Engedi Church – a Small Congregation with Big Ideas.

Engedi Church ( http://www.engedichurch.com ) began meeting in a school cafe on Oct 5, 2005. A daughter of large and successful Central Wesleyan Church (CWC) in Holland Mi., Engedi was birthed by Pastor Brian Aulick and a small group of congregants who wanted to be less anchored in tradition and more freely focused on areas of living in a discipling community and engaging social outreach. This is not to say that Central Wesleyan was not concerned about these issues. As a growing church on Michigan’s west coast, CWC is a traditional Wesleyan church which has a great reputation and impact in the community. Those involved in Engedi simply wanted to shift their focus, not start a new denomination.

In our interview, Pastor Brian Aulick said he never planned on a church plant. Engedi started as a small group within CWC. After 5 years, the senior pastor suggested that Brian plant the unique congregation in order to expand their outreach and impact. Brian and Engedi members are more highly connected to living out their faith every day of the week. The group wanted to be more intentional in helping people serve in the community during the week.

Engedi was named after the small oasis which hid David from King Saul during the years he evaded Saul in wilderness. Engedi is a small valley, just off the eastern shore of the Dead Sea. In a parched region void of vegetation, a small stream breaks across the rocks, and falls down in the Engedi Valley, creating a cool lush retreat of green plants and animal life. The Engedi oasis was often a place where weary travelers stopped for refreshment and refueling. In this image Pastor Brian fashions this growing congregation.

Those who make Engedi their church home are called partners, not members. Each partner is called to, and willingly agrees to pursue a more deliberate, intentional Christian life. This paradigm is also promoted by Dr. Randy Carlson, speaker, writer and radio host with Family Life Communications. (www.theintentionallife.com) Partners commit to core practices, each of which linked to core values. The practical emphasis placed on these 5 core values make Engedi unique, and transformational for both partners and the community around them.

CABLE – A Means to Tie It All Together. Built on the acronym CABLE, the Engedi partners agree to practice the following.

C: To Care for others needs. The first core value is not restricted to those who come to church with you, or those you know. Each CABLE group is asked to have a community outreach project, such as collecting food for the local food bank, or mentoring local students.
A: To Acknowledge the journey with others regularly. Living your faith isn’t just a Sunday thing, and partners of Engedi intentionally seek out time to fellowship with others, and as Paul wrote: “Build up each other in the faith”
B: To Bless others weekly. “If the gospel is hidden, it is hidden to those who are perishing” Engedi partners seek to communicate, bless and give to others in some way that reflects the way Jesus would.
L: To Learn God’s word and to Listen to God’s voice. Being led by God’s spirit is, or should be an every day thing. By purposefully practicing God’s presence, Engedi partners seek to be an active partner with God’s work in everyday life.
E: To Eat with others. Jesus practiced what may sound simple – He slowed down to eat with those who knew him, and those who didn’t. Fellowship that happens over a meal can open doors to share more than just food. Relationships are built, and partners use relational evangelism to draw those who don’t know Christ a step or two nearer.

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5 Responses

  1. Cable is an interesting concept and I like this church’s desire to make a difference in the world and reach people through service. But are the “Partners” required to adhere to these values or they are not allowed to be a part of the church. If so, then it seems like it could quickly turn a good intent to ritualistic ordinances which in turn become pharisaical.

    Is it a requirement?

    Teena Stewart
    Author, Successful Small Groups from Concept to Practice

  2. Our partners (or members) are required to affirm our values and comitt to living our practices at some level. Anyone would feel quite welcome and embraced at Engedi. However becoming a partner is really formally engaging with our mission as a local church. So if you aren’t actively serving the poor, for example, you wouldn’t be looked down upon. But you also wouldn’t be ready to be a voting partner of the church either. I supposed the key to the whole thing is pursuing our mission in a culture of grace.

  3. This sounds like a GREAT community of believers to worship with! Do you also incorporate the Wesleyan views, or are you more non-denominational?
    Thanks for the post!
    Melanie

  4. Melanie:

    Pastor Brian is busy with family and his church leadership responsibilities. Engedi grew as a daughter church from Central Wesleyan in Holland MI, so their official doctrine is similar. In my conversations with Pastor Brian, I found their focus has come full circle, much like John Wesley himself. Christian life should be about living the Word of God, personally and as a community. In this way, Engedi could be compared to many non-demoninational, or fundamental churches.

  5. I’m always searching for brand-new articles in the world wide web about this matter. Thanx.

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