PHILOSOPHY OF MINISTRY
Centrality of the Gospel
All activities and messages of the church have their source in the gospel of Christ, that sinners are justified by faith alone, that the righteousness of Christ is imputed to believers by God’s decree alone, and that this righteousness is the only righteousness that justifies and that faith that is true faith is evidenced by works. (1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Revelation 14:6-7)
Authentic worship of the holy and living God is marked by Biblical truth, personal and corporate genuineness and spiritual depth. Elements of worship include prayer, public reading and preaching, music, observance of the ordinances of Communion and Baptism, and financial giving. (Psalm 24, 33, 42, 95; Isa 6:1-8; Matt 4:10; 28:18-20; John 4:24; Rom 12:1-2; 2 Cor 9; Heb 13:15; Rev 4-5; 1 Cor 11:23-34).
Every aspect of the church’s life and ministry ought to be under-girded with regular, fervent prayer. Elements of a godly prayer life (individually and corporately) include: adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and intercession (Neh 1; Psalm 51; Matt 6:5-15; Luke 19:46; Phil 1:3-11; Col 1:3-12; James 5:13-18).
Public Reading of Scripture
Given that the Word of God is God’s “most sure word of prophecy” to men, and itself the giver of faith, portions of Scripture should be read in the hearing of all ages by men who have prepared ahead of time to read it well. (2 Peter 1:19-21; Romans 10:17; I Timothy 4:13)
We believe that a steady diet of expositional preaching is the most effective way to build up the body of Christ. Preaching and teaching through books of the Bible will be the primary emphasis of Sunday morning worship. (Deut 6:4-9; Ezra 7:10; Neh 8:1-12; Matt 4:4; 1 Tim 4:13; 2 Tim 3:14-4:5; Titus 1:3, 9; Heb 4:12; 1 Peter 1:22-2:3).
Worship music should be intentionally Scriptural, God-glorifying, Christ-centered, congregational, fervent and distinct. (Matthew 22:37-38; John 4:24; 1 Cor 1:23; Eph 1:12; 5:18; Col 3:16; Hebrews 12:28-29; Rev 4:11)
We believe that every Christian, as a steward of that portion of God’s wealth entrusted to him, is obligated to financially support his local church. We believe that God has established the tithe as a basis for giving, but that every Christian should also give other offerings sacrificially and cheerfully to the support of the church, the relief of those in need, and the spread of the Gospel. We believe that a Christian relinquishes all rights to direct the use of his tithe or offering once the gift has been made. (Gen. 14:20; Prov. 3:9-10; Acts 4:34-37; 1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 9:6-7; Gal. 6:6; Eph. 4:28; 1 Tim. 5:1718; 1 John 3:17)
Family Worship (Public)
We believe that the Biblically-ordered, age-integrated practice for the worship of God and discipleship in a local church is consistent with the Holy Scriptures and critical for the restoration of the kind of worship and discipleship culture we see demonstrated in both the Old and New Testament. Thus it is our desire to provide for and expect that children of all ages worship with their parents. Fathers and mothers should sit with their children during the worship service and engage them in discussion concerning the message(s) and music during the week. Activities of the church and its outreach ministries should further equip the family to grow and minister together in love and provide opportunities for discipleship in the home. (Ex. 12:21-27; Deut. 31:12-13; 2 Chron. 20:13; Ezra 10:1; Psalm 148:12-13; Matt. 19:13-14; Mark 9:36; 10:13-16; Luke 18:15-17; Acts 20:7-12; Col. 3:20; Eph. 6:1-4)
Family Worship (Private)
It is the Father’s primary duty to instruct his home in doctrine, that is, to teach his children the good and right way; warn and protect them of the dangers of the flesh; reprove, rebuke and encourage them; pray with them, and for them; set a godly example before them in all things; and do these things deliberately and daily. Formal family worship consists of the faithful reading and explaining of Scripture, accompanied with prayer and singing. No other person bears the weight of this responsibility so much as the father of the home. (Gen. 18:19; Deut. 6; Psalm 78:1-8; Prov. 1:8-9; 2:1-9; 4:1-4; Eph. 6:10; 2 Timothy 3:15-17)
Hospitality is the ministry of all believers by which they impact the community with the Gospel. Hospitality is our God-given directive and responsibility that leads to the evangelism of our community. First, it is a demonstration of the love we should have, in Christ, for our neighbors, our co-workers and our acquaintances. By inviting the community to our table for dinner and conversation, they see, in a real life setting, the change that the Gospel makes. The home reveals how family members respond to each other in love. Second, hospitality brings the Church together for edification and true fellowship. This, too, demonstrates love, but a love that binds believers together in Christ. (Mat. 9:10-12; 25:35-36, 40; Luke 7:36-38; John 13:34-35; Romans 12:13; 1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8; Hebrews 13:2; 1 Peter 4:9)
We will cultivate Christian love, rejoicing, unity and community in the family of God through mentoring relationships, benevolence and biblical instruction across multiple generations. (Acts 2:44-47; 6:1-7; Eph. 4:1-16; 6:1-4; 1 Tim 5:3-8; 2 Tim 2:2; Titus 2:3-5; James 1:27).
We will exercise Biblical church discipline administered in a spirit of obedience and humility and believe that this practice protects the purity of the church and offers restoration to the wayward (Prov 28:13; Matt 5:23-24; 18:15-20; 1 Cor 5:6-8; 11:17-34; Gal 6:1-5; Eph 5:25-27).
We will equip and send the church into the community to bring the message of the cross to our own households, neighborhoods, workplaces and the world (Matt 28:19-20; John 20:31; Acts 4:12; Rom 10:14-15; 1 Peter 3:15).
We will make intentional efforts to reach the world for Christ by praying, giving, going and planting as we rejoice in God’s plan to be a blessing to the nations. (Matt 28:19-20; Acts 13-14, 16-21).