Worship & Prayer
Worship is our “chief end”—it is what we were made for, it is what we will do into eternity, it is our greatest privilege and highest duty (Acts 17:26-28; Rom 12:1; Rev 4:11). Although we must live every day before the face of God with a heart full of worship, God’s people are particularly called to corporate worship each Lord’s Day, when we are united with the saints throughout the ages in the presence of God (Exod 20:8-11; Heb 10:23-25). The Bible describes what kind of worship God desires, thus teaching us how to worship acceptably (Lev 10:1-3; John 4:21-24; Heb 12:28-29). In worship the whole person is engaged (inwardly and outwardly) in the reading/hearing of the Word, responding in praise and thanksgiving, bringing our offerings, lifting our prayers, confessing our sins, and participating in the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s supper. Our worship is Christ-centered and driven by the written Word of God that testifies to the incarnate Word of God, Jesus Christ. Worship is a covenantal service as God speaks and we respond as his people (Rom 10:5-8, 13-15, 17).
Teaching & Discipleship
Teaching and Discipling in the church reflects the ministry of Jesus and the Apostles in training and equipping the body for the works of service (Eph 4:1-16). Likewise, the Lord raises up pastors and teachers who encourage the teaching ministry of the body as a whole, including parents, Sunday School teachers, small group leaders, and others who teach (Eph 4:11-12). Discipleship is the means by which this training and equipping is put into practice. It requires the development of intimate relationships to foster accountability to live the Christian life (Titus 2:1-8). The goal of teaching and discipleship is to put knowledge into practice (Jas 1:22-27) so that we might glorify God and enjoy him forever (1 Cor 10:31; Rom 11:36).
Fellowship & Community
The Bible commands Christians to intentional, self-sacrificial living in the local church by caring for, supporting and guiding each other (Acts 2:42-47). This horizontal fellowship is rooted in the vertical fellowship God establishes when he calls his chosen people into renewed relationship with him (1 John 4:13-21). This radical way of living involves sharing all aspects of life together (Rom 12:15), assisting our brothers and sisters in need, and allowing others to have a claim on our time, our heart and our resources (even when inconvenient), leading us to engage in ministries of mercy. Fellowship and community call us to die to ourselves and live for Christ (John 15:12-13). Such fellowship and community in the local church should attract others to inquire about the love that believers have for each other (1 John 3). This fellowship is also seen in our confessional and practical unity with other like-minded congregations as we joyfully express our love for others in Christ’s visible Church (John 17:20-23).
Mercy & Social Concern
In response to the mercy that God has shown us in Jesus Christ, we are called to show mercy, concern and compassion to our congregation and our community (Mic 6:8; Luke 6:36; Acts 2:44-45; Eph 2:4; Gal 6:10). We seek to identify and address tangible needs inside and outside the community of believers, and to seek Biblically-based, Christ-centered justice for those inside and outside our congregation (Luke 18:7).
Outreach & Evangelism
Outreach and Evangelism is primarily the responsibility of every believer. Every member should be active in some form of gospel outreach to our unchurched and unreached “neighbors” (Matt 28:18-20; Luke 10:29-37). Gospel outreach is not a joyless duty, but a natural and thankful expression of our lifestyle and Christian worldview (Ps 51:12-13). Such opportunities will arise through casual conversations, acts of reaching out to people with whom we normally do not interact, providential life circumstances, and talking about our personal faith and the reasons why we believe the gospel (1 Pet 3:15). As a congregation, we strive to encourage one another consistently to recognize and act on opportunities for relational/friendship evangelism, and host/attend community forums where Christians and non-Christians discuss important and relevant life issues (Acts 17). We are committed to send and support those believers who are set apart for particular callings to evangelism and missions, either local or worldwide.