The Eight Elements of Our Home Groups

United As One is made up of Home Groups from many different locations. Even though they may be far apart geographically, they each share the same DNA. 

Below are the Eight Elements each of our groups share.

Element 1: Three Essential Doctrines

Following Jesus can be difficult, but it should never be complicated. There are only three doctrines we hold to be essential:

1) Salvation is  through Jesus alone

2) We Love God

3) We Love Others

There is no other doctrine worth dividing ourselves over. Once we agree on these three, we can work through any differences that will arise.

Element 2: Group Expectations

We are different from traditional church. Our gatherings are for believers.  As such they are not missional in nature. We love non-believers and they are always welcome to attend our gatherings. But when we gather in our homes we focus on the relationships within the Church so we can create future disciples. Gathering and Mission are two concepts we intentionally separate. Gathering together in unity is for the strengthening of the body. Mission is the active fulfillment of Jesus' command to represent him in our community.

Element 3: Weekly Gatherings

No believer can go it alone. That's why our home gatherings are the place where believers can fulfill what we call the "One Another" commands in the New Testament. These are commands like love one another, bear one another's burdens, and pray for one another. What we know for sure is no one can fulfill these commands if there is no "other." So we gather together to build relationships and love one another so the world will know we are Jesus' disciples. Love can not merely be preached--it must be demonstrated.

Element 4: Simplicity

Our gatherings are not productions. We study, pray, fellowship and do outreach. We are not dependent upon the giftings of one or two people. Instead we practice Paul's New Testament concept of the Priesthood of Believers. This means everyone has a gift given to them by God and that gift was given so it could be used. During our gatherings, believers contribute from their gifts to the whole group. Everyone grows when everyone exercises their gifts. This model requires no building, no professional ministers, and no uber-talented musicians--only the gifts God gave us.

Element 5: Group Multiplication

As Christians, our mission is to make disciples. In essence we are commanded to grow. But growth can create its own set of unique problems. Grow too much, the home group loses its intimacy and discipleship suffers. Grow too little, we become insular and outreach suffers. In order to maintain a balance, we recognize the maximum size of a home group should be around  15-20 contributing members. When this becomes a consistent reality within a group, it's time to become two groups. Growth, and by extension multiplication, is an indicator of a healthy Christian community.

Element  6: Everyone Discipled and Everyone Disciples

Jesus discipled by journeying together with the 12 who were closest to him. Through his model we believe no one should be allowed to slip through the cracks. This requires a commitment not only to teach but also to learn. Everyone is a "Paul" as well as a "Timothy."

Element 7: Intentionally Missional

As Christians, we are commanded to share the gospel and make disciples. It is not an option. Merely inviting someone to church and hoping the pastor preaches the right message doesn't quite measure up to this command. We believe this means sharing Jesus face-to-face with another person. This is scary. This is hard. But this is also our responsibility. It's not meant to be outsourced to the pastor or another leader. We strive to reach those who have given up on church but not on God, and those who are simply non-believers.

Element 8: Focused Stewardship

It is our stated goal to be financially broke by the end of every year. Why would we want to do this and how is this even possible? It is our desire to take the resources given to us by God and maximize their effectiveness as much as we can towards discipleship and missional activities. To this end, we have no employees, no salaries, no families whose well-being depends on church salaries, no property, no mortgages, and no utilities. In short, we are intentionally minimalist especially compared to traditional churches. Our financial policy requires us to only place 5-10% of donations toward administrative costs (things like this website, software, banking  fees, etc.). The remaining 90-95% go toward building the kingdom and helping the needy. So being broke at the end of the year means that financially, we've  done everything we can toward fulfilling our mission. It's a great feeling to see the bank account at $0.00.