To accomplish this mission, we will be structured as both a gathered and scattered church
We gather on Sundays for singing, preaching, sacraments, and stories. Just as Christians have been doing for 2,000 years, Citylight will gather on Sundays to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, delight in his Word, worship Him together, and remember the Lord’s Supper and baptism. These Sunday gatherings will serve the broader mission of multiplying disciples and churches, and we dream of these gatherings equipping disciples of Jesus to scatter in to City Groups and eventually multiply churches.
Scatter (City Groups)
We scatter throughout the week in City Groups. City Groups are the heart of Citylight Church. They are not an optional program or a seasonal Bible study. A City Group is a mid-sized community (15-40 people) who are growing in the Gospel, listening to the Scriptures, connecting as family, and serving a specific neighborhood or network in the city. We envision City Groups that are small enough to care for each other’s growth in Christ, but big enough to dare to engage the culture around them. As disciples multiply among Citylight, so will City Groups and churches.
The Gospel is the good news that God saves sinners through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. God has reached down to us. Jesus has done for us what we never could do ourselves. This gospel is the power of God to save sinners and transform neighborhoods and nations (Romans1:16). The Gospel isn’t just the ABCs of following Jesus - it is the A to Z of following Jesus. It is of first importance in all we will do as a church (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
The Gospel is such wonderful news that we can’t help but respond. We want to respond with faith, repentance, and worship. This means we look to Jesus for everything in our lives and in our church. We trust him with our hearts and our behaviors. We also respond to him with repentance - real change in our lives birthed out of loving Jesus more than anything else. And we respond to God with worship, both in our whole lives and in our gatherings. We celebrate God’s presence, welcome His Spirit, and preach His Word in response to all He has done.
The church is not a place but a people. It’s more than a weekly assembly of individuals. It is a humble, joyful community committed to loving each other and doing life together. The primary expression of community in our church will be City Groups, where we connect to hear the gospel, respond to the gospel, and share the gospel. We will never settle for only being a weekly service for people to attend, but will continually invite people to share their lives with others as “a people for God’s own possession” (1 Peter 2:9).
The church is God’s missionary agency to reach the unreached with the Gospel. Missions is not just one ministry within the church, but the very orientation of our church. The same gospel that transforms us within also compels us outward on mission. We exist as a church to be both “a city on a hill” and “the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). We do this by focusing each of our City Groups around a shared mission – seeking to love, serve, and make disciples of neighborhoods and networks of people in Lincoln.
Lincoln is a growing and transforming city. There are new companies being created as Lincoln has become a hub for entrepreneurial activity. Hudl, Beehive, Nebraska Global, Travefy and other companies are changing the landscape of downtown, growing the local economy and attracting creative and talented people to city. We believe there is a new entrepreneurial spirit among young adults in our city and that the best way to engage this demographic is by planting new local churches that create room for new ideas, new leaders, and that care about our city in tangible ways.
Currently, there are over 25,000 students that attend UNL. We believe the college campus is the most strategic mission field in our state. Tomorrow’s cultural trends will be shaped by the leaders that are present on our campus today. Students are making significant decisions about what they believe to be true and we want to see students experience Jesus, worship Jesus, and be mobilized to serve Jesus.
Lincoln is a racially-diverse city and is home to more than 19,000 refugees. We want to be a church that reflects the diversity of our city. We believe that a gospel-centered church is one that unites different races, socio-economic statuses, and cultures. We want to intentionally pursue racial diversity not because that’s politically correct, but because we believe the kingdom of God includes every tribe, tongue, and nation and calls very different people into a Jesus-exulting family. Lincoln is growing and we believe the stage is set for God to do a new work! Families are being started. Companies are being launched. Students are moving into our city. Could it be that God is calling Citylight Church Lincoln to be a small part of what He is doing in our city and among the nations?