This is a Manifesto.
AT LEAST WE THINK SO.
Some slightly lazy Googling suggests that we can probably get away with calling it that, so we’re going with it.
WE ARE DISCOVERY.
Discovery is a scrappy team committed to changing what people think when they hear the words “church” and “Christian.” We’ve met a God who really knows us, loves us, rescues us, and never stops pursuing us. And we will do anything short of sin to introduce our friends to Him. We run toward the mess and toward others because God ran after and continues to run after us.
What exactly does that mean? What does it look like?
IT’S DARK. IT’S LOUD.
IT SMELLS LIKE COFFEE.
NO. THIS ISN’T A HIPSTER COMMUNE.
Back in ‘03, a small group of people realized that they had a lot of friends who were interested in God, but not church. We’ve been working hard to create a church that we and they would actually want to come to.
A place where everyone is safe and belongs regardless of how their stories read or what they believe-good coffee, great music, a life-changing message, a room that everyone can be anonymous in-until they are ready to step out and meet people.
We’ve been at it ever since.
HILLS WE DIE ON
YOU HAVE TO CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES. WE DO TOO.
Over the years, our journey has landed us on seven things that we are consistently willing to take a bullet for. Simply calling them values doesn’t cut it. These battles have defined us. We wear the scars as a badge of honor, because these are the places that we’d rather die that compromise who God has called us to be and what He has called us to do.
By laying down our own lives on these hills, we have found and continue to find the life God has for us. Many others are finding it, too.
DEATH TO RELIGION
Religion says, “Follow the rules. Be ashamed of your failures. Keep secrets.” Religion is a liar that traps each of us in our own fear.
We say hiding sucks.
We step out into the open, look fear in the face and say, “You can’t shame me anymore.” We are transparent about our failures, and offer that same grace to anyone who wants it.
1. We die on the hill of AUTHENTICITY
*Religion: any man-made system of rules and regulations that promises to get you to God.
BRING YOUR MESS
BRING YOUR FEARS. BRING YOUR BAGGAGE. BRING IT ALL.
We’re all taught to hide all our brokenness and pretend that everything’s fine. That’s especially true in church. Over and over we see the same story playing out. As we help people dig into and discovery the significance of their own stories and experience Jesus in all of that, they find the help, hope, life and freedom that they have been searching for their entire lives.
We find hope. We find joy. We find meaning. We find freedom.
IT'S ALL ABOUT STORY
THIS DOESN’T MAKE US BETTER.
It simply makes us different. In church world, we understand the significance of this thing called sin and have a bad habit of missing the significance of this thing called story. We understand the significance of the mistakes we’ve made and the things we’ve done. We miss the significance of all the things that have been done to, said to, and said about us. We are setting out to change that one heart at a time.
WILD AT HEART
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.”
There is so much more to life with God than any of us have experienced. Jesus said that he came to give us life to the fullest. He came to ransom us, rescue us, heal our broken hearts, and set our captive hearts free. We believe that and we chase that with all we have. The Wild At Heart message and way is not just another study.
It’s a way of life for us.
FIRST, IT’S TASTY. UNLESS YOU SHOULDN’T BE DRINKING IT, IN WHICH CASE…DON’T.
Second, it’s a good way to know if we’re being weird and churchy. We call it, “The Beer Test.” Listen to whoever’s on stage and ask, “Would I have a beer with them?” If the answer is “no,” then we’re doing it wrong.
Third, beer = authenticity. if you’d drink it on your back deck, then you should be okay with drinking it anywhere. Be who you are, always.
WE WERE MADE FOR FREEDOM
Beer matters, but clearly, the Bible matters more - and God matters most. Unfortunately, we’ve been lied to. Convinced that living the life that we want to live leads to freedom, that if it feels good, we ought to do it, and that there is nothing we can do with our brokenness. The Bible says, “you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”
“You shall know the truth and be a nice person”
“You shall know the truth and stop having fun.”
“You shall know the truth and use it to judge and condemn everybody.”
We believe that and build everything on that truth. We believe that the Bible presents a dangerous life-changing message. It is authoritative, inspired, trustworthy, life-changing, and the very foundation of all that we do.
2. We die on the hill of BIBLICAL GRACE & TRUTH
IT'S ALL ABOUT JESUS.
We believe that Jesus came to rescue each of us and that we are rescued and continue to be rescued to help rescue others. Rescue is not about knowing more information, it’s about transformation. It’s not about adjusting biblical truth to fit my life; it’s about adjusting my life to fit it. Rescue is about experiencing all the life that Jesus came to bring us, more forgiveness, healing, redemption, restoration, joy, hope, life, freedom, and becoming all that he created us to be.
COMMUNITIES FLIP CITIES.
CITIES CHANGE THE WORLD.
The story of the Bible starts in a garden but ends in a city. Cities are the crossroads of culture, the epicenter of industry-and at the very core of the heart and plans of God.
In our city, we are working really hard to flip the status quo. From poverty to prosperity, depression to hope, aimlessness to purpose, lost to found. We are committed to building a society that matches the beautiful scenery of our city.
IT STARTS IN OUR OWN BACKYARD
Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.
It’s easy to get caught up in what’s happening across the world and miss what’s happening down the street. Yes, we are doing big things in other parts of the world but our primary focus with our mission dollars and energy is our city. We believe that everyone matters to God exponentially and do everything that we can to show the love of Jesus with absolutely no strings attached to anyone and everyone that we come into contact with.
3. We die on the hill of OUR CITY
WE ARE BETTER CONNECTED
A space for our community.
A place for you.
Life happens here.
We believe that we accomplish our vision of changing what comes to mind when people hear the words “church” and “Christian” by continuing to take risks and come up with innovative ways to show the unconditional love of Jesus with no strings attached to people outside the walls of the church. One of the ways that we have done that is with the COS City Hub.
We recognized that our most underutilized asset as a church was our building which sat dark and empty way too often. In an incredible, growing, and thriving city like ours in need of quality community space, we determined that that wasn’t okay. Our building should be irresistible to all people, not just church people. It should be a place that is home to a preschool, coffee shop, co-op work space, gathering place, meeting space, training place, concert venue, and event space, a space full of love, laughter, tears, community, conversation and life. It’s more than just a place to go to church, it’s a place for us to actually BE the church. COS City Hub helps us to connect with, have conversations with, love and do life with people who may not believe what we believe. That’s the dream that is the Hub, the dream that we are chasing hard after in this place.
WE ARE BETTER TOGETHER
ONE GOD. ONE CHURCH. ONE KINGDOM.
We realize that our vision of redefining church and Christian is so much bigger than us. That is why we were a part of founding and continue to be a part of leading the COSIloveyou movement in our city. COSIloveyou is a growing group of churches and organizations committed to united and igniting the churches in Colorado Springs so that every person in our city experiences the tangible love of God with no strings attached. Every week, more and more churches, organizations and businesses join the movement. Thousands of people hit the streets to do service project every year. Together, we are changing what people think when they hear the words “church” and “Christian”.
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
Not a single one of us can believe and behave our way to the life we are looking for. That doesn’t stop us from trying. And yet, our pursuit of more knowledge and comfortable life that doesn’t require sacrifice leaves us losing heart. Jesus said that it is when we actually lose our lives that we find the life we are looking for. That’s why we go all in. It is all about being people who contagiously invite, serve, connect, help, give, teach, lead.
4. We die on the hill of DYING TO SELF
WE RAISE UP KINGDOM HEROES.
REPRODUCTION AND MULTIPLICATION CHANGE THE WORLD.
We intentionally come alongside, train up, and resource people to make a real difference in the world. There is no limit to what God can do through anyone who is willing to take personal responsibility for their own journey with him and who understands that there is always more available with God. It’s not a linear journey, it’s organic and looks a little different for each of us. Our job is to come alongside you and equip you as you travel it.
5. We die on the hill of EMPOWERING PEOPLE
(WHERE YOU ALREADY ARE)
"As the Father is sending me,
so I am sending you"
The American church is in decline. At the very same time, the Kingdom of God is advancing like wildfire in other places around the world without the benefit of a lot of things including church buildings. It is happening as ordinary people like us are learning not to say “come and see” but are willing to “go and be” the church, to really and truly live sent where they already are, to live their faith and share their lives, to bring their own life with God wherever they live, learn, work, and play. Not only is the Kingdom advancing like wildfire, the ordinary people that are bringing it are finding the life that they have been searching for their entire lives too. That’s what we want for you. It comes when we are willing to do what Jesus asks each of us to do.
We are trying to equip and empower every kind of person in every possible context to reach every kind of person in every kind of context. Why? Because ordinary people with transformed lives, genuine love, and remarkable courage who bring the Kingdom change the world. That’s how God drew it up and that is what we want for you!
Join the Revolution!
THIS IS A PICTURE OF A DONKEY
IT'S ALL ABOUT RESCUE
The life that God calls each of us to and created each of us for involves a call to action with a sense of urgency. It doesn’t require us to be scholars, experts, or surgeons. What we believe God is really looking for are combat medics which we are training and raising every day. Truth alone is like a scalpel in the hands of someone who is not a surgeon, it tends to do more harm than good. What we are looking for are people who are full of grace and truth. We look for people who offer help with compassion, help stop the bleeding, and get people to the help that they really need.
There’s no reason that can’t be you.
SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT
ALL 3 CIRCLES, ALL THE TIME
LONE WOLVES DIE
Our society is filled with stories of individuals. Great-sounding, epic tales that actually mask insecurity and fear.
Know what happens to lone wolves? They die. And die alone.
Everybody needs a wolf pack. we weren’t designed to do life alone. Opening up and being vulnerable is intimidating, but that bravery leads to some of the best things in life.
Think big here. Yes, your family matters to us. We are huge on kids, students and help parents come alongside them too. Raising up next generation leaders who understand their stories and know-how to walk with God is hugely important to us. But we also want to be a large family of families in this place. A place where people are connected to one another and do life together. A place where we drive toward diversity and celebrate our differences. We believe that the life change we are looking for happens best in small circles, not long rows. The small tribe that you do life with should feel like family too.
6. We die on the hill of FAMILY
NO MORE DIVIDING OVER DIFFERENCES
Let’s connect around what we have in common. Following Jesus doesn’t mean saying goodbye to who you are or what you get excited about. Bring that stuff to the table, because you are probably not alone. There might be a group for that. What are you passionate about?
Bring it. If there is not a group, let’s talk about helping you start one. Chances are you will find some people here who dig that stuff too.
When someone says, “Ugh, smell this…”
DO NOT SMELL THIS.
"By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
The great building, music, coffee, vibe, feel, safety, welcomeness, life-changing message, city stuff...all of that is great. Above it all, what matters most is the way we love. Jesus said that the two greatest commandments of all are to love God and love others. This is a hill we die on over and over again. If we are going to be known for something, it must be our unconditional love. Above everything else, regardless of the circumstances, we will always lead with love.
7. We die on the hill of LOVE
HILLS WE DON'T DIE ON
The correct pronunciation of .gif
Socks and sandals (you do you)
Bud vs. Coors vs. Miller (Is it frosty and fresh? Great, we’ll take one.)
15 items or less in the express line (29 is the new 15)
Having lists of seven things
Just proved it
IT'S A GREAT DAY TO DIE.
"Then He said to them all, 'if anyone desire to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me."
This is the decision we make every day. Is today a day that I’ll put the mission of God above my personal desires? Will I follow Jesus even if it’s hard or scary or costly? Every day we ask ourselves.
“What kind of day is it?”