WE VALUE GOD’S WORD
As God’s people, we strive to ensure that what we believe and what we hope to become is found in the Bible. And that’s more than lip service- God has told us what He is like and what we can become through Jesus, and He did that in Scripture. There’s no better news out there, so we make the Bible the basis for how we plan our meetings, what we preach and teach, how we train and counsel, and how we reach out to others. Churches like ours that do this often are often described as "evangelical".
WE VALUE GOD’S GLORY
One of the foundational messages of Scripture is that nothing escapes God’s notice or oversight. While there’s a lot of nuance (and sometimes a lot of argument) about how this works out in real time, we’re convinced from the pages of Scripture that God both ordains and uses everything that happens to promote His name in the world and to accomplish ultimate good for His people. * Churches like ours that emphasize this are often described as "Reformed". **
* The biggest piece of evidence we can find for that news is found in Jesus’ story itself. Reflecting on the crucifixion, Peter said (in Acts 2), “Men of Israel, Jesus of Nazareth, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.” So we see that even the horrors of Jesus crucifixion (for which men were responsible) was planned and foreknown by God… and by His power ultimately accomplished our salvation!
** Some might object to us using the word “Reformed” to describe our church because most Reformed churches hold to different doctrinal positions than we do in 2 major areas: (1) we don’t baptize infants as a way of dedicating them to God and (2) we don’t hold to a “cessationist” view of the Holy Spirit’s work today.
WE VALUE GOD’S MESSAGE
When you read the Bible (not as a rule book or list of character traits to strive for), you find that it tells a story: people were created by God to be like God on the earth, but they rebelled against His purposes. As consequence of that rebellion, sin’s reign and curse over the earth has been terrible; but God sought to restore people- working through a people He redeemed to bring His Son as Savior. Jesus came to earth, living perfectly, then dying sacrificially as a substitute for us. His death wasn’t permanent because He came back to life three days later in victory over the greatest enemy we’d faced for ages: death. Though He ascended to heaven, His reign continues and He will return to establish His throne. What news could be better than that? There isn’t any. That good news is called the gospel and we make it the centerpiece of what we see as we read God’s Word. Churches like ours that emphasize this are often described as "gospel-centered".
WE VALUE GOD’S SPIRIT
When Jesus left the earth, it might have been easy to think that God’s presence was missing from the earth as well. However, Jesus made it clear that He would send His Spirit to both comfort and equip His followers so that they could accomplish the mission He gave them. When you read in Acts about how God’s Spirit worked powerfully to ignite those initial followers, you get excited. But the better news is that the Holy Spirit continues that work today. We believe that, when the Spirit converts a believer from the reign of darkness into Christ, He inhabits them and enables them to accomplish amazing things. The new gifts He gives Christians come in the form of amazing capacity to build up the church and to share the gospel… and we see no reason why the work He began shouldn’t continue today. Times may be different, but the gifts He gave then He still gives today. Our call then, is to be continually filled with the Spirit so that we are always ready for the work He wants to do in and through us each day. Churches like ours that emphasize this are often described as "continuationist".
WE VALUE GOD’S MISSION
What God has done in building His Church is amazing. And churches that realize that reality are often enjoyable and safe places to settle into. Sometimes it’s easy, then, to forget God that calls the church to step out of its comfort zone and follow His call to be his ambassadors. In fact Jesus stated that there is a blessing for His people that comes when we are actively speaking up for God… but that the blessing is wrapped in difficulty and even persecution. That didn’t hinder Jesus, and it shouldn’t hinder us. So we’re seeking to equip our members to share the good news with their families and then to launch out our members into the world (locally and internationally) so that we can engage others with the good news about Jesus. Churches like ours that emphasize this are often described as "missional". ***
*** This word has a LOT of other implications that have clung to it, but we’ll use it anyway as a reminder that we are a people who are sent on mission from our gatherings into the world.