One of the questions we get asked a lot is “So what’s the Pool all about?” It’s a fair question, but it’s a big question. Listed below are a bunch of smaller questions (starting with the most popular) that, hopefully, answer what we’re “all about”. If you don’t see your personal wonderings here – or if you’re not sure about the answers – feel free to contact us and we’ll do our best to give you a helpful response.
The goal of our community is to create a safe and welcoming environment where you can explore a relationship with God and eventually discover a place and a people who can be called “home”.
The truth is that they are probably more like you than you think. Most of us come from the latch key or orphaned generation and have experienced any combination of hardship and dysfunction. Including:
Poor parental models that made you feel alone – or maybe even abandoned – and that you had to grow up to quickly,
Abuse (mental/physical/sexual) but with little resolution,
Witnessed many of your “heroes” (public/private) have a “fall”
Felt immense pressure to, on your own, live up to expectation that were ridiculously high and often brought on by comments like “follow your heart and you can do anything”.
As a result of these experiences, we are often left without a sense of stability, belonging, positive authority, trust and, of course, religion. It has been our experience at the Pool that a large majority of 20 & 30s relate strongly to this description (including most of us). 🙂
“Welcoming an orphaned generation
Into a biblical community,
Through an honest demonstration
Of a Jesus-filled life”
If you take a moment or two to reflect on this statement, you’ll get a pretty good sense of what we’re fundamentally about. We work hard a creating a loving and helpful community where people can feel included and where they feel it is safe to be brutally honest about their lives (yes, this can be a good thing!). We focus on developing as a complete person – allowing Jesus to help us to grow in every area of our lives (i.e. emotional, job, relationships, etc.) – and creating places and relationships that will facilitate that development. There is a strong emphasis on getting to know God through both learning about him and having tangible “hands-on” experiences with him. An important part of experiencing God, in our opinion, would be discovering how to have a practical prayer life and learning to “listen” to God. Finally, we try to help people discover the unique purposes that God designed them for.
For some, this question is a polite way of asking, “Are you a cult?” The answer is no. If we were, we’d be a very bad cult since we encourage people to think for themselves, to ask questions, to challenge what is shared, to embrace individual expression and personal process, and we have never served kool-aid (although we do offer apple juice for the kids and, occasionally, even orange juice…)
For other people this question tends to be more about the church “brand” we might be connected with. We consider the Pool is first of all a Christian church that is based on the teachings of the Bible. We are also affiliated with the Mennonite Brethren churches of Canada. MBs (Mennonite Brethren) have traditionally been based in Western Canada – the place where most Mennonites settled – and are relatively new to Atlantic Canada. Some of the things that often make MBs unique are their focus on practical faith, their commitment to peace and reconciliation, their emphasis on the importance of the Bible, and their focus on community building both inside and outside of the Church. It is also worth noting that we at the Pool are not dogmatic about focusing only on our own denomination. We have a firm commitment to supporting and partnering with other Christian churches.
We hope this has been helpful and we’d appreciate any feedback you could give us.