What is a Congregational Church?
by Rev. Karl Schimpf
A Congregational church is a community of God’s faithful people gathered in a particular place for worship, outreach, service, and spiritual growth, guided by Christian principles found in the Bible. It is an autonomous fellowship of the Lord’s free people, made up of independent thinkers, bound together by a covenant with God and each other who responsibly seek to identify and translate the will of God into both corporate and personal action.
It is a religious heritage built on the foundation of our Pilgrim parents, who came to this country in 1620, and who, on that ship called Mayflower, wrote the first document in the history of humankind which put the government of a country into the hands of the people. Because of them, we seek to walk by faith on the pilgrimage of life, guided by that same sense of the Living God in our midst, “where two or three are gathered in [Jesus’] name” (Matthew 18:20, NRSV).
The Congregational Way allows us the freedom to prayerfully follow the dictates of our own consciences as we seek God’s will, “known or to be made known to us” (Kansas City Statement of Faith, 1913). Our Way calls us to responsible faith as we seek to grow in discipleship and become all that God would have us be.
In the covenant relationship, North Shore Church becomes for us the still point of our turning world: that place where Christian morals, ethics, and principles are taught, as we commit ourselves to listening to and nurturing the spiritual dimension of life often absent in our surrounding culture. A Congregational church recognizes Christ as our only Head; we are the church of Christ’s people, and we therefore rely for our strength on the dedication and faithful commitment of those who participate.
As you explore this website, we hope you will be encouraged to worship with us, or participate in any of our church’s other activities. Ours is the free Way, but it is not the easy way. It takes all of us praying and working together, using the gifts and talents that God has given us, as we seek to serve and glorify God in every way.
May God bless you, Rev. Karl Schimpf, Senior Minister