How It All Started at MVC:
Mountain View Chapel is a church family that has a rather unique beginning. There was no denominational backing or organizational plan for enlargement that propelled a small group of people to launch a new public family of faith. In January 2005, Philip Morris and Tom Crouthamel had listened to Tim Duggins as a guest speaker at the church where they were searching for a pastor. The two pursued Tim to submit his name for consideration. Tim declined but the process created a bond from a similar heart for God and His presence. As the three began to talk more often and shared meals together, a men’s prayer group was launched a month later.
The next step was a home Bible study on Sunday nights to encourage people in their pursuit of God and their study of the Bible. After a couple of years of rejecting the offer to lead a church plant, Tim received a nudge from God to be obedient. The first public service was held in September 2007. The goal of the group was to pursue genuine faith and to use the New Testament model of church as our guide. The leaders were never scared to be different or unconventional. The focus was to learn to be a family instead of a business. Participation should be more important than attendance to help pursue our beliefs. People were the focus of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross so we must work hard to keep the same perspective. Each step was new and vibrant for most of the Mountain View family as we had never walked this path.
After two years, Tim felt led to resign as the lead pastor as he was struggling with direction in his heart and soul. The Duggins family stayed connected with the church family over the next year and it was a time of great learning. There was much uncertainty but the love of our Savior was evident within the Mountain View Chapel family. In October of 2010, Tim and Lori Duggins met with the church family to officially re-assume the leadership role. These steps were affirmed by a clear vision for the future of Mountain View Chapel.
The following pages are steps toward explaining and fulfilling the desire to glorify God and reach people for Jesus. The church is a living organism that is constantly maturing and yet stays the same. These communicated beliefs are to guide us as we learn how to live in community together. We must work hard to embrace and live church in a Biblical model as opposed to an American model. We will humbly band together to seek God’s presence and favor on behalf of others. We will walk by faith together to glorify our Father in heaven.
Learning to live in Community as a Local Body of Christ Followers is a Process.....................
Original Vision of church plant in September of 2007: “Complex Simplicity” Matthew 22:37-39 / John 13:35
- Love God
- Love Others
We must work hard to major on the majors and minor on the minors within the family of God. We have to constantly work to keep our focus on God’s perspective: Matthew 6:33 and Romans 12:1-2 Loving God and loving others must remain at the forefront of all that we pursue with the Mountain View Chapel family. Our pursuit of God can only take place by faith as reflected in Hebrews 11:1-6. We are born spiritually by faith and we can only grow in our relationship with God by faith. Faith is the key to learning to love God and learning to love others. As we learn to love by faith, it will regularly be reflected in these two basic areas of life:
- Attitude: Psalm 19:14 (Motive of the heart) Our attitude of life affects our thinking as well as our words. We are what we think and our attitude makes a difference. Our words are powerful and our attitude affects the manner in which we communicate. Genuine faith and love have always made a difference in a person’s attitude. Our attitudes should proclaim the reality of God.
- Action: James 1&2 (Motion of the hands/feet) Our actions are a reflection of our affections. The efforts of our hands as well as the effects of our words create motion that will either reflect God’s love, or self focus. Our actions should reflect the presence of an amazing, life-changing God that is at work in our lives.
As the Mountain View Chapel family moves forward, our choices should reflect the priorities of a holy God. Our Father in heaven sent His holy Son Jesus for the salvation of mankind. This sounds simplistic but it goes against our natural tendencies which are to focus on material things. Human lives were the focus of Jesus earthly ministry. He was focused on people. Many of the people around Him were constantly thinking that He was going to build some type of earthly kingdom or government but He was working on a spiritual kingdom that is people-focused. Our choices should reflect a ministry that sets the priority of reaching and helping people ahead of property and possessions. Jesus was constantly dealing with the heart issues of men, women, and children. We need to follow the example of our Lord and Savior. The attitudes and actions of Jesus should be our guide as we learn to walk this spiritual journey. We need to learn to prioritize our lives in a similar manner as the Messiah. He was not always understood, but pleasing the Father was the priority and touching people was His ministry. Practical images from the New Testament that we can use as examples for our learning to be a church:
- “Flock” example: The flock concept can be used to help us understand about relationship between the sheep and the shepherd. Lessons can be learned about how sheep interact with one another but the focus of scripture often points out the relationship between the flock and its’ leader/protector/provider, the shepherd. We can use a portion of this image to help us learn to love God.
- “Family” example: The family concept can be used to help us understand about relationships. Family members have to learn to live in relationship with one another. Each family member has a role and certain responsibilities that accompany that role. Things are constantly changing with maturity within the family. We can use a portion of this image to help us learn to love others.
John 15:1ff – Our goal is to learn to abide in Christ. We are all at different levels of relationship with Christ as we learn to walk with Him. As each of us has a teachable spirit in our personal path of faith with Christ, the church will be impacted with a mighty vibrancy. A group of people that is committed to learning the ways of Christ will have a supernatural unifying quality that is deeper than any human ability. The Spirit of Christ has a unifying factor within the body of Christ. The early church of Acts had a supernatural unity that affected so many situations. The power of God was so very evident through a unified church family. (John 17) Learning to abide in Christ is a process of growth not a state of perfection. Sharing in this pursuit is what unifies the church. We must be a unified body to experience the great power of God! This lesson was used to teach and train in the early days of launching the church family at the stone chapel in Stanardsville, VA. This truth has guided the MVC family and is the guiding foundation for future vision.
Expanded Vision for church January 2011:
Complex Simplicity is the basis for future steps of ministry for the Mountain View Chapel family. We must prioritize our efforts and take purposeful steps of faith to keep things simple. The simple steps are the most profound yet the most difficult. There is nothing simple about keeping things simple. Keeping things simple is a most difficult endeavor for the 21st century church. So many things in our society are specialized and complex. Our lives and our society are full of busy, fast-paced complexity. We must address some tendencies that have historically influenced the manner in which we approach a vision for a ministry. It is natural to set goals that are measurable and consequently believed to be attainable. One way that this principle has been applied for centuries is through legalism or the setting of external rules and regulations to judge someone’s heart for God. Examples range from the length of one’s hair to the type of garments worn by a man or woman. Most of the time a Bible verse is used to build a complex set of measurable or attainable goals for spirituality. These goals are then measured by other people to judge whether one measures-up or accomplishes the prescribed standard. Actions or behavior are more important than issues of the heart or attitude. Another form of this human measurement and goal setting can be seen in the “church growth” movement. This truth has been portrayed in leadership within organizational life for decades. We naturally want to make the vision about tangible things like a budget, a property, a building, or an attendance goal. None of these goals are wrong or evil. Many people have come to Christ because someone is attempting to accomplish a godly goal. The natural tendency of this goal setting is to establish a “bigger is better” philosophy of management and leadership. If we are not careful, our feeling of success or failure is based on external measurements as in a business climate. This business model has been promoted and taught within the church for countless years in the United States. When these tangible goals become the vision, it is too easy to overlook the very people we are working to reach. As with other human struggles, we become focused on the measuring-up or accomplishing instead of the heart or attitude of it all. The reason we fall prey to these measurable challenges is that spiritual issues of the heart and attitude are difficult to judge and manage. The spirit world seems far less manageable and measurable. You sense an attitude but most people are not trained to measure attitudes. We often feel them but don’t label them unless a degree has been bestowed for years of study. We as the Mountain View Chapel family must guard ourselves against our natural tendencies. Consequently the question must be asked, “How do you cast a vision for the future without setting long-term measurable goals?”
- Long-term vision is the Biblical model of reaching our surrounding region, the state, and the world.
- The management of the vision will be overseen by the lead pastor, the elders, and the leadership team.
- The measurable goals will be established in a two-fold manner:
- Church family expectations/responses
- Individual expectations/responses
- The vision is focused on the small, everyday, and mundane as opposed to the big or glamorous.
We will focus corporately and individually on the smallest actions and attitudes of everyday life. The attitude and the spirit of a person and their life choices are as important as what is accomplished. We are going to focus on all the little efforts and actions that proclaim affection and care. We are going to be a church family that shouts “I love you” in little tangible ways. The vision is based on the agricultural belief that healthy things grow. We are going to focus on the healthy portion of our responsibility and leave the growth to the Father above. We will do our best to stay focused on taking "baby steps of service and to be faithful in the small things.
As stated in Hebrews 11:6, we cannot know God and please Him apart from faith. As we trust Him with that seed of faith that He has made available to us, then we can experience greater faith as we draw closer to Him. (Matthew 17:20) We must learn to trust God the longer we live. We will learn to believe in the principle of Luke 16:10 on a greater level as we continually take steps of faith over the smallest of things in our lives with one another. If we reveal ourselves to be faithful in the tiniest of things, then God will be able to entrust His great things into our care and oversight. We believe the greatest treasures to be His presence and the blessing of lost souls being forgiven and transformed. This Biblical vision appears to be small enough to manage and yet large enough to pursue for the remainder of our days on the planet before attaining heaven through our Savior.