Seattle City Church is...

A fresh way of being and organizing the people of God. We are one, distributed church dedicated to pursuing God’s dreams for our city. We believe that wherever we go God is already there, moving in all people’s lives to bring about God’s plans for creation. We seek to partner with our neighbors (of all faiths and none) in a collective effort to create spaces where all may flourish.

We stand within the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition and are grateful for the rich heritage we have received. The cruciform lives of people such as John Wesley, Phineas Bresee, Mildred Bangs-Wynkoop, and countless others have provided us with the necessary theology, spirituality, and practical insight to re-engage the urban context with the restorative love of God.

The Distributed Church: The word Distributed is borrowed from the field of leadership studies where it is employed to describe the dispersion of leadership throughout an organization. This represents a shift away from clearly defined hierarchy toward a flattened structure where leadership is shared in a fluid manner based on people’s abilities and the needs of the organization. It goes beyond delegation (getting someone to do what you want) to empowerment and accountable autonomy.

In the church context this calls for a renegotiation of the lay/clergy dichotomy. Leadership is no longer enacted top-down. Rather, it emerges from the interactions, gifting, and calling of God’s people who seek to faithfully participate in the mission of God. Not only is leadership distributed among the people of God, the people of God are also dispersed in their neighborhoods. A Distributed Church will gather for worship. However, emphasis is placed not on a Sunday gathering, but on life lived in community with neighbors, pointing toward the movement of God wherever and in whoever it may be glimpsed. A Distributed Church may be large or small, but its leadership always arises from the local and necessarily focuses collective energy back toward local engagement.