What is Vox, exactly?

I've been asked questions like these countless times:

"What is your church like?"
"What do you guys do?"
"What exactly is Vox?"

And even from within our own church, some ask [and rightfully so], "What is the vision?" and "Who are we?"

Some of the reason for the confusion is because Dallas and I both don't want to have this pre-formatted, factory-ready vision to serve to everyone when they come into our family. We want people to discover it, wrestle with it, and [through that process] own it. In order to do that, most times our vision is related in a one-on-one conversation.

Even with all that said, and even though blogs aren't exactly conversations, there are those who don't have a clue as to what we're about and all they are able to read or hear is criticism. So this, in part, is an attempt to clarify the misconceptions about Vox. It's also to clarify any confusion about "post-modern church" or the "emerging church" that we sometimes get lumped with.

This is also for those haven't heard anything [criticism or otherwise] about Vox or the emerging/post-modern church. I thought it might be helpful to "set the table" so people can know where to start asking questions.

To explain Vox, I must explain a few brief things about the emerging/post-modern church ["emerging church" from here on].

THE EMERGING CHURCH [caution: I'm about to paint in broad strokes]

When a church is described as "emerging," it can mean many things, and it's helpful to break it down into three big groups. Emergent in method, in philosophy, and in theology. Sure there's lots of gray area in between those, but they do the job. [thanks to Bob Hyatt for some helpful thoughts on this]

There are churches that are emergent in method. They burn incense, light candles, grow gotees, and sit on couches to sing worship songs. Nothing is wrong with this. It's usually a purpose-driven church's way to reach those that wouldn't normally come into their church and hear the gospel. I applaud this, but still felt the need to differentiate this from what we're trying to do at Vox Church, even though our gatherings might look similar.

Churches that are emergent in philosophy are re-thinking the hows of Christianity and the church. Questions like "can't more teach/learn in a discussion instead of a sermon?" "how does someone spiritually form?" and "do we have to knock on doors to evangelize?" are indicative of this kind of church. Vox finds a home here with how we're re-thinking things like teaching formats and church-planting.

Church that are emergent in theology can either be great or terrible. They're great when they're re-thinking terms. Vox finds a home here, too, with questions like "what is the gospel?" and "what is the kingdom of God?" that aim at translating the gospel to the culture. Churches emergent in theology can also be terrible in that they re-think and often reject things that are foundational. Questions like "was Jesus really God's incarnation?" "can we really believe the Bible?" "does hell really exist?" are great questions to ask, but some of those emergent in theology are unwilling to answer them. It's been said that these are "wandering in the twilight" without a sunrise. They give the rest of us a bad name because they don't submit to the authority of Scripture and/or the certainty of Jesus' teachings.


Our desire simply put is to see the God's Kingdom come to earth. We will serve Jesus Christ in any capacity, alongside anyone, and bring whomever we can for the ride.

Here are some things that help facilitate the conversation about how Vox Church dreams of doing this [with Scripture references footnoted].

Jesus created the church to be His bride, it's here to stay. It is the church, and not individuals, that is referred to as the bride of Christ.1 Plurally, we are one bride.2 And as Jesus is instituting His church, He says the gates of hell will not overcome it, that death will not overpower it.3

Vox is not a Bible study, parachurch ministry, gathering, or anything else short of a church. All those other things are great and have their place, but Vox is a church.

Jesus' analogy for a church is a family. We are called "children of God" and "co-heirs with Christ".4 Numerous times the epistles refer to those in Christ as "brothers and sisters."

At Vox, we keep it family by staying smaller [about 300 people] through church-planting. We also encourage family by giving everyone a chance to share, teach, and encourage each other.

Scripture identifies us as priests, this is our call. We are referred to as priests5 and having priestly responsibilities6 all over Scripture. Jesus is called our "high priest".7

Priests, among other things, usher others into the presence of God. As New Testament priests, our call is the same as we preach and live out the gospel of Jesus Christ as lights in a dark world. More is required of us than sitting a chair or pew and listening to someone talk. More is required than babysitting in our church nursery when it's our turn. We are called to live lives of priestly meaning.

Our call is to freedom and the law of the Spirit, not men.8 Jesus came to set us free9, He came in the Name of Freedom to do it.10 We are now under the "law of the Spirit"11 instead of the "law of men."12 We don't use our freedom to follow cultural rules13 , or to cause a brother to fall14 but to glorify God15

Around our culture there are many laws that prevail that are not of the Spirit. We want to kick those old laws down so that Christ may be shown in all His glory, not clouded by extra rules and duties.


None of these factors are meant to proclaim Vox Church as the "true" church. We don't think we have it right, we're just trying to see if it can still work out with a different philosophy and some redefining of a few theological terms.

I plan on having conversations in the near future with area believers and pastors who may not know much about us or the emerging church. I don't want to impress them, I just want to meet them and for them to meet us. I want to explain that we're here to unify, not because we think we're better. I also want to address any concerns or misconceptions that anyone might have about our church or the movement we sometimes get lumped in with.

I don't know how much good this will do, but I hope it will help define what we're trying for.

1 2 Corinthians 11:2; 2 10 Virgins in Matthew 25; 3 Matthew 16:18; 4 Romans 8:14-17; 5 1 Peter 2; 6 Romans 15:16; 7 Hebrews 4:14; 8 for a good intro to Freedom, read Galatians; 9 John 8:36; 10 Galatians 5:1; 11 Romans 8:2; 12 Romans 7:6; 13 Colossians 2; 14 Romans 14:21; 15 1 Corinthians 10:31


Sandy Mc said...

Well stated Drew...may God richly bless you guys as you work through this. The question Roy always asks when we want to know about a church (so I will ask it for him)..."what about women in leadership?"

Maye that's another post ;)

Drew Caperton said...

Yeah, that is another post. I'm overdue...

Sandy Mc said...

not trying to sidetrack but have you seen the book "Why Not Women" by Loren Cunningham? It's a scripturally based book put out by YWAM on the subject...some good stuff