Distinctives

agnus dei

 

1.  Christ centered/Gospel centered.

All that we do is for the glory of God.  Everything in the life of the church corporately and in the lives of the members of the church flows out of the gospel.

The preaching and teaching of the church will intentionally focus on Christ’s death and resurrection as the culmination of God’s plan of redemption, and the highest revelation of his glory.

We will seek a lifestyle and an understanding that reflects the fact that what we do for God only ever flows out of what he has done for us in Christ Jesus.

We will observe the Lord’s Supper regularly to help maintain a Christ centered aim.

This aspect of the vision drives all the rest.

2  Holy Spirit powered.

Jesus told his disciples that when the Spirit came, they would be empowered to be his witnesses.  Our mission can only be carried out in the power of the Spirit.

In Romans 8, Paul says we can only keep the righteous requirement of the law by the Holy Spirit.  If we want to be pleasing to God, we must walk according to the Spirit.

Jesus told the woman at the well that God is looking for those who will worship him in Spirit and in truth.  The kind of worship God wants from us must be done in the Spirit.  The Bible explains worship as a whole-life activity not limited to formal services (although they are important).

In other words, all that we do as a church must be done in reliance on the Holy Spirit.  We must be aware of this reality, and seek the power of God in his Spirit.

3  Great Commission driven

We will be devoted to Christ’s mission of reaching our city and the nations through evangelism and church planting.

Proclamation of the word of the gospel is the primary form of evangelism; without it, we are not evangelizing.

The entire congregation will own this vision and stretch ourselves to be a culture of people gracious and hospitable to visitors.

The members of the church, and the church corporately will be intentional about evangelism.

4.  Every-member ministry

Every member of the body of Christ is gifted and empowered for ministry by the Holy Spirit.

We will have a strong emphasis on bearing one-another’s burdens, meeting one another’s needs, as well as the needs of those outside the flock.

We will avoid the mentality that the pastor is the one paid minister of the church and is therefore responsible for all ministry.

5.  Biblical

We will seek in all things to conform our church and our lives to the revelation of God in all the scriptures.

Because we believe that faith comes from hearing the word of God, we will generally have expository preaching that draws out and applies the meaning of the scriptures: both Old and New Testament.

The church will be governed by the biblical offices of elders and deacons.

We will take seriously church membership and loving discipline.

We will strive for holiness in all that we do corporately and individually.

We will hold loosely enough to our extra-biblical traditions.

6  Prayer saturated

We do not have, because we do not ask.  What Father if his son asks him for bread will give him a stone?  The fields are ripe for harvest, we are to pray for God to send out workers into the harvest.  We cannot do any of the work God has called us to in our own strength.  We must therefore depend on God, and earnestly seek him in corporate and private prayer.

7.  Entire

We will seek as a church to follow God and minister to others as whole people.  This means worshiping God with the thoughts, the affections, and the will.  This also means seeing people created as ensouled bodies: caring for people body and soul.

8.  Community

Christians are saved into a body of believers, a community of worshipers seeking to live life the way God intended it.  The church is not a place where individuals meet and then go on their way.  The church is a new people, a family, a nation dispersed across the world.

We will be in each others’ lives and homes.

We will seek to meet one another’s needs.

There will not be a needy person among us.

The world will know we are Christians by the love we have for each other.

9.  Culturally engaged

We will seek to engage and bring light to the culture of our city rather than retreating from it (in the world but not of the world.)

We will seek to do this in many ways, including: Joining local clubs and groups. Engaging in the arts: music, visual arts, etc. Working for the good of the city in our jobs. Having a concern for the powerless (orphans and widows).