“Christ the Good Shepherd church exists to heal souls and become servant healers.”
Our mission is accomplished by a simple 3 step process we all engage in regularly:
Worship Christ > Walk with Christ > Work with Christ.
Matthew the Poor said “The greatest commandment by which we may experience the providence of God, and by obedience to which we may obtain spiritual power which unveils to us the mysteries and secrets of the Bible and lights the way ahead, is that we should leave everything and follow Christ. For this commandment sums up the whole Gospel.”
We seek radical followers of Jesus, with the courage and faith to leave everything, take up their cross and follow Jesus. In the earliest times of church history, followers of Christ gave their life for their faith. Today, we seek this same heart of self martyrdom to guide us. Orthodoxy is a serious faith and the world we live in needs committed disciples, not lukewarm dead religions.
The three step ministry process: (How we fulfill our mission as a Church)
1. Worship Christ: Worship
Worship is a healing encounter with God. Liturgy, sacraments, fellowship, prayer, repentance, etc.,, all place us in the healing pathway of God’s grace. We must investigate God’s claims and commit to change. The Church is a hospital where healing occurs. Worship is often the first step into a deeper walk with Christ.
2. Walk with Christ: Small groups
Home Groups provide a community where the genuine experience of God's love can take place. The goal of all home groups is to nurture one another to grow together in union with Christ in order that we may grow as disciples of Jesus. We encourage each other to put on the virtues and put off the passions (sins). Small groups are where followers develop the mind of the Church and begin having a heart for serving others.
3. Work with Christ: Servant Ministry
Ministry Teams: Home Groups naturally challenge people to meet and form relationships where people can be encouraged to greater levels of ministry within the church. Ministry teams will naturally form out of the home group system.
This may include one on one discipleship, mentoring relationships, accountability groups, altar servers, recovery groups, servant training, and various outreach teams. (other examples include: F.O.C.U.S, Orthodox bookstore, transition house for the homeless, drug rehab farm, job development, computer lab, etc,)
F.O.C.U.S. Gateway City: Focus stands for Fellowship of Orthodox Christians United to Serve. It is a ministry to the poor and underserved in our city. It challenges people to serve the poor as icons of Christ through Sunday meals, a food pantry, job development help, and Clothing donations. (Fr. Patrick is the director of this ministry located in the basement of St. Michael the Archangel Orthodox Church at 1901 Ann Ave; St. Louis, MO 63104)
Our Unique Calling to the Poor
We believe God placed Christ the Good Shepherd in the city to minister to the poor and the hurting. This calling was a very clear part of the Jesus' ministry and the early church's calling.
Matthew 25:35–36,40 (NKJV)
"...for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.... And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
St. John Chrysostom said, "Feeding the hungry is a greater work than raising the dead."
St. Basil the Great said, "The bread in your cupboard belongs to the hungry man; the coat hanging unused in your closet belongs to the man who needs it; the shoes rotting in your closet belong to the man who has no shoes; the money which you put in the bank belongs to the poor. You do wrong to everyone you could help but fail to help."
Isaiah 58:10 (NASB95)
10And if you give yourself to the hungry And satisfy the desire of the afflicted, Then your light will rise in darkness And your gloom will become like midday.
We believe that in the poor and the lonely and the hurting we meet Jesus.