To invite people into a deepening relationship with God so as to raise up disciples of Jesus Christ who make a difference in the world.
We envision Eagle Ridge United Church as a congregation marked by a clear and intentional process of deepening and maturing the discipleship of everyone from inquirers and new Christians to mature and practicing followers of Jesus.
Every person as a beloved child of God (Inclusivity)
Modeling ourselves on the vision of Jesus, we believe that all are welcome into the kingdom of God. We believe we are called to offer our ministry to all people. Therefore we honour and welcome all persons, regardless of race, religious background, culture, gender, education, sexual orientation, differing abilities, or age. We commit to breaking open all circles of exclusion within our community.
Worship that provides an experience of God
(Experiencing God in worship)
Since we believe that worship is a transformative event, we aim to provide music, prayer, preaching and community which facilitates an experience of God. We commit to seeking out and offering worship experiences which inspire its participants to develop a deeper relationship with God.
Living as people who follow and model their lives on Jesus Christ (Discipleship)
As disciples of Jesus Christ, we have answered the call to follow Jesus on the way and to live as though the kingdom of God is fully present in our lives. To do this we must discover who Jesus is. Therefore, we commit to providing opportunities for learning, worship, Christian community and other spiritual disciplines.
A community marked by warm, caring and loving relationships (Loving relationships)
We believe that Christian community is strengthened and deepened whenever its members exhibit practical care and concern for one another. Likewise, the community is built up whenever we spend time together. We commit to providing ongoing opportunities for our community to be together and to grow together.
Creating safe places to explore matters of faith (Safety)
We recognize and honour that being a disciple of Christ means, at times, taking risks and being personally vulnerable as we explore with others where God is leading us. Our aim is to make that process as safe and productive as possible by promoting an atmosphere of spiritual inquiry. We strive to ensure the physical, emotional and sexual safety of everyone.
Philosophy of Ministry
We understand healthy individual discipleship to include being U.N.I.T.E.D.:
- Uplifted through daily prayer
- Nourished in weekly worship
- Informed through daily conversation with scripture
- Taking God’s love to others through service
- Engaged in spiritual relationships
- Donating back God’s gifts of time, talent and treasure
We understand healthy congregations to exhibit:
1) Empowering Leadership
Leaders of healthy churches understand that one of their primary roles is to equip, support, motivate and mentor individuals to become all that God wants them to be. Empowering leaders adopt mantras like, “Replace yourself. Learn to hand off what you do.” Or, ”Everything someone else can do, I find someone else to do it.”
2) Gift-oriented Ministry
Ministry of all Christians is best performed when in line with a person’s life gifts, spiritual gifts, personality type, values and passions. The role of church leadership is to help its members identify their gifts and integrate them with ministries that match their gifts.
3) Passionate Spirituality
Spirituality is seen as passionate when a person’s faith is actually lived out with commitment, fire and enthusiasm. Healthy churches find ways to develop a congregational culture where spiritual passion is displayed openly and without embarrassment.
4) Functional Structures
All forms and structures of the church, from governance to worship times, must be evaluated as to whether or not they fulfill their purpose. Those that do not are laid aside or changed. Functional structures should also be designed to free up time for doing ministry rather than used up talking about doing ministry.
5) Inspiring Worship Service
Worship in healthy churches is an inspiring experience for those who attend, regardless of worship style. It is often described as “moving” or ”meaningful.”
6) Holistic Small Groups
Healthy churches develop a system of small groups where individual Christians can find intimate community, practical help and intensive spiritual interaction. These groups aim at the whole of the person and provide one of the only modes for practicing authentic Christian community.
7) Need-oriented Evangelism
Healthy churches practice the process of sharing the gospel with respect and honour for the other, and in a way that meets the questions and needs of non-Christians.
8) Loving Relationships
Healthy churches are marked by strong, loving relationships among their members. For instance, they like to spend time together outside of church events, they invite one another over for meals or for a cup of coffee, they generously dole out compliments, and they laugh together a lot.