Life Community Church has served the NW Suburbs of Chicago since 1957. It began as a new church plant in the Cumberland School (Des Plaines) about a mile from our current location. Thus, its original name was "The Cumberland Baptist Church" - taking on the name of the school, as well as the "Swedish Baptist" roots of our denomination. The original church memebers intended to change the name, once they located property, but the name stuck until 2004 when it was changed to Life Community Church.
We are affilliated with Converge Worldwide (formerly the Baptist General Conference). www.convergeworldwide.org
Every church is different and the things that make us "us" are:
Prayer isn't what we do, but a part of who we are. It permeates much of our ministry. Three times a year we hold a morning worship service where prayer is the focus. The prayer needs of our church, our community and our missionaries are found each week in the bulletin. Our prayer chain ministry is well known through out the community, and we receive prayer requests from people who have never set foot in our building, simply because they know we will pray. It is even part of our vision statement, because we believe prayer is transforming, both for the person who prays (because prayer is a conversation with God) and for the person who has asked us to pray.
2. Healthy Relationships
Another aspect of our vision statment flows from the healthy relationships God has built in our church. This congregation truly loves one another ("this is how they will know you are my disciples, by your love, one for another.") and prays for one another. As we yeild our lives to the Holy Spirit, there ought to be a transformation of heart, attitude, mind and will. That doesn't mean we are perfect. It means we are process. We still need to do all the "one-anothers" found in the scriptures...BUT as we submit to them, we grow in our relationship with God and with one another! And so healthy relationships are found in much of our ministries, from premarital counseling, to ministries to families, to Life Groups that connect with the community.
3. Assisting New Church Plants
We realized about 25 years ago that we were a medium-sized church. It seemed God's design for our congregation was not to be come large, but to become reproducing. That's why we assist new churches in getting started - either by using our building as a place for the church to take root and grow, or by sending out one of our assistant pastors - with support, and sometimes with people! Since 1989 we have helped 7 new chuches: Manna Methodist Church, Chicago Japanese Fellowship, the Brazilian Baptist Church, Grace Point Community Church Exodus Community Church, Oak Hills Fellowship Church and currently, Redemption Bible Church. We also supported 3 other church plants in our district, and provided space for a local church who's building needed major renovations!
4. Biblical Foundation
The Bible is central in our lives and ministry. Not only is it God's love letter to us, personally, but it is the "owner's manual" for people, familes, and the church. As our statment of faith says: "...it has supreme authority in matters of faith and conduct." So when you come on a Sunday morning, you never have to worry about the sermon being on the latest best seller put out by Oprah's book club, or something that focuses on church tradition or the pastor's hobby-horse doctrine. It will be biblically based, biblically centered, and practical for life. And what is true for Sunday morning, is true for every ministry, meeting, lesson and business session that takes place at our church. The Bible is our foundation.
5. Missional Approach to Ministry
Years ago most churches had the "Field of Dreams" philosoply of "build it and they will come!" So they built bigger buildings, ran spectacular programs, and offered a smorgasbord of ministries, hoping the "fish would jump into the boat." In many communities, that day has passed, as churches are so inward focused that they have become cut-off from their communities. When we look at the way Jesus connected with people we see that He went out into the community and ministered to people. Life Community Church tries to immitate that "missional model" of ministry by doing the majority of its ministry outside the walls of the church. Much of our ministry flows out of our Life Groups as they seek to connect and serve the community around us.
6. Life Groups Discipleship
You can look at our Life Group page and find out more about them, but in a nut-shell, we found that Sunday School was educating the mind, but not the heart or hands. Jesus didn't just teach His disciples, but went out with them and showed them how to minister to people. Our Life Groups are designed to combine the "knowing/feeling/doing" aspect of discipleship. Each Life Group has a four-fold focus - to equip, to care, to connect, and to serve. It provides education that translates into practical ministry that touches lives.