Paradise Church is centered on Jesus and invites all people from many points of origin to travel with us to a common destination - a relationship with God through Jesus. Why Jesus? We believe he has provided access to God. The Bible puts it this way, "Because of Jesus Christ and our faith in him, we can come boldly and confidently into God's presence!" (That is from the 1st century church planter, Paul, writing to an early church in Ephesus, Asia Minor, modern day Turkey).
Below you will find a fuller explanation of these ideas. Paradise Church can be described as a "centered set church."
In our church the center is understood to be Jesus. Those who are “in” are not defined in relation to a boundary, but by facing and moving toward the center.
In a centered set approach, a person might be quite a distance from the center, but so long as they are facing the center and moving toward it, they belong. By the same token, a person might be close to the center, but sadly not facing Jesus and moving towards the center of life.
We have little sayings that describe our belief in the journey.
You can belong before you believe.
Where imperfect people are perfectly welcome.
Come as you are. You'll be loved.
Seriously seeking God in a casual atmosphere.
Some churches have a bounded set approach. That is, there are a set of members clearly marked off from those who do not belong to it. It isn't necessarily bad; it just isn't our approach. Churches thus mark themselves in a variety of ways. Typically the boundary is composed of highly defined beliefs and behaviors. Those who adopt the beliefs and behaviors are considered “inside” and those who do not are considered “outside.” Belonging to the church community is defined by where one is in relation to a clear boundary.
Each approach has advantages and disadvantages. We think the advantages of the centered set approach outweigh the disadvantages, and fit our vision to reach those who don’t often find a home in other church communities. The centered set approach is like gathering cats rather than keeping cattle fenced in (the center is the pail of milk that draws the cats.) It emphasizes the power of Jesus to attract us—as he said, "I will draw all people to myself" (John 12:32).
Paradise Church has chosen the centered set approach. It is in keeping with the biblical metaphor of pilgrimage: the followers of Jesus are travelers coming from many different points of origin to a common destination. Yet we understand that not all people are comfortable with this approach. If that's you, we will help you find a church that you can call home. No fences here to keep you in or out!