About Imago Dei

What we believe

Jesus poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him ”
~ John 13:5

Who Is Jesus

Everything about this church rises and falls with this question. In fact, depending on who Jesus is, far more than this church will rise or fall. Few would argue that Jesus is the most influential person who has ever walked on the face of the planet. Billions of people throughout history have committed their lives to following his teaching. His influence has completely rearranged cities, countries, and cultures.Why was he so influential? And since he was so influential, why is he so polarizing? Why can’t people come to an agreement on his identity?

You may be seriously wrestling with this question for the first time. Or maybe you have been wrestling with this for some time. Either way, you’re in good company. When Jesus was walking around on the earth, his closest friends wrestled with this question too. Jesus actually posed this very question to his them, and they didn’t know how to answer. Here’s how that conversation went according to book of Matthew.Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.” ~ Matthew 16:13 – 17

By this time in the story, these guys had seen Jesus do incredible things. They had seen him walk on water, miraculously feed thousands of people, school the false teachers, heal the sick, and so much more. It was people who had a front row seat to seeing Jesus perform all of these crazy signs, when asked, who is Jesus, replied with, “uh..er…ah…well some people say…”

But one of them replies by saying the equivalent of, “Jesus, you are God Himself, God in the flesh.” This is why Jesus has been so polarizing and so confusing for so many people for so many years. This is why he is so influential. And this is what we believe. This is what this church is based on, this is what our lives are based on. Our great hope is that Jesus is in fact who he said he was: fully God, fully man. Jesus is the one, true God.

The intention of this short explanation is simply to let you know where we stand. We don’t expect everyone to share our convictions; we just want to maintain an open and honest dialogue. The best way we know how to do that is to let you know where we stand on the front end. This way, if you decide to join us in any capacity, you’ll know where we’re going. I’m praying that you’ll come with us and looking forward to traveling this journey with you.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
~ Romans 5:8

The Gospel

Many have a wrong, shallow understanding of sin. Many people wrongly believe that sin is breaking a rule. Even God’s rules. But God isn’t interested in our behavior alone, He’s interested in our hearts.Sin doesn’t merely put us in some kind of moral or spiritual debt. Sin separates us from God. From a Biblical perspective, sin isn’t just breaking a rule, it’s breaking the heart of God, its breaking a relationship with God. And if God is the source of life, then when we intentionally separate ourselves from God, what can there be but death?

Our hearts are prone to sin in two ways: through religion and rebellion. The story of the Prodigal Son, or more accurately, the Prodigal Sons makes this clear. If you’re not familiar with that story, take a minute to read Luke 15 before continuing here. In that story we see two sons who were trying to get their father’s stuff. One son did this through rebellion. He demanded his inheritance and left his family to go live a wild life. When he realized that he squandered everything he had and that even the servants in his father’s house had it better than he did, he decided to go home, renounce his status as a son and ask for a job as a servant.But when his father sees him from a long way off, he drops everything, runs to him, embraces him and commands the servants to get a party started. The father doesn’t let the son even finish his rehearsed apology speech. In effect he says, this isn’t the time to be sad, this is the time to celebrate! You’re home safe and sound! This was good news! The younger son was home, as a son, back in proper relationship with his father.

But not everyone received the younger brother’s return as good news, though. The older brother was upset. And in his anger, his heart was put on display. He wasn’t actually “the good son” that his image suggested. Underneath his obedience was a heart trying to manipulate the father into giving him his share. He wanted the father’s stuff just as much as his brother. The only difference between the two was their plan to attain it. The younger through rebellion and the older through obedience.This is the heart of sin. Sin, at its core, is a desire to be God. It’s a desire to have all of God’s blessings without a relationship with Him. Some attempt to be God or gain his gifts through outright rebellion. Others try to earn God’s favor through their obedience. Both are equally sinful because both religion and rebellion push our hearts away from God’s.

This is why the gospel is such good news. We cannot save ourselves. Only Jesus can save us because only God Himself can give us a new heart. The gospel is this: Jesus, God Himself, left the glory of heaven and entered into this world as a helpless baby. He lived a perfect life. Jesus died on the cross as a substitute for of all who would place their hope in Him. Through His death in our place, He paid the penalty for our sin, removing every obstacle that kept us from having a relationship with God, the very source of life.

Through His death and resurrection, Jesus has reconciled the world to Himself. When we place our hope in Jesus, God restores our relationship with Him and gives us the potential of having our relationships restored with other people, with the creation, and even with ourselves. The gospel is such good news!

Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.”
~ Colossians 3:14

The Gospel Implications

The gospel isn’t only good news for those who are far from God. The gospel is good news for those who are already close to God. We will never graduate from needing the grace of God.We are saved by receiving the gospel and sanctified by applying the gospel. We will not be able to change hearts or behaviors in ways that honor God through human effort or motivation. It is only through applying the gospel that we grow, together, in Christ-likeness.Gospel growth, while spiritual and personal, is not vague or individualistic.

God has revealed in His Word the fruit that a gospel centered community will produce. Individually, in Christ, we have been given new life. We must now labor with all of the strength the Spirit provides to put to death the character traits which belong to our sinful nature and put on the traits which belong to our new nature. (Rom 12:2, Gal 5:16 – 26, Col 3:5 – 17). The remaining aspects of the transforming work of the Spirit through the personal application of the gospel can be best understood in the context of a series of relationships.

We are to live as one large family of families, the church. We are to be under the proper oversight and leadership of qualified men who serve churches in the roles described in Scripture as elders and pastors with each individual believer contributing generally and specifically through gifts the Holy Spirit has granted them to build up the body. (1 Tim 3:15, Titus 2, Rom 13, Col 1:3, Eph 4:11 – 16)The gospel is to be personally and powerfully applied within the family. Every member of a family is to treat the rest under the confines of Christian love, living out the specific and complimentary roles that God has designed for men, women, and children. (Eph 5:22 – 33, Col 3:18 – 25).We demonstrate our uncontainable joy in the gospel when we serve our neighbors. This must be done through words and conduct, providing credibility to the gospel we are to verbalize whenever possible. (Colossians 4:5, 1 Thess 4:11 – 12, 1 Pt 1:3, 15 – 16).

We believe that God has set a standard of relationship for every Christian under the government God has placed them. We are to demonstrate our faith in God through our obedience to our civil leaders (provided they do not attempt to require us to violate Scripture) praying for them continually that we may lead quiet, peaceful lives. (Rom 13:1 – 7, 1 Tim 2:2, 1 Pt 2:13 – 25).

Through believing the gospel we are set free to offer all of our lives to God. We are to contribute to the good of our community (family, church family, and beyond) through working honorable jobs that utilize the gifts God has given us, displaying His power to an unbelieving audience and providing financially for our families and the mission of our churches (1 Thes 3:6 – 12).Maybe the best part about believing the gospel is the hope of eternal life we have. Regardless of how bad or good our lives are here, this isn’t the end of the story. We must relate to every person and circumstance in our lives with an understanding that Jesus’ return is imminent. (Mt 24:36 – 51, 1 Pt 4:7).

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”
~ 2 Corinthians 5:20

Distinctives

Mission: God calls His church to advance His Kingdom in word, sign, and deed. It is our privilege to use the resources God has given us to care for the marginalized in a way that assumes and restores dignity. It is our honor to proclaim the gospel. And it is our great joy to watch the Holy Spirit of God work in and through us to bring peace, healing, and beauty to His city.

Diversity: God created the nations. He created culture. If we are going to fully experience God, we must embrace the diversity that He created to display His glory. Our dream is to not be known as a white church or a black church – but as the church. We embrace the joys of diversity through appreciating different forms and styles of worship. We embrace the challenges of diversity through building relationships with people who are different from us. And we embrace the pain of diversity through doing the hard work of racial reconciliation.

Teams: Imago Dei is committed to executing ministry as a team of teams. There is only one superstar in this church, and His Name is Jesus. The rest of us are just trying to follow His lead, together.We believe that we can only live out the image of God by serving Him as a team of teams. Jesus did this with the 12, Paul with Timothy, Titus, and others; in fact, it’s challenging to find an example of individualistic ministry in the Bible. And typically, where you can, the story doesn’t end well!

Leadership Development: The world today is suffering from a lack of leadership. There was a time in history when the world looked to the church to provide leadership in many different spheres of life including art, music, government, and more.We believe God has positioned Imago Dei to discover, develop, and deploy leaders into the world. We are committed to developing future pastors, church planters and missionaries as well as web designers, business leaders, and musicians. If “God so loved the world that He would send His only Son…” then it follows that God still loves the world enough to send His church into the world—to live out His image by engaging Milwaukee.

 Leadership

Pay Careful attention to yourselfs and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which obtained with his own blood.”
~ Acts 20:28

Elders

The primary responsibility of the elders is to lead the church to follow Jesus. God has called elders to shepherd the church Jesus purchased with His blood. Our elders do this through seeking to apply the gospel in prayer, teaching, counseling, and corporate decision making.

Deacons

The primary responsibility of the deacons is to serve the church in collaboration with the elders. The Greek word for “Deacon” is the same word as “to serve.” Our deacons serve our church by leading various ministry teams and initiatives.

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Worship With Us

Imago Dei Church
2327 N 52nd St, Milwaukee
WI, 53210

Every Sunday at 10 AM

Connect With Us

(414) 595-4664
info@id-mke.com