We believe that the church, ultimately, is not a place to go or an event to attend, but a community of people who have been radically loved by God demonstrated to us through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Because we have been so well-loved by God, it’s our desire to make known the good news of God’s grace to each other within our church community, to those in our everyday lives (at work and in our neighborhoods), and to people around the world.
“I am more sinful and flawed than I dare believe, yet I am more accepted and loved by God than I ever dared hope. These things are true at the same time, and they’re true because Jesus Christ lived and died in my place.”
The gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ and the power of God’s kingdom has entered history to forgive our sin, heal our brokenness and restore all of creation. This renewing work of Jesus is what rescues us from the consequences of our sin and transforms us into His image (see 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, Romans 8:1-4).
The gospel is a message for people who are far away from God, and a message for believers. It shapes every facet of our lives (home, work, neighborhood, church).
At The Village Church we want the gospel, the good news of God’s one-way love for us, to shape everything we do – from weekly worship services to children’s ministry to serving the city. Our other core values are meaningless unless they flow from the deep well of God’s grace. In other words, we are who we are and we do what we do because of who Jesus is and what he has done for us.
The gospel is a proclamation to be believed and a power to be experienced – individually and collectively. God himself is a relational being, and he has created us to be relational beings as well. In short, we need each other and we want to stop pretending that we don’t (see Acts 2:42-47).
The gospel shapes individual Christians into a new community of people who were formerly God’s enemies but are now reconciled to Him and adopted into his family. As we’re transformed by the gospel we are called to love each other and care for each other as we love God together. As we live this way, we reflect the love of Jesus Christ to each other and to the world around us, and the people around us begin to see the beauty of the gospel. The church is not a place, but a people – a community that is continually being reformed and renewed by the transforming power of the gospel.
At The Village Church, our value for community drives us to be a simple church that resists complicated program-driven ministry models. We value relationships over events, buildings, budgets, or personalities.
The gospel calls us into a relationship with Christ and one another; and it also sends us out into the world on mission (see Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 1:8, Matthew 25:34-40). We want to be a church that both embodies and proclaims the gospel message winsomely in the city of Atlanta and around the world. The embodiment of the gospel will be expressed in our love for our city as we help meet its various physical, emotional, and social needs. The proclamation of the gospel will be expressed through our relationships with people who are far from God, as we love them and share the gosepl with them right where they are in our own network of relationships.
At The Village Church, our value for mission drives us to develop and train future leaders for the purpose of releasing them to become tomorrow’s ministers, missionaries, and church planters. Our vision is not only to build one church, but to be a part of a movement of the gospel expressing itself in the multiplication of disciples and churches both locally and around the world.
A gospel-centered church understands that change or transformation of any kind, especially heart transformation, cannot happen apart from the good news of God’s grace.
Therefore, a gospel-centered church keeps the focus of its activity – preaching, teaching, worship, outreach, mercy ministry, discipleship – centered on the riches of God’s grace available only through the sacrificial death of Jesus for sinners.
Because of this, a gospel-centered church is committed to:
- Reading and teaching the entire Bible in light of the gospel
- Preaching the gospel to unbelievers and believers
- Leaders applying the gospel to themselves first; church leaders are the first repenters
- Cultivating a leadership culture marked by an increasing “Gospel astonishment”
- Being known for an atmosphere of grace; gospel-centered churches are safe places for those outside the faith
- Being known as people who don’t just know the doctrine of the gospel but who also love Jesus
As a church we cannot forget how much people need the gospel. Life is hard. We need hope. We need grace. We need mercy. We need Jesus. We won’t forget it if we understand something simple yet mind-boggling: God became a man. The incarnation helps us understand and relate to people. While the cross provides the framework of our theology (what we believe about and how we understand God), the incarnation provides the framework of our missiology (what we believe about, how we relate to, and how we reach people and our culture).
While the cross of Christ is our message, the incarnation shapes and informs how we communicate that message. And what do we see in the incarnation? We see Jesus.
In Jesus the man, God moved into the neighborhood. He loved people. He spent time with people. He met people’s needs. He shared his life with people. He offered grace to sinners and he gave up his life so we could know God’s love rather than his wrath. He didn’t see people and culture as his enemies, but as broken treasures that he came to restore.
A missional church sees people and culture the same way. Because of this we will be committed to:
- Faithful contextualization – communicating gospel truths in a way the culture understands
- Disciple-making – Jesus’ essential call was to make disciples
- Encouraging missionaries rather than consumers – equipping people to live-out the Gospel in their everyday lives and work
- Helping to build a great city, not just a good church – the goal is more than a full church, it’s a transformed city
- Mercy ministry – healing real wounds and righting injustices in Atlanta and around the world
- Church Planting – multiplying to new neighborhoods, states, and countries by starting new local churches
To sum up, Jesus not only lived among us, he also died for us. Therefore, being “missional” fails if it does not point to the cross. Through all we do, the message we’re translating for the culture is “Jesus Christ and him crucified.”
As a Christian church we affirm and believe the Nicene Creed and the Apostles’ Creed. As an Anglican church, our statement of faith is The 39 Articles of Religion. This document, established in England in 1563, is a beautiful, succinct, orthodox explanation of the Christian faith. Click here to read the 39 Articles of Religion.
Rev. Jonathan Adams
Jonathan grew up in Jacksonville, FL where he met and married his high school sweetheart, Jana. In 2001, they moved to Atlanta after Jonathan had graduated from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and accepted a job with Reach-Out Ministries. Jonathan served as the Short-Term Missions Director for 7 years at Reach-Out before becoming the Director of Student Ministry at a local Atlanta church for the following 7 years. Jonathan and Jana reside in the Smyrna-Vinings area with their three children, Noah, Lily, and Caleb. Contact Jonathan at: [email protected]
Rev. Curt Benham
Curt and his wife, Michelle, both born and raised in Jacksonville, FL, have lived in Atlanta for 8 years. They have two young children, Samuel and Virginia, who were both born in Atlanta. Curt is a graduate of The Florida State University (as is Michelle) and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC. Before planting The Village Church, Curt served as a college minister in Romania and was on pastoral staff at several regional churches where he ministered to teenagers and parents of teenagers. Contact Curt at: [email protected]
Village Counseling Director, Administrative Assistant to the pastors
Carlyn is originally from Thomasville, GA and the youngest of three girls. She received her bachelor’s degree in Studio Art at Furman University, where she also fell in love with youth ministry through her involvement in Young Life. In 2006, she moved to Atlanta to work with middle school youth and pursue a graduate degree in counseling. In May 2010, Carlyn joined The Village Church team as the part-time admin while she finished her schooling. Carlyn now holds a Master’s in Professional Counseling from Richmont Graduate University, and currently serves as the admin and counselor at The Village Church. Contact Carlyn at: [email protected]
Children’s Ministry Director
Melissa grew up in Suwanee, GA with her parents and younger sister. She graduated from Georgia College and State University with a degree in Early Childhood Education. In 2009, Melissa moved to Atlanta to work with middle school students at The Church of the Apostles. She joined the Village Church team as the Children’s Director in June 2010 and is currently a teacher at Trinity School. Through a recent mission trip for teachers through Young Life Africa , Melissa discovered a love for schools in Zimbabwe and plans to foster relationships in the future. Contact Melissa at: [email protected]
Before coming to Village Church Vinings…Mark was born in Nashville, TN and grew up outside of Atlanta, GA. His parents were both musicians, and his dad and brother taught him how to play the guitar. Mark practiced a lot; usually in the back of his families Texaco filling station. He then went to school for a long time and studied music and theology at Clayton State University and Emory University. Mark has served churches in Georgia and Florida, including The Church of the Apostles in Atlanta, where he served as the Director of Music for 12 years. He has made several records, and this year he learned how to drive a forklift, which he claims changed his life. Mark is still playing music, writing music, and leading worship, but now he has a special heart for helping those who struggle with the disease of addiction. He and his family live near Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield, which he feels is pretty profound.
The Village Church at Vinings is connected to the global Anglican Communion through the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA), and under the authority of the Rt. Rev. Foley Beach, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of the South. We join with over 70 million Anglicans worldwide rooted in the beliefs of the English Reformation.
What exactly does it mean to be Anglican?
Practically, Anglican Christianity is rooted in the ancient faith and practice of the first century church and developed in the 16th century English Reformation. Driven by a missionary focus, Anglicanism has been about the work of making disciples for over 500 years and has expanded into a global church.
A rich worship experience is a key ingredient of our Anglican heritage. We embrace an interactive liturgy with emphasis on Bible preaching and on the sacraments instituted by Jesus himself – Baptism and Communion (or the Lord’s Supper).
For more information on Anglicanism, please visit ACNA’s website.