We are passionate about God and His word. The more you care about someone, the more intelligent you think they are, and the more authority you recognize they have, the more you will care about what they have to say. God has all our affections, He knows everything, and is sovereign over His creation. For this reason, we hold the Bible in authority over us and we live in submission to God by submitting to His word in all ways. We believe the Bible is God’s word and entirely trustworthy in all that it affirms. Scripture stands alone in this authoritative position.
As disciples of Christ, we acknowledge that we are often wrong while God is perfect in all His ways. We seek to be informed and guided by God through His Word and not from any other source. (We are not disciples of our culture.) We believe that God the Holy Spirit works through the reading of His word to transform those who submit to it.
We believe that all scripture points to and exalts Christ who, through His life, death, and resurrection, purchased sinners and reconciles them to God to establish His kingdom both now and forever. For this reason, we aim to center ourselves around the Gospel, the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, and all it means for us.
Our passion for God’s Word informs how we use the pulpit on Sunday morning. We use the pulpit exclusively for the purpose of exegeting scripture. Typically, this means picking a book of the Bible and working through that book, verse by verse. This helps us read scripture within its proper context and protects us from setting the agenda for what to talk about or what to put our focus on, by letting the text inform what we talk about and how often. By sharing the pulpit among many preachers but keeping scripture consistent, we hope to be a community that is drawn in and held together by God’s Word rather than a compelling human personality.
- Romans 12:1-2 -- Transformed by the Word
- John 5:39 & Luke 24:13-27 – All scripture points to Jesus
- 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 -- The Gospel is the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus and all it accomplishes
- Deuteronomy 6:4-9 & 2 Timothy 4:2 – Teach the Word
2. Everybody is Called
We are disciples of Christ. We are not a church of consumers, nor do we intend to create a community of consumers. As disciples, we are called to put into action what God gives for us to do. Jesus gave the work to the whole Church, to proclaim the Gospel to all people, baptizing them in His name and teaching them to live in submission to all He teaches. The work of the local church is not simply to sustain a community of believers, but to advance the kingdom of God as effectively as possible both internally within its members and externally in the world. We ask everyone to take ownership of the Great Commission, particularly in their context. Everyone has a role to play in this mission.
Although everyone is called into a shared mission of making disciples of all people, not everyone is asked to play the exact same role in that mission. Each person is given specific gifts, talents, passions, intellect, and influence to fit the role God desires them to play. Each unique person is indispensable to the mission. God designs His Church this way and assures each person that their work matters and therefore everyone must participate in the advancement of God’s kingdom. All of this puts the necessary diversity of the church on display for God’s glory.
God calls some to give their full time energy towards the Church itself, but most of the Church is called into the broader workforce with their full time energy. We celebrate this as an opportunity to meet people that don’t know Jesus and share the gospel with them. Some are given pastoral gifts and talents, but others are given gifts of administration and hospitality. Some are talented teachers, doctors, accountants, stay-at-home parents, property managers, or maintenance workers. No work is more or less important than any other, because all of it brings us in contact with people that are made in God’ image and Jesus Christ died to purchase them for Himself.
- Matthew 28:16-20, Acts 1:8 – The Great Commission
- 1 Corinthians 12 & Ephesians 4:1-16 – One community with many giftings
- Ephesians 2:9-10 – God has work for each person to do
We are firstly a people that are about God, the advancement of His kingdom, and the glory of His name. It is true that we all have preferences, but we make our preferences and traditions subservient to the pragmatic advancement of God’s kingdom and the pursuit of righteousness, in all places where God’s Word is silent. We call this being adaptable.
Being an adaptable community impacts two major arms of the community. The first arm is our outreach. We want to join Paul in being all things to all people, so as to win more over to Christ (1 Corinthians 9:22). As long as we are not disobeying or dishonoring God, we will engage with people on their terms, so that they may hear the same truths of the Gospel in ways they are more likely to receive. This does not mean that we change the message of the Gospel in any way or that we attempt to make Jesus more attractive by dressing Him up. Rather, it means that we take into consideration the cultural preferences of the people we are engaging with in our proclamation of the Gospel, in hopes that comprehension and reception increases, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Our worship services are the second place in which adaptability is expressed. God the Holy Spirit is often bringing new people into the Church and giving them new gifts. Because the expression of our local church will always be the result of the combined gifting of our people (because everyone is called), we expect our church to be in constant flux. Whoever God sends us and whatever their gifting, we are always asking God how to best advance His kingdom with this group of people. In order to hold tightly to the people that bear God’s image, we hold loosely to our traditions and preferences.
In the case where there are multiple sets of preferences in our singular community, we will press for the most spiritually mature among us to insist that the preferences of the least mature are met, because the spiritually immature are the ones that are least capable of worshiping God outside of their comfort zone and the spiritually mature should be the most capable of doing otherwise.
In doing this, we aim to be a people that are open to the moving of God the Holy Spirit in our midst and as effective as possible in the proclamation of the Gospel. All this is for the glory of God.
- 1 Corinthians 9:19-27 – Adaptability in the proclamation of the Gospel
- Romans 15:1-7 – Living to please one another, in the context of worship services, for the sake of unity.
- Romans 14:13-23 – Forgoing freedoms internally, for the sake of others
4. Equip & Send
As we faithfully devote ourselves to the proclamation, comprehension, and reception of God’s Word (the pursuit of Truth), we anticipate that God the Holy Spirit will move in the hearts of people outside of our community by bringing them into our midst and into His kingdom. While God gives us people, we make it our aim to build them up for a lifetime of personal discipleship, corporate worship, service, and outward kingdom advancement. We want the people that God sends us to grow into spiritual maturity, able to connect with God and His Word for personal growth and to assist others in growing into spiritual maturity. We also desire our people to feel confident in the proclamation of the gospel at home and in the community, without their spiritual leaders with them. If we can accomplish this, we feel that we can truly change the world and genuinely have an impact for the advancement of God’s kingdom.
Although most are called to give their primary energy towards advancing God’s kingdom among those who don’t know Jesus as Lord, some are called to give some or even most of their energy towards the internal health of the Church itself. When this is the case, we give these people the opportunity to serve in the ways they are called, along with active coaching, while their gifting and talents are yet developed. This may mean a sacrifice of some level of excellence, while leaning into adaptable community, for the sake of long-term kingdom advancement. Not unlike having children means having a messy house on occasion.We are not only okay with this, we celebrate it. It is an honor to be given the privilege of shaping God’s future generation of Church servants and community leaders. It is an honor to teach people how to read and engage with God’s Word for public consumption. It is an honor to be a part of God’s church.
- 1 Peter 3:15 – Be able to give the reason for your hope in Jesus
- Ephesians 4:11-12 – Equip the church for the work
- We also look at Paul’s ministry with Timothy and Titus as well as the leaders in Ephesus as a model to follow in building up leaders.