A community devoted to living in the Presence of God with one another in the Crestwood Neighborhood.
What We Feel Called To:
PRESENCE. The focal point of a biblically genuine Christian community must be the Presence of God. Life originates, and culminates in the Presence of God. David expressed this truth beautifully in Psalm 16:11, “You make known to me the paths of life; in Your Presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Life found in the Presence of God is an eternal reality promised to anyone who declares the Lordship of Jesus, and believes through faith in His death for their sin, and resurrection fro their new life. This eternal reality is meant to be realized and experienced by believers here and now. This present moment is the intersection of time and eternity. God desires, through His Spirit, that our foretastes of eternal realities and the promised immeasurable inheritance it holds, would begin now. Ephesians 1:13-14, 2:18; Psalm 27:4.
CONSECRATED. The Belfry desires to be a community of people who are set apart as “Holy to the Lord.” Mutual glorification of God and the individual in His Presence (John 17:22-24) is the Belfry’s primary purpose, delight and means of transformation. All of life is meant to be consecrated to His Presence (Psalm 27:4, 13-14), and flow forth from His Presence. This will mean being sensitive to hear His voice, and obedient to His expressed desires. We must find the resolve to say yes to the things which increase and sustain His Presence, and no to the things which hinder and decrease His Presence in our lives. Matthew 10:37-39; Luke 14:25-35; Mark 14:34-36; Luke 22:40-44.
SACRIFICIAL LOVE. Jesus tells us in John 15 to abide in His love and joy (His Presence—Psalm 16:11) by obeying His command to sacrificially love one another, and that the greatest expression of love is to lay down our life for our friends (John 15:10-13). He then says, “You are My friends if you do what I command you.” He is the first friend we are to lay down our life for. By losing our life for the sake of Jesus, we find it (Matthew 10:39). By laying down the lordship of our flesh, we exit our kingdom of selfishness, sin, and death. By declaring Jesus as Lord, and submitting to the leadership of the Spirit, we enter His kingdom of love, righteousness, and life. Romans 6:16-23; Galatians 5:13-26.
ABIDING. Jesus’s present love is a reality that we have been created to abide in. Jesus wants the love and grace of His Presence to be a sustained reality we experience. Not only in times and places we view as “religious” or “sacred,” but in every realm of our lives. John 14:16, 23, 15:1-17.
DISCIPLES. True disciples progressively enjoy Jesus’s Presence, learn Jesus’s teachings, obey Jesus’s commands, and follow Jesus’s way of life. Throughout our journey as disciples, we are commissioned to become ministers of reconciliation by reproducing the discipleship process in others as we go (Matthew 28). We desire that our main discipleship relationships will be found in the Belfry community and the surrounding Crestwood Neighborhood. Discipleship flows through the conduit of relationship. Closeness of proximity, and relational intentionality, leads to deeper relational intimacy. It is our desire that this accelerated growth or relational intimacy—caused by living together and by being intentionally engaged in these relationships—will be translated into an acceleration of the discipleship journey of individual members.
About Our Way of Life
MEANS OF GRACE. The primary means of grace prescribed to us by Jesus are: the Word, prayer, the sacraments of the Lord’s Supper and baptism (Matthew 28:18-20, Luke 22:14-22, Acts 2:42). We believe that these invitations to abide in the love and grace of God are constantly available to us. At times, they may assume different forms and contexts than we may traditionally think of them in. These means of grace are meant to be practiced and experienced in three relational settings: in times of solitude individually (UPWARD), in times with other believers corporately (INWARD), and in times of loving and serving non-believers missionally (OUTWARD). We desire that the Word, prayer, and the sacraments would infiltrate and saturate these three times in ways that are both traditional and newly innovative. God is endlessly creative, and made us as images of His creativity.
RHYTHMS. The rhythms and practices worked into the Belfry’s way of life are meant to place us on the pathways of life and grace that the Lord has revealed both in His word, and through the lives of our church fathers. The personal implications of these principles—beyond the Belfry’s agreed upon way of life—will often be unique to our individual lives and contexts. Through conversations and relationship with an individual’s spiritual director, they will begin to discover ways that God wants to encounter them personally. The Belfry desires to be a community that is Spirit led and relationally focused in all of our decisions. The rhythms which we choose to live in are not the end in themselves. Transformation to the image of Jesus through relationship in the Presence of God is the end we desire.