LEWISTOWN - Pastor Scott Shreffler envisions the church as a group of different colored pieces of broken glass formed together to create a beautiful picture.
The new lead pastor of the Upper Room Worship Center in Lewistown believes the streets of Lewistown hold those pieces of broken glass and that God can work them into the beautiful mosaic of the church.
The mission of the Upper Room is to reach those who may feel rejected by organized religion.
"We have people with tattoos, some outside smoking," Shreffler said of the congregation. "I like to say that Jesus met everyone where they are. He never said go clean up before you come to me. Our job is not to change them, our job is to love them and let God change their lives."
Scripture also tells believers to be part of their community, Shreffler said. In Jeremiah 29:4-7, God's people are urged to build houses, plant gardens, have families and work for peace and prosperity in their community, he said.
In the modern day, Shreffler said he encourages the congregation to witness about Jesus everywhere, from Walmart to their neighborhoods.
The church is not about programs, projects, mission trips or budgets, it's about fulfilling the mission of God in our community in our everyday lives, Shreffler said.
Shreffler believes that the church should reach out to its own community first, before it turns to other communities and nations.
The downtown church initiated a number of new community outreach programs through which to share their ministry.
Great Feast serves free breakfast from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Sunday mornings in the church cafe.
Another new ministry, the Supper Club, brings teens together around a table for a sit-down family meal. The group discusses life issues, and ministry leaders bring elements of Christ to the discussion from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays, followed by youth center activities until 9 p.m.
The congregation also began community prayer walks from 2 to 4 p.m. on the second Saturday of every month, where members walk through Lewistown and pray for the churches, the people and the community.
Also for the youth, Upper Room has been hosting teen revival leader and rapper David Paul Brooks once a month.
Brooks has reached kids who have been coming to Upper Room for years, Shreffler said. Through him, teens can see that rap can be of Godly, and God can be cool, he said. Teens see that they don't have to be like the rappers who live immoral lives, he said.
Shreffler described Upper Room as a "Missional church," which is a community of God's people who live as a demonstration of what God plans to do in and for all creation in Jesus Christ.
"Part of our loving and accepting everyone breaks the norm," Shreffler said. "We don't have to look like the typical church with a steeple on top. We don't have to wear suits and ties."
The Upper Room services include all kinds - from different races, to the socially challenged, to business owners and the middle class families, he said.
Sunday mornings should be celebrations of unity in Christ who sets everyone free, Shreffler said.
"It makes us look different, but that's OK," Shreffler said. "We exist to fill the mission of God. We don't exist for ourselves."
Upper Room services include at 10:15 a.m. worship and coinciding youth church, children's ministry and nursery. The church is located on South Brown Street, Lewistown. For more information, call the church at 247-0222 or visit upperroomworshipcenter.org.