One Direction Community returns to basics of Christianity

One Direction Community congregates conducted communion and worship after an outreach project to repair the roof, sheet rock, plumbing and appliances at a single mother's house trailer. (CONTRIBUTED)
One Direction Community congregates conducted communion and worship after an outreach project to repair the roof, sheet rock, plumbing and appliances at a single mother’s house trailer. (CONTRIBUTED)
At One Direction Community's 2014 Easter service, Timothy Denly, standing, prays with fellow members, Mark and Melissa Thornton. (CONTRIBUTED)
At One Direction Community’s 2014 Easter service, Timothy Denly, standing, prays with fellow members, Mark and Melissa Thornton. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – One Direction Community’s outreach proves their belief in active discipleship.

Rev. Gary Liederbach, pastor of One Direction Community, thoroughly studied John Wesley and other preachers’ work in the early Methodist movement. “The state of the church today … is not good,” he said.

Liederbach advocates forming and returning to “simple churches that love God, love neighbor and make disciples,” based on the first and second commandments and Great Commission to spread God’s teachings.

He realized “Christianity and discipleship is not about imitating a religion but imitating a person, namely Jesus Christ,” Liederbach said. “My church plant is not called to try to conform to and imitate current church models, but it is called to conform to and imitate Christ.”

The name “One Direction Community” indicates that members are “always moving in one direction closer to Jesus,” he said.

He first experienced this model while living in Guntersville. “We studied the Bible together, served on Kairos prison teams, served community Thanksgiving Day meals together and went on mission trips,” Liederbach said.

They also “did life together” by celebrating birthday parties, watching ball games, playing golf and going to family dinners. From this group of eight, three people became full-time pastors.

“Start with ‘church,’ and you don’t always end up with community. But start with ‘community,’ and a church will be formed … radically different from ‘big-box’ or ‘brick-and-mortar’ churches,” Liederbach said.

One Direction Community in Madison follows these premises. The core group of 11 members has met in Liederbach’s home for more than one year.

Membership is evenly distributed among adults in their 20s, 40s and 50s. Currently, they have three ‘Discipleship Communities’ that meet in members’ homes.

“We serve in every capacity, except as pastor,” member Melissa Thornton said. “My husband Mark and I might serve communion this month and be altar prayer ministers next month.”

One Direction Community worships on first Sundays at 5 p.m. at Inside-Out Ministries, 103 Gin Oaks Court in Madison.

For more information, call 256-302-3785, email to garyl@odcmadison.com or visit Facebook/One Direction Community-ODC.

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