Encounter Church is not the same every week.
In most Christian worship services, there’s a predictable template that goes something like this: Welcome → Music → Offering → Sermon → Prayer → Closing Song
At Encounter Church, we have 4 unique service types which means things look different from week-to-week.
This is 100% intentional for 3 reasons:
- We were getting bored of the routine
- We want to help all types of learners interact with Scripture and engage with God in meaningful ways, and not everyone learns best listening to a sermon
- We want to help Believers take ownership of their faith and not rely on the person holding the microphone to do all the heavy lifting
Our innovative approach brings interactive sermons, Jesus-focused worship, hands-on service opportunities, and connection through communion meals that will empower you to grow in ways that you never have before.
Since we do things differently, it may take a couple of visits to get a true picture of what Encounter Church is all about. We hope you check us out, and we encourage you to plan to come a few times to get the full picture of the vibe of our church.
Meet our Lead Pastor
With nearly 20 years of ministry experience, Greg brings creativity, youthful energy, humor, and sincerity to Encounter Church. As a pastor, Greg is hungry for space that is all about creative communication and impacting the creative learner.
Greg is a husband, a dad, and a hockey player. He loves the Philadelphia eagles and a really good plate of sushi. But most importantly, Greg is passionate about helping people encounter God in creative and engaging ways.
Here's what we care about
These are our top 10 priorities
Practice His Presence
Through interruption, rescue, redemption, leading, speaking, dwelling, incarnation, signs and wonders, grace, meals, walking, serving, and through the Holy Spirit, God has been engaged with His people. Scripture reveals that God’s presence is a place of goodness, purity, mercy, shelter, and strength and is sacred, pure, holy, and magnified throughout the earth from His throne. When we gather for worship, Encounter Church is seeking to meet God in each of these sacred spaces, to honor, uplift, and to draw from the presence of God.
All worship belongs to God. True worship is humble, vibrant, authentic, spirit-filled, and truthful. We believe that a worship gathering naturally creates an environment where people can be transformed, loud, become expressive, are creative, and have fun before God. At Encounter Church we are open to all creative forms of biblical expressions of worship that glorify God in an orderly, spirit-filled, and truthful way.
We believe prayer belongs to each individual, belongs to the congregation, and connects people to God. We believe prayer is a gift. At Encounter Church we believe in creating space in the service for people to pray, and by those prayers our congregation will bless God and bless others.
Preaching is one of the primary responsibilities of Encounter Church. We take it very seriously. It is our goal to rightly present the Word of God to people. Encounter Church believes there is more than one method and style to preaching. Therefore, we employ all available tools and creative methods to communicate the truth of God’s word and to help make it stick in the minds and hearts of listeners.
Communion as a Shared Meal
Communion is a celebration for those who are saved in Christ, whereby the believer recalls the work of Jesus on the cross. Encounter Church believes that an authentic communion celebration honors Christ, highlights salvation in Christ, and is centered around food and fellowship.
Partner - Members
There is more to membership than simply belonging. We believe it takes dedication, sacrifice, and teamwork to accomplish a mission. Partner members of Encounter Church are individuals who are expressly committed to supporting the mission and vision of Encounter Church. Partner members agree to attend faithfully, give generously, serve willingly, and guard the unity of Encounter Church.
Discipleship as Accountability
Growing disciples is one of the main purposes of the local church. But your growth as a disciple doesn’t fall entirely on the shoulders of the Encounter Church leaders - you play an important part. Encounter Church leaders believe in delegating the responsibility of finding Christian accountability onto the individual. As a result, we do not have small groups. When you take charge of forming Jesus-centered relationships, spiritual growth, accountability, mission, and maturity take place. It is an honor to belong to a congregation with spiritual leaders, but it is your responsibility to seek out a small number of meaningful relationships.
One Thing Local
Encounter Church is committed to supporting one local mission organization per year. When we serve, give, and sacrifice, we do so for the benefit of that local mission.
One Thing Global
Encounter Church is invested in one global mission work to advance the gospel. We believe that serving globally, giving generously to global missions, and sacrificing our vacation time is for the benefit of advancing the gospel around the world.
We believe time spent serving, worshipping, engaging, and being involved in community is the best. We also think it's important to have a lot of fun doing it! Encounter Church is committed to making the community we create a fun place for all age groups.
What We Believe
The Bible is the Word of God, written by human authors, inspired under supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit, without error, and the final authority for faith and life. We affirm its truthfulness, power, and purpose of salvation to be unchangeable.
God is one-eternal God, Creator and Lord of the world, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who has created all things out of nothing and continues to sustain, provide, and rule all things to accomplish His purposes.
We believe there is only one Savior, Jesus Christ the Son of God who is coequal with the Father and Holy Spirit, who added full humanity to His perfect deity, was born of a virgin, obeyed God perfectly, died for the sins of humanity, rose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death, and ascended to the Father.
The Holy Spirit is coequal with the Father and the Son of God, and came from the Father and Son to complete and perfect in us all the works Jesus began. He is active in making people aware of their need for Jesus, providing the Christian with power for living, convicting of sin, forming Christ-like character, and gifting us for ministry.
People are created in the spiritual image of God. Though every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are now marred by a sin nature, alienated from God, and without an ability to reconcile themselves to God apart from the work of Christ.
We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Salvation from the consequences of our sin is the gift God provided by His grace and received by those who have faith in Jesus alone and His finished work on the Cross. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.
The Church, universally and locally, is a new people of God in which Christ has ultimate authority, is called together as Christ’s followers to share the truth and love of Jesus with the world.
Jesus Christ will return physically to establish His Kingdom on Earth.
People were created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin or eternally with God through the forgiveness of sin.
The Holy Spirit is active in producing spiritual gifts in the life of the believer. Spiritual gifts are given to the believer according to the will of God for the purpose of edifying His Church and advancing the work of God. We do not believe Spiritual Gifts to be essential to the mission of God, but we allow for liberty in exercising Spiritual Gifts in a controlled manner, according to the guidelines of Scripture.
Baptism is a symbolic act whereby the believer publicly declares having received new life in Christ. Communion is an obedient act whereby the believer symbolically proclaims the Lord’s death.