Much of modern society is rife with corruption, perverse incentives, inefficiencies, and negative outcomes among other issues. The systems around us are structured in ways that are not compatible with the principles we at The Agora stand for and produce results that are contrary to the effects we would like to have for ourselves, our families, and our community. We believe that the most effective and most moral option is to avoid supporting things that go against our beliefs- whether with our time, money, attention, or other resources- and to intentionally support people and systems that align with our beliefs.
The Agora is a hub for alternative options for our local community. We have many programs, classes, ministries, and opportunities for those interested in these things. The Agora is a church that is different than the stereotypical modern church. We are modeled after the original church of the 1st century who found themselves in a similar predicament being in Rome with a culture, governance, and society that conflicted with their beliefs. They took a parallel society approach and had their own systems and endeavors to take care of the needs of the Christian community as well as the rest of their local secular community who were interested and in need. We are open to all, Christians of all denominations and those outside the faith as well. Our focus is on building local networks for things such as healthy food and products, homeschooling, Bible studies, permaculture, mutual assistance, organic gardening, and learning more about these and related topics.
We focus on:
Natural– We desire to model our lives, health, and influence around what we can see in the Natural Order. We believe God designed all creation to work together with symbiotic relationships to produce abundance and flourishing. While corruption has entered the world and perverted the ideal, we still strive to be in line with what the ideal is. This means promoting natural health options, being good stewards of the earth, giving animals natural environments and diets, avoiding over-use and reliance on technology, promoting in-person relationships, raising children within the family or broader like-minded community, helping others through direct personal action, and much more.
Local– Everything starts with what we have a direct impact on and much of that is local. This is where we live, where we do business, where many of our loved ones live, where our children grow up, etc. Our biggest impact as individuals comes from how we spend our resources- mostly our money, time, and attention. Intentionally or not, you are supporting the people, organizations, and practices of those you give your money to. This is true for taxes, for groceries, for services, and anything else you give money to. The same is true with how you spend your time and attention. We believe that keeping our resources local- supporting and building local community, systems, and options- is worth the money, time, and attention it takes.
Better– We aim to build a better community, better relationships, better systems, to have better outcomes, to promote better health, to have an impact that makes things better for individuals, families, and our community. We believe following biblical principles is better than not, that dealing with things naturally is better than not, that supporting moral endeavors is better than not, that loving others directly and intentionally is better than not, that being The Agora is better than not.
Check out any of our ministries and programs that appeal to you:
Bible studies, small groups, and various ministries
natural & local food and products
a local community of like minded individuals and families in the greater Chattanooga area centered around the concepts of agorism and voluntaryism