes, we call them Cohorts. They are groups that meet weekly and are vital to spiritual growth, forming small missional communities. Within them, prayer, support, learning and discipling can take place naturally as people share Christ-following life together. The benefits are both spiritual and practical. Each group can have a different “feel” because of the individuals within the group, but all of them have the opportunity to discover the God who is more than they imagine, and live together the missional life imagine/Northampton embraces.
11. In an attempt to be hip and relevant, do you water-down the Bible?
No, God’s Word is our final authority. Many people in this generation have a tough time understanding Scripture and seeing that it really has practical meaning for their lives. We don’t ignore truth because we want people to like us, but we will package truth within the language of our culture to make it more accessible.
12. Who can I talk to if I need spiritual direction, healing or counseling?
Kit and Tricia McDermott are on staff as Spiritual Formation Catalysts offering various Soul Care services including counseling. Contact them through our website here or call their home office at 413.367.2670.