There are quite a few words/phrases I hear all the time around here – is there some kind of a dictionary of Gateway terms?
a network is a group of 30 to 75 people who meet together regularly to grow spiritually and serve their community.
a community of four or more that meets together regularly to support, encourage and grow in their relationship with God and with each other. Usually its for an hour or two and some kind of discussion is planned around a book or some kind of study. All kinds of small groups meet all week all over the city.
No, we’re not that athletic. (well some of us are – but that’s not what we’re talking about) This is our metaphor for two or three friends that do life together – meet regularly and intentionally talk about their spiritual journey. Usually this works best when you and a couple of friends you know decide to be intentional about your relationship and use the running partner questions as a guide.
Way of Christ
This is what we call being intentional about spiritual growth or following Christ. In Gateway terms it includes loving God, building character, loving people and being the body.
a group of people who do life together and have authentic relationships.
we’re forever telling you to get connected, right? As much as we believe life change happens in community it takes a decision on your part to step out, to show up, to engage with others – to sign up for a small group , a serving team or show up at a Gateway group event. Take a risk. It may take some work to find your peeps – but keep showing up and engaging. That’s what we mean by “get connected.”
How do I start to meet some people and get involved?
Networks. That’s really the best place to find some people that you want to “do life” with. By that we mean people you want to hang out with socially, grow together spiritually and with whom you’re motivated to serve your community. You can find out what Most Networks are grouped by where you live.
Why do church so unconventionally? What’s wrong with traditional church?
Absolutely nothing is wrong with traditional churches. People need to connect with God in places that meet their needs and speak their language, as well as places that will give them a strong foundation in faith. Unfortunately, ours is a generation that has abandoned traditional church. Every culture and generation must take the timeless truths of the Bible and seek to communicate them in a way that makes sense and is relevant to their lives. That’s what we hope you experience here.
How do I become a “member” of Gateway?
We don’t have a traditional church membership. We’re not keeping attendance records. If you find community here and participate in the weekend services, a network, and/or a small group – if you consider us your church home, we consider you a part of Gateway.
How do I find out what’s going on around Gateway?
If you would like to keep up with what’s going on at Gateway then you can always check out the events calendar on this website. You can also give us your information through the info card or the form on the “New Here” page and we’ll be glad to add you to our quarterly all-church emails and the monthly newsletter for the Gateway Networks in your part of town. On Sundays check out the the printed or digital program, the 4B4, and the Gateway minute during the welcome part of the service.
In an attempt to be culturally relevant, do you ever water-down the Bible?
No, God’s Word is our final authority. We never ignore truth because we want people to like us, but we do try to package truth within the language of our culture so that people can hear it in a way that makes sense and feels relevant to their life. We use music, film and video that you might have seen or heard on your own iPod or watched on YouTube because we’re addressing the questions and thoughts already taking place in the cultural conversation. In our services we hope you experience the message as much through the music and creative programming as through the speaker.
Why do you make such a big deal out of getting into a Network and a small group ?
Because we believe that’s where your life is going to change the most. That’s where you are going to grow. When you can get together regularly with the same group of people where you are known, loved, celebrated, and served, that’s when you are really experiencing church the way God intended it. You will miss out on the most exciting part of Gateway if you never even check out a small group.
The service on Sunday morning seems to be focused on the basics of a relationship with God. How will I get fed spiritually and continue to grow deeper in my faith?
It’s true, the Sunday morning service tends to be geared towards people who are checking out faith or who are just taking first steps. There isn’t as much worship music, and we try not to use any religious jargon that might not make sense to someone who is new to church and the whole God thing. That doesn’t mean that those who’ve been in a relationship with God for years aren’t going to get a lot out of the service. We deal with hard-hitting, everyday struggles and questions that we all face and see what the Bible has to say about those issues.
We desire for everyone to grow deeper in their faith and relationship with God and provide other opportunities for that beyond our Sunday morning service. We have a monthly worship service called Church Unplugged on the third Wednesday of every month at the McNeil campus at 7 pm. This is a time for us to spend some time worshipping through music, sharing stories about what God is doing among us, praying together, sharing communion together, and hanging out with some good food in the Garage afterward. We also encourage you to check out a Network in your part of town. Within each Network there will be some opportunities for you to connect with people who will challenge you to go deeper and some events or small groups that will meet that need as well.
What denomination are you?
We’re not part of any denomination. And we’re not the only Christians, we’re just a body of people committed to being the church as described in the Bible. If you want to know what we believe, check out our statement of faith. We are, however, a member of the Willow Creek Association of churches, which is an inter-denominational organization of thousands of churches around the world who are committed to using innovative ways to connect people who are far from God with His love for them.
All decisions about our church are made by Gateway leaders, and all of our finances go towards Gateway ministries and our partners. All financial matters are overseen by a Board of Directors, and our financial books are open to anyone who inquires.
What do I wear?
Come as you are. We care about you — not what you wear.
How much does it cost to go there?
Nothing. We do have an offering every week, but it’s not for people who are checking out faith or the church. Gateway is supported financially by the people who have chosen to make it their church home. You won’t find us trying to squeeze cash out of you every time you walk through the door. Giving should never flow out of compulsion or guilt, but rather out of desire to love God and be a part of what He’s doing in and through the church.