We believe that our highest priority and delight in life, worship, or ministry is that God would be glorified. He is the source of everything we are and have. He created us, He owns us, He gifted us with talents, He authors our story, and every blessing that we receive comes from Him (Gen 1; Acts 17:26; James 1:17). In everything we do we have the joy of being to the praise of God’s glorious grace (Eph 1:6, 12). We will endeavor to maintain and promote a high view of God through study and reflection upon His attributes, character, and work. Every aspect of our ministry will be God-focused rather than man-centered.
We believe that Jesus Christ and His Gospel must be at the center of all things and the motivation for all we do. Christ is the source for our justification and our daily righteousness. We have no internal desire or moral ability to live up to Biblical standards on our own, but in Christ, we have everything we need for Godly living (2 Pet 1:3). Therefore, we desire that those who lead and serve in the ministries of the Church be people who have an intimate and personal relationship with Jesus Christ and are able to clearly articulate the Gospel. They need to understand that the fundamental need of each man, woman, or child is an accurate understanding of God (Num 14:18; Isa 30:18; 1 Pet 5:7), the problem of sin (Matt 7:11; John 3:19; Rom 3:23; Jer 17:9), and the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the only remedy (John 14:6). There is great hope in Christ. He deserves the glory.
We expect the powerful presence of God in our services and ministries. We believe in His promise that if we draw near to God, He will draw near to us. He draws near through His Spirit who indwells us individually (John 14:16-18; 1 Cor 6:19) and the church corporately (1 Cor 3:16-17).
We depend upon the Spirit to convict the world of sin (John 16:7-8) and regenerate hearts (John 3:5). Further, He seals believers for the day of redemption, unites them with Christ, and empowers them for ministry (Acts 1:8). He is the believer’s Helper (John 14:16-18) who enlightens eyes (Eph 1:17-18), teaches (1 John 2:27), prays for (Rom 8:26), leads (Rom 8:14), imparts gifts to (1 Cor 12:7-11), and produces fruit in Christians while preserving their unity (Eph 4:3). Therefore, it is incumbent upon everyone to bathe every aspect of ministry with prayer.
We believe that the only true and lasting change in our lives will be brought about by God’s Spirit through His Word. In light of the multitude of ways our minds, eyes, ears, and, consequently, our hearts are bombarded with sin and error, it is vital that we become soaked, saturated, and satiated with Scripture. The Scriptures should be treasured in our hearts (Psa 119:11) and acted upon in our lives (Matt 7:24-27). They should be the joy and delight of our hearts (Jer 15:16). We live by the Word of God (Matt 4:4) and need its piercing revelation of the thoughts and intentions of our hearts (Heb 4:12). It should be our meditation all day long (Psa 119:97). Therefore, every ministry servant should believe in and understand the authority, infallibility, inerrancy, sufficiency, and Christ-centeredness of Scripture. Each ministry must have a view toward teaching and applying the Bible. When it is taught, it should primarily be expositional where teachers endeavor to unfold the meaning of Scripture through explanation that is contextual, careful, clear, and engaging.
The Gospel is the Biblical message of divine grace for the undeserving. God, through the perfect life, atoning death and bodily resurrection of Jesus, rescues all His people from the wrath of God into peace with God, with a promise of the full restoration of his created order forever—all to the praise of His glorious grace.
Our desire is that all of our interaction would be impacted by the Gospel in such a way that the vibe, feel, and tone of our ministry would be one of sweetness, grace, forgiveness, humility, honesty, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, cheerfulness, and self-control.
Faithfulness to the gospel requires more than doctrinal purity in our church. It also requires relational beauty. This culture will be established and maintained through building loving relationships. This means that every ministry servant needs a loving relationship with God and others.
- Loving God
Relational beauty starts with a relationship with God. By nature, God is relational as can be seen in the trinitarian relationships between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He has created each person in His image (Gen 1:26) and has designed us to enjoy a loving relationship with Him. This is His command and our privilege (Matt 22:37).
- Loving Others
Jesus also calls us to love one another (Matt 22:39) as He has loved us (John 13:34). Therefore, the servants in every ministry are encouraged to endeavor to love, serve, pray for, practice hospitality toward, maintain peace with, bear burdens of, and practice all other “one-anothers” toward each fellow co-laborer (e.g., Rom 12:10, 16; 14:13, 19; 15:5, 7, 14; 16:16). Let everyone know that we are Christ’s disciples by our love for one another (John 13:35; 15:17).
A Christian is a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 11:26). A disciple is one who loves, believes in, learns from, follows and grows in a relationship with the Lord (Luke 9:23). He has given each of us a commission to make disciples who, in turn, will make other disciples (Matt 28:19-20; Mark 11:17; 16:15-16; 2 Tim 2:2). A disciple-making church is marked by a committed group of disciples meeting regularly to hear the Word of God, so that from the overflow of their hearts they might “teach and admonish one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Col. 3:16).
This requires then that each ministry servant be a disciple and a disciple-maker. Also, each ministry must focus on disciple-making. This happens in various venues:
- Large-Group Discipleship
Jesus’ large-group ministry consisted of speaking to crowds as recorded in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5-7) and the multitudes of 5,000 and 4,000 who were fed on the hillside. Additionally, a group of 120 believers claimed allegiance to Jesus after His death (Acts 1), and we know of seventy-two whom were sent out during His earthly ministry (Luke 10).
- Small-Group Discipleship
Jesus called a group of twelve men to leave their families, friends, and careers to follow Him. Subsequently, He invested the remainder of His ministry mentoring this group of twelve disciples. He also consistently took three disciples with Him for intensive times of equipping: Peter, James, and John (Mark 3:16, 17; Luke 6:14).
- One-on-one Discipleship
Jesus also definitely met with individuals, such as Nicodemus (John 3) and the woman at the well (John 4). The Bible also highlights Jesus’ intimate relationship with John and His restoration of Peter on the shore of the Sea of Galilee (John 21). This pattern of one-on-one discipleship as an ongoing ministry is established in 2 Timothy 2:2. The goal is to “proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ” (Col 1:28).
- Intergenerational Ministry
Intergenerational ministry celebrates the wonderful Biblical truth that all people, young and old, are valuable and important members of the Body of Christ (1 Cor 12:12-14, Matt 19:14). There also should be intentional interaction that displays the truth that each member of the body needs each other (1 Cor 12:21-26). Titus 2:1-2 calls older men and women to intentionally build relationships with the younger generation. And Psalm 78:4 calls the whole people of God to tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord.
The proclamation of the Gospel is for everyone in our ministry. First Corinthians 15:1-3 tells us that the Gospel was delivered “as of first importance.” It is important for those “being saved” and is crucial for the maturity of believers: “Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ” (Col 1:28). Yet, there also needs to be an emphasis on communicating the Gospel to the lost in order to make disciples (Matt 28:17-20).
- Enthusiastic Evangelism
The Church (universal) was given the Great Commission (Matt 28:19–20, Mark 16:15, Luke 24:47, John 20:21, Acts 1:8). Evangelism is the individual church member’s obedience to the Great Commission, the ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:18-20). Evangelism is a natural overflow of the Christian life and should be a spiritual discipline of every believer. Jesus said in Matthew 5:16, “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Each ministry should include efforts to evangelize the lost.
- Ministering Mercy
Scripture states that the church’s primary mission is to serve the spiritual needs of the community (ministry of the Word); however, the church cannot overlook the importance of serving physical needs (ministries of mercy). The Scriptures teach us that we are to care for the poor (Deut 15:7-8), weak, needy, and fatherless (Psa 82:3-4), strangers (Deut 10:19, 14:28-29; Deut 15:11; Lev 19:10, 23:22, Prov 22:9), the sick (Matt 8:1-4, Mark 2:1-12) the hungry (Matt 14:13-21), and widows (Acts 6:1-4). Those who have been served by Christ and have been shown great mercy are to serve and show great mercy to other believers and to the world (Phil 2:1-4, Matt 25:34-36, James 2:14-18, 1 John 3:16-18).
8. Missions Mentality
The concept of missions originates in the plan of God to build His church (Matt 16:18), by calling out of the world a people for His name (Acts 15:14). The people that God has called out of the world and placed into the church, the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:13, 27; Eph 4:12) have been given a mission. “Missions” as used here, refers to the responsibility of the local church in carrying out the command of our Lord to go into all the world (Mark 16:15) and make disciples of all nations (Matt 28:19-20). Each ministry must be in some way tied to missions.
We pray that each of you will be excited to part of such a God-glorifying, Christ-centered, Spirit-dependent, Scripture-saturated, Gospel culture that is making disciples and reaching the world for Christ.