The Bible gives us God's vision and guide for a health-filled life, and this forms the foundation of all our dialog and activity. Our teaching explores more than the comfortable stuff from the Bible, but also the challenges that break a spiritual sweat - three disciplines that press us toward the health we need.
The message of the Gospel of Jesus is centered on love and healthy relationships, with God and with others. Christians aspire to be champions of high-quality relationships, role-modeling this to our families, our friends, our co-workers, our community and beyond. So, the first activity we promote at The Orchard is to be relational, interactive, and supportive in a safe place where you can be known and grow. We train one another on nine healthy attitudes of love that are described in Scripture, while correcting anti-love behaviors (such as judgmentalism, bigotry, divisiveness, etc.).
At The Orchard, you will notice that we promote serving the poor, the rejected, and the at-risk. This is a core ethic that Jesus taught and modeled, not only because it demonstrates the Gospel beyond words, but serving others challenges pride and points us toward a healthy posture of humility. A healthy life with God extends love to all people, including those who are difficult to love.
We all know that there is way too much stuff, distraction, and stress in our lives. As we pursue the world, the world will interrupt God, push Him aside, and leave us with empty religion. Instead, God wants our wordly pursuits to be sufficient, and our pusuit of Him to be abundant. So, we promote an atmosphere of Prayer and Pursuit with God, using mentoring, role-modeling, encouragement and wisdom with others. Along with that foundation, we share ideas that help keep life simple and peaceful. As we develop these healthy rhythms of a more simple life, it reveals joy and satisfaction and contentment.
Success with any Christian happens because the Holy Spirit works in them, transforms them, and (ultimately) guides them. There isn't a formula that makes this happen, for that is the purview of God. Our simple approach at The Orchard is to help one another adjust our posture from pride to humility, from self-sufficiency to inter-dependence, and from pursuing the world to pursuing God. As this happens, our arms become wide open and welcoming of God, and we are like clay that cries out, “Here I am Lord! Shape me and use me.”
So, like all things, it will depend on how much we engage. Alumni of The Orchard are serving as pastors, in mission work (Samaritan's Purse, CRU, etc.), and leading local missions in the DMV.