Who we are
At Salem, we exist to live lives of love, with God, in community, on mission.
The foundation of who we are and why we exist is God’s love for us, fully expressed in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. We are so overcome by his love that it compels us into the world as messengers of that love. At Salem we want to be about far more than coming together on Sundays. We want to launch people of all ages back into the world where they work, live, and play. Jesus isn’t meant to be protected or hidden within the walls of the church. In fact, we believe our mission statement, like Jesus’ life, takes place primarily outside the walls of the church in the lives of each believer. Each of these environments is critical to our walk with Jesus. To talk about environments, we use the images Cave + Table + Road.
THE CAVE –The cave is where we retreat to engage in authentic conversation with God, and of the three it’s the most important rhythm because it’s where we discover our identity by listening to and talking with our Creator. That can happen in a lot of ways but happens primarily through the reading of God’s word & prayer. The bible is not a self-help book or instruction manual for life. That would be far too reductionistic, not to mention boring. The bible is a story, rather "THE” story about who God is and how he interacts with this broken world. We are simply minor characters in a much bigger story. But despite our brokenness, God loves us and sent his Son to die for us, offering us life through the forgiveness of sins. But life is still hard and complicated, and we are filled with challenging emotions. The cave is a place of inflow.
THE TABLE – The table is where we engage in authentic conversation with others. The table can represent anyone, but most naturally it represents our friends and family. These are the people that we share physical and spiritual food with. Just like we need food, we need community. We aren’t designed to do life alone. We need each other share life with as we experience joys and struggles. The table is place where we both inflow (listen to others) and overflow (share with others).
THE ROAD – The road is where we engage in authentic conversation with the world. The road represents the people we live, work, and play. We want every person from Salem to embrace the people that has intentionally placed around them. The road also represents all the people that may cross my path in any given day, at the grocery store, coffee shop, gas station, etc. As such, the road is a place of overflow.
The reality is that we need all three of these rhythms to assess our walk with Jesus. If I neglect or remove any my growth becomes stagnant, awkward, or unstable, like a stool missing a leg. What starts in the cave must go to the table. What happens at the table, must go out onto the road. Which will ultimately bring us back to the Cave. That’s why in between each word is a + sign. We need each of these in proportion to holistically growing in our walk with Jesus.