Jacob’s Well is a Holistic, Missional, Christian Community. We understand and express our identity in three primary ways: Forming, Living, and Extending the Life of God in Christ. We believe that the scope of our work lies in five commitments: Worship, Creativity, Learning, Hospitality, and Justice.
Jacob’s Well began in June 1998, our mission to join God in his work in the world: helping people, whatever their story, to live life to the full. We seek to be an authentic, biblical community where people experience and express the reality of God’s love.
At the center of our dream is a person, Jesus Christ. We believe he is the reality of God’s love. When God revealed himself to people who were broken and alienated from him, he did so through weakness — coming as a man who lived and suffered and died. Jesus Christ is at the heart of our church. Without him, we would simply be another group of people with good intentions. With him at our core, we are an expression of his church, one of God’s instruments for accomplishing his purposes in the world.
We believe that any community calling itself a church lives in the tension between two realities. Our community is a part of the larger story of God’s activity in the world. Our church revolves around the story of God and his people found in our scriptures, the Bible. We are biblical — we live and struggle within the boundaries the scriptures give us. We are also authentic. We believe that God is honored and lives are transformed when people are honest, genuine, and real, exposing their brokenness to God and to others. We try not to wear masks. We believe that living the tension of being biblically-based and authentic is a challenge, but one that is incredibly exciting and life-giving.
What is the response of this community to God’s reality present in our midst? We believe it is a two-fold response. We are invited to experience the reality of God’s love for us in our own lives. We are invited to worship God, to grow in our knowledge and obedience to him, to experience his presence in our community. But it doesn’t end there. God’s life is not given for merely selfish reasons. We are also invited to express God’s love in the world in real, tangible ways, and to share what we know about Jesus with those who do not know him. Christianity is a way of life that sends us into the world to serve God and our neighbors so that God’s will is done on earth as it is in heaven. The church is never to be a withdrawn, isolated end user of the gospel of Jesus; rather, we receive it so that we may be equipped and sent into the world to love our neighbors and serve “the least of these.” In this sense, Jacob’s Well doesn’t have a mission; it is mission.
In saying all that, we are trying to explore three essential relationships together:
Our relationship to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
We understand ourselves as being a group of people who are trying to live our lives oriented to God and his purposes in our world.
Our relationships to each other and to people around us
We are committed to deep relationships and want to share our lives together. In the midst of that, we understand that part of our mission is to express love to the community around us in tangible ways.
Our relationship to the past and to the future
We locate ourselves within the larger story of the Christian Church throughout the past 2000 years and are trying to learn from that history. We are excited by the richness of 2000+ years of Christian experience and are beginning to re-explore the ancient traditions of the church; renewing creeds and liturgy while at the same time enjoying modern forms of faith. We also look forward to, and are inspired by, God’s vision of the future and we walk towards it with purpose and hope.
Jacob’s Well is a living story: a story about a church where people are allowed to belong before they believe, where people are listened to, not preached at. A story about a church where it is safe to share doubts and questions, struggles, heart-ache and pain, along with fun and parties and relationships full of meaning, purpose and connectedness. At the center of this is our belief that we need each other to help us in the pursuit of Jesus as our alternative basis for living and being. That is why we talk so much about community. We are on a journey; we are people with a shared mission, and we hope that your life will be enriched through your involvement here, so that together we might bring hope and healing to our world in these exciting times.
The Apostles’ Creed (ca. ad 215)
We believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.
We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.
We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. AMEN.
We affirm historic Christian orthodoxy and one of the earliest and most universally accepted of Christian creeds. But more than that we hold what we believe is a generous orthodoxy. We are a community in theological dialogue with the past and the present, seeking to understand and respond faithfully to the gospel in our time.
The Apostles’ Creed gives a summary of the doctrinal commitments of this community. However, we do not think the best way to know what we believe is to read it off a page. We believe the best way to determine what someone, or some group of people, believe is to watch them — or better yet, join them and discover it from the inside. When we are handed a sheet of paper or click on a link with a list of statements, we believe that something vital is short-circuited. More than that, we become a brand: “Oh, you’re ‘that’ kind of Christian/church.” We are a brand culture. We don’t want to be a brand church. We are a community of people seeking to follow Jesus in faith and freedom.