Our vision for Abundant Life is to provide a safe place for people to experience the goodness and extravagant love of God, as manifested in Jesus. Abundant Life is a place where condemnation, guilt, shame and fear are not used to manipulate behavior. It is a place where you can be transparent and open, learn with others and then be the Church in our city. We are all about loving people into wholeness and transforming their lives into ones of joy and abundance. That’s our “singleness of purpose.” We are not about traditional religion! Consequently, we don’t look or feel much like “church.” We don’t meet in a “church” building or have paid staff. We don’t run a bunch of “programs.” So we don’t worry about financial provision or needing to meet “growth objectives” in order to survive.
One of the main problems with traditional religion is that too often it allows itself to be all about promoting itself, about winning, about being right, about living right in order to “gain the reward,” and ultimately about cheating death. That is religion at its worst. Christianity was never to be and isn’t a religion; it’s about a personal experience and relationship with the divine. (That’s spirituality, not religion!) People who think in terms of inerrancy and infallibility in the name of religion are dangerous to the cause of Christianity. We at Abundant Life are willing to explore what it means for us to embody, to incarnate the goodness, the love and the mercy of God. That can be a bit disconcerting in that it often conflicts with our preferences and traditions.
As Christians, we are called to preach the gospel (Mark 16:15). The Gospel is the most basic foundational message of the New Testament, yet it’s the most misunderstood. Many of today’s churches claim to preach the Gospel, but, while they preach the Bible, they aren’t preaching the pure Gospel. They mix it with the Law, and that isn’t the Gospel at all. Most believers are totally confused about what it means to be a New Covenant believer and mix Old Covenant Law with the Gospel. Abundant Life derives its name from John 10:10:
“I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
Jesus came so that we might have fullness of life and the joy that comes with it, but sadly most Christians today don’t seem to have any more power to live abundant lives than the unbelievers and they don’t seem to live with all that much joy either. The one and only way to find the power to experience abundant life is found in the gospel.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16)
No matter who we are, when we understand (believe) the Gospel (which is the grace of God) it releases the power of God into our lives. It takes a supernatural revelation by the Holy Spirit to understand this. But once we do, it transforms the way we view God, the way we relate to God, and the way we receive the power to experience the fullness of life that God desires that we all experience. Jesus said:
“You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32).
It’s not truth that sets you free; it’s the truth you believe that sets you free. But before you can believe it, you’ve got to hear it. That’s why Abundant Life was founded! To declare the pure Gospel truth, the same Gospel that Paul proclaimed, the Gospel apart from the law which has the power to transform individual lives and the entire city. That is our sole vision and mission.