We have a simple vision at The Story.
Our vision is to be an authentic, grace-filled, come as you are church. Our reason for that vision? Well, we believe it describes the person of Jesus and ultimately we just want to be Jesus to the world around us.
Think about it. Jesus was the most authentic person who ever lived. Nothing fake or disingenuous about him. He was real, honest, believable - he was authentic. The world seems to require, and even promote that we make ourselves into something we are not in order to be accepted. We want to be a church where you can be you. You can be authentic with us and we'll be authentic with you.
There was no one more grace filled than Jesus. Everyone he met he met with grace and grace has the power and potential to change lives. The Story is full of people with sordid pasts and lots of baggage. We all recognize we are broken people on some level. But Jesus made it clear he didn't come to condemn the world, rather to offer it grace.
And Jesus taught his disciples to accept people "as they were." Don't misunderstand us, he didn't want them to stay that way. On the contrary, Jesus was always hoping that people would grow in their walk with God. But he exemplified the "come as you are" philosophy we strive for at The Story. He never asked anyone to change before he invited them to follow him. He just invited people to follow him, he just said "come as you are." But of course the amazing outcome is that those who truly follow Christ rarely stay the same. They begin to change from the inside out. But it always starts with a simple invitation.
Come as you are.
So, we believe our vision is simply a reflection of the life of Jesus
To be authentic...to be grace filled...to practice a come as you are lifestyle...is to be Jesus
We aren't perfect at it. That's for sure. But that's the great thing about Christ, he doesn't require perfection.