Over the past nine months our community of faith has been collectively working through a wonderfully creative and compelling narrative process. This process was designed to not only help us explore the story that God is writing through our lives but also to help us live more deeply into that story. I am grateful for Leanne Meyer and her leadership; she facilitated this process and masterfully led our leadership community through this journey.
Yesterday in worship we shared the results of this journey with our community. Six members of our community, through story, images and song, shared their perspective of the past, present, and future (the audio will be available via our podcast on iTunes and through our audio site Thinking Out Loud on Tuesday). Hearing these stories brought great joy to my heart as I was reminded of the ways God has been at work forming and shaping our community of faith over the past six years.
We crafted a one page narrative summary which you will find in this post. My thanks to Dianne Polome who carried the freight on this project and spent many hours drafting and editing this document. As well, you can read the longer narrative on our CCCSH Blog. If you are a member of our community, I pray you would be encouraged by our story and challenged to live more passionately as a cast member of this drama. And if you are not a member of our community, I encourage you to reflect upon the story that God is writing through your community of faith and celebrate God’s activity in the past, acknowledge God’s work in the present and look forward in faith to the future God has in store for you.
Christ Community Church of the South Hills Narrative Summary
(Past) In the fall of 2003, God birthed a dream in the hearts of a small core of discerning men and women, boys and girls. What would it look like, they asked, to build a great church for God in the south hills of Pittsburgh, an alternative community of faith that would focus its resources upon the mission of God, by prioritizing relationships and by creating a welcoming environment for people who did not resonate with or had been disillusioned by a traditional church setting and context. With the firm conviction that men and women together reflect the image of God, this group of people committed to creating a community of faith that would keep Christ at its center. Empowered by these God-given convictions, the community called Terry Timm to be their lead pastor and in 2004, Christ Community Church of the South Hills was formally launched. Early on the community of faith saw itself as a small church with a big reach, believing that God would do great things, far beyond our imagination, through the power of the Holy Spirit at work in the lives of committed Christ followers.
(Present) Six years later, CCCSH has remained true to our original intent and foundational values. We prioritize relationships and create catalytic worship, learning and serving environments where our mission is being accomplished. We live out our calling by providing an alternative worship environment featuring contemporary music and relevant messages from God’s Word. However, our worship gatherings are but a starting point for our participation in God’s work, as we understand our mission as helping others connect with God, one another and our world. Our learning environments for children, youth and adults help people make meaningful connections as well as rooting them more deeply in the way of Jesus. And our missional activity occurs throughout the week in the places we live, work, learn and play and through formal partnerships, joining in God’s work both near (Shepherd’s Heart and CCO) and far (Guraghe, Ethiopia) and in places in-between (Gulf Coast work teams).
(Future) As we look back on what God has accomplished in, with and through our community of faith, we have much to celebrate. Moving forward, we envision God enabling us to have an even greater reach, as we continue to grow our roots deeper in the way of Christ. Our focus will be on the formation of disciples, rather than simply making converts. We continue to be committed to an action-oriented ministry, one that helps people live more deeply into their faith and then exercise that faith in our world through their unique God-given strengths, gifts and passions. We remain a work in progress and believe that the One who began a good work in us will indeed one day bring it to completion.
- In the fall of 2003, a group of believers gathered around a God-sized dream to build a great church for God in the south hills of Pittsburgh.
- In February 2004, Christ Community Church of the South Hills was formally launched.
- We focus on creating dynamic and healthy worship, learning and serving environments and helping people connect to God, one another and our world in organic ways. Growing in our love for God and others is at the heart of our life as followers of Jesus.
- We will accomplish our mission through people living into their unique giftedness and by establishing partnerships with like-minded ministries, near, far and everywhere in-between.
- Fueled by a desire to follow Jesus into the world, we established the Uptown Center as a communal presence in the Mt Lebanon area.
- Through the narrative process we pause to celebrate God’s work over the past six years and to root ourselves firmly in our identity as a community of faith as we anticipate God’s continued work in, with and through us.
- Moving forward we seek to live out our original vision and values in deeper, stronger and broader ways, believing that God will do things far beyond our imagination, through the power of His Spirit at work in our lives.