Oikos may seem like a funny name, but did you know it is a word in Ancient Greek that means “family” or “household” and is used several times in the New Testament.
It was used as the basic unit of society in Ancient Rome. Generations of family and servants would live under the same roof. They shared most things together, much like a present day family but with more people that may not be immediate family members.
We chose this name because as a church we hope to live as a “family” that shares life together, all the ups and downs. We are not a group that meets once or twice a week, but a community that display the good news of Jesus in all facets of our life.
In 2010, God placed a desire on our hearts to plant an everyday church in Birmingham—one which would love God, love others, and love the lost. We wanted to see people who are far away from God come to Him and be restored in Him. Together as a church, we wanted to live life every day as His disciples.
Ten brave but scared people met together, knowing that they wanted to live life for Christ, but not knowing what that looked like in the context of community. We spent the first six months meeting in a living room discussing how to be the church and equipping ourselves for this mission. These were both sweet and exciting times.
In April 2011 we decided to begin gathering publicly as a church so that others, both non-Christians and Christians, could join us.
Over the first year, God put on our hearts and minds a number of values.
We were determined not to grow through addition (existing believers) but rather through multiplication (new converts).
We desired to live life as the church in the everyday. So, as we grew we separated in to Gospel Communities, which are centred around the areas in which our members live so each Gospel Community can reach its neighbours with the gospel.
If we were to reach the vast number of people who are far from God, a purely attractional model would not work. We would all need to be disciples who make disciples, training those disciples to disciple others.
After some years as a church, we are fulfilling this vision increasingly. There is steady growth in seeing people far away from God come to him. And our love for the area north of Birmingham has grown.
Our hope for the church is that each of us will experience the joy of leading people to Christ and training them also to be disciples who make disciples.
We are DISCIPLES of Jesus Christ who are FAMILY. God created us to be part of His family. He has adopted us into His family through the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. Our wonderful Heavenly Father is willing and able to care for his adopted children. Not only do we have a Heavenly Father, but we also have brothers and sisters in Christ, whom we are to love, encourage, and serve.
(John 1:11-13; Romans 12:10-16; Ephesians 5:1-2)
We are DISCIPLES of Jesus who are MISSIONARIES. A missionary is one who is sent. Jesus is one who was sent by the Father to earth to take on human form. Through his life, words, and deeds, He was a witness of what God is like and how to enter the kingdom of God. We are called by Jesus to be His witnesses and to be His hands, feet, and mouth to a lost world. We are missionaries sent to proclaim—in word and deed—salvation through Jesus to a watching world. We do this by reorienting every area of our life for the mission of sharing the Gospel with others by making disciples. Jesus called His disciples to follow His ways, to be His disciples, and to live in obedience to all that God commands. He then sent His disciples out to make new disciples who, in turn, would make disciples.
(Matthew 3:16-4:1; Matthew 28:19-20; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; Acts 13:2; 2 Timothy 2:2).
We are DISCIPLES of Jesus who are SERVANTS. Jesus is our servant King who gave up His life so we might live. As His people, we too are called serve by dying to self so that Christ might live in and through us. In doing so, we give an example of what life will be like under the rule and reign of Jesus Christ. It gives a tangible witness to Jesus’ kingdom and the power of the Gospel to change lives. We are called to serve in such a way that it demands a Gospel explanation—lives that cannot be explained in any other way than by the Gospel of the Kingdom of Jesus.
(Matthew 20:25-28; John 13:1-17; Philippians 2:5-11; 1 Peter 2:16)
We desire to be a community of grace united in and under Christ leadership.
We desire to be children who are devoted to personal holiness through rhythms of personal and corporate reflection, repentance and confession of sin, stillness and mediation, prayer, scripture reading and obedience and faith.
We desire to be desire to be a people increasingly transformed by the power and love of God from the inside our, through personal and corporate intimacy with God. That we would have more love, more joy, more peace, more hope, and more faith
We desire out of the overflow of joy in Christ live and speak the gospel to the lost and the one another with passion, authenticity, and urgency.
We desire to be a family that is joy-filled and generous in sharing with all who have needs, regardless of faith, our treasures, talents, time, space, and money that God has given us to steward.
We desire to see multiplication of disciples, gospel communities forming in every neighbourhood of North Birmingham which leads to churches being planted.
We don’t see the church as a building you go to; rather, we see ourselves as the church living normal life with Gospel intentionality. Below you will find the normal rhythms of life that are lived within every culture. As Christ’s people, we don’t want to add extra things to our already busy lives, we just want to be intentional with what we are already doing.
Everyone’s life is shaped by a dominant Story. As a church, we take time to be shaped by God’s Story. God has been unfolding his Story since before time began. We believe we are participants in the Story and need to understand it and see how our lived intersect with it. Therefore, we regularly reacquaint ourselves with the Story by interacting with God’s Word. We look for ways and times to tell the Story often. We also take time to listen to others’ stories and help them find their lives within God’s story.
(Genesis 1:1-2; John 1:1; Psalm 1; 2 Timothy 3:16-17)
We set aside regular times to listen to God both backward and forward. Jesus listened to God in prayer to know his Father’s will. We are also called to listen to God. We listen backward by regularly interacting with God through His Word (the Story). We listen forward by making space to hear his Spirit in us and through creation.
(Mark 1:35-37; John 16:7-15; Hebrews 1:1-3; Romans 1:20)
We gather together to celebrate God’s extravagant blessings. God calls people to regularly celebrate his goodness and grace. We gather weekly in gospel communities and regularly as a larger family to share stories and celebrate all that God is doing in and among us. We invite everyone to these celebrations as a way of displaying God’s glory.
(Leviticus 23; Acts 2:42-47; Hebrews 10:24-25)
We intentionally bless others through words, gifts, and actions. God desires that all nations — all people — would be blessed through Jesus. As His body, we live out this mission as we bless others. We intentionally seek God’s direction for who he would have us tangibly bless each week.
(Genesis 12:1-3; Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:8-10; 1 Peter 2:12)
We regularly eat meals with others to invite them into the community of God. Meals are a daily reminder of our common need for God to provide for us—both physically and spiritually. Jesus called us to remember him and his sacrifice for us through a meal. When we eat together, we commune around this truth. We regularly eat meals with those not in our immediate family or circle of close friends, discipling them toward a life of dependence on God.
(Leviticus 23; Matthew 6:11; 26:17-30; Acts 2:46-47; Romans 12:13)
We take time to rest, play, create, and restore beauty in ways that reflect God to others. After powerfully and joyfully creating the universe, God rested. We were create in His image and therefore were made to joyfully create and rest as well. We do this in a variety of ways—individually and in community.
(Genesis 1-2:3; Deuteronomy 5:12; Mark 2:23-28; Hebrews 4)
Reorientated by the Priority of the Gospel
As humans we are prone to live self-orientated lives, but as a church we are committed to intentionally re-orientating every aspect of our lives around the priority and power of the gospel of Jesus to change the lives of believers as we pastor one another and to change the lives of unbelievers as we share the good news of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection. As such, we are employed by God as His ambassadors, and so we encourage each other to re-orientate our thoughts, attitudes, words, and deeds by allowing Jesus to change our hearts in the context of everyday life including our relationships, time, money, skills, and gifts for the our primary purpose of advancing the gospel.
Gathered for Celebration & Equipping
We believe the weekly church gathering is important for celebrating Jesus’ goodness and for being equipped and trained for the purpose of being on Jesus’ mission. In addition, it provides a common identity, mission, values, and leadership for all of our Gospel Communities.
Shaped by God's Word
We are a family of disciple-learners who want our lives to be shaped by God’s Word. We believe God’s Word—the Bible—is His revelation to us about how to be redeemed and changed through Jesus. We believe the Bible to be the reliable, authoritative, and sufficient Word of God; therefore, it is our ultimate authority on what it means to be followers of Jesus. The Bible is about Jesus—the entire Old Testament looks forward to Jesus, and the entire New Testament looks back to Jesus. Therefore, as we study His Word, we want to be changed into the likeness of Christ by God's power, not just filled with head knowledge.
Scattered as Family Units on Mission
We believe our community groups are the church scattered throughout the community. They are equal in value and priority to the gathered church. We scatter as families on Jesus’ mission to pastor and disciple one other and to be involved in local mission. We want people to experience Jesus’ life-transforming power in the context of a network of relationships—to see up-close and personal the power of the gospel in believers’ lives. We believe people come to faith in Jesus and grow in faith as one person reminds another about the gospel of Jesus and as they share their lives together.
Filled & Led by the Holy Spirit
We recognise that in ourselves we have no means of change. We desperately need the Holy Spirit to fill us and lead us. The Holy Spirit is a person, and we are called to grow in our love and dependence upon Him. Through Him we are able to live a new and different life and to experience gradual change and ongoing victory over remaining sin in our lives as we die to ourselves and live for Jesus. It is only the Holy Spirit that can bring about real lasting heart change as we are obedient in our conduct. We must be filled and led by the Spirit at all times in all things no matter what the cost or consequences.
Blessed to Be a Blessing to our Community
Jesus came to be a blessing to all nations so that through His words and deeds everyone one might understand how to be saved through Him. As His body, we seek to be a blessing to our community as we live out Jesus’ mission by sharing the good news of Jesus both in words (by sharing our faith), and in deeds (by showing our faith). We intentionally look for practical ways, both big and small, to serve in our different communities each week.
Devoted to a Praying Life
We believe that we have a Heavenly Father who loves to hear our prayers at all times, from all places, and about all things. A praying life isn’t just about gathering together in meetings to pray—though that is a great to do—it is about living life in communion with the Father, asking Him to lead and give us wisdom in the every day, bringing our worries and troubles to Him moment by moment, and praying for opportunities to share Jesus with people. It a life devoted to doing the Father’s will by seeking His will in every moment of life.
Multiplied by Planting New Churches
We want a simple model of church that is reproducible so that multiplication can take place. We see that the primary mode of multiplication is through planting community groups in gospel priority areas and with gospel priority people groups. We are committed to starting new communities connected together by Sunday gatherings. The groups will be formed around common vision, values, identity, and mission, and will be under a common leadership. We want to be connected for the purpose of unity and vision and scattered for the purpose of local mission.
Ordered by Complementarian Relationships
We believe God ordered His creation, including how men and women interact, according to His good plan and purpose. We believe that men and women are equal, and we also believe they have different and complementary roles in God’s creation. The man is to be a humble and courageous leader and a tender provider who would give up his life for his wife. The women is to be a servant-hearted helper who lovingly, willingly, and sacrificially supports her husband in his role and responsibility to lead and provide for his family. We see the family unit comprised of a marriage between one man and one woman as God’s core building block for society and the church. In addition, in church leadership we see these roles played out in a complementary, though different, way. Qualified men are to serve as elders, and other qualified men and women are to serve as deacons under the authority of the elders.
There is one God, who exists eternally in three distinct but equal persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God is unchangeable in his holiness, justice, wisdom and love. He is the almighty Creator; Saviour and Judge who sustains and governs all things according to his sovereign will for his own glory.
God has revealed himself in the Bible, which consists of the Old and New Testaments alone. Every word was inspired by God through human authors, so that the Bible as originally given is in its entirety the Word of God, without error and fully reliable in fact and doctrine. The Bible alone speaks with final authority and is always sufficient for all matters of belief and practice.
The Human Race
All men and women, being created in the image of God, have inherent and equal dignity and worth. Their greatest purpose is to obey, worship and love God. As a result of the fall of our first parents, every aspect of human nature has been corrupted and all men and women are without spiritual life, guilty sinners and hostile to God. Every person is therefore under the just condemnation of God and needs to be born again, forgiven and reconciled to God in order to know and please him.
The Lord Jesus Christ
The Lord Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin, and lived a sinless life in obedience to the Father. He taught with authority and all his words are true. On the cross he died in the place of sinners, bearing God’s punishment for their sin, redeeming them by his blood. He rose from the dead and in his resurrection body ascended into heaven where he is exalted as Lord of all. He intercedes for his people in the presence of the Father.
Salvation is entirely a work of God’s grace and cannot be earned or deserved. It has been accomplished by the Lord Jesus Christ and is offered to all in the gospel. God in his love forgives sinners whom he calls, granting them repentance and faith. All who believe in Christ are justified by faith alone, adopted into the family of God and receive eternal life.
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit has been sent from heaven to glorify Christ and to apply his work of salvation. He convicts sinners, imparts spiritual life and gives a true understanding of the Scriptures. He indwells all believers, brings assurance of salvation and produces increasing likeness to Christ. He builds up the Church and empowers its members for worship, service and mission.
The universal Church is the body of which Christ is the head and to which all who are saved belong. It is made visible in local churches, which are congregations of believers who are committed to each other for the worship of God, the preaching of the Word, the administering of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper; for pastoral care and discipline, and for evangelism. The unity of the body of Christ is expressed within and between churches by mutual love, care and encouragement. True fellowship between churches exists only where they are faithful to the gospel.
Baptism & Lord's Supper
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper have been given to the churches by Christ as visible signs of the gospel. Baptism is a symbol of union with Christ and entry into his Church but does not impart spiritual life. The Lord’s Supper is a commemoration of Christ’s sacrifice offered once for all and involves no change in the bread and wine. All its blessings are received by faith.
The Lord Jesus Christ will return in glory. He will raise the dead and judge the world in righteousness. The wicked will be sent to eternal punishment and the righteous will be welcomed into a life of eternal joy in fellowship with God. God will make all things new and will be glorified forever.