1. A Growing Relationship with God
Through the life, the sacrificial death on a cross, the burial, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we have been given access to the Father. The Bible says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you…”(James 4:8a) and “let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water” (Hebrews 10:22); also “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). God can be known, and He desires to know us and be known.
2. A Growing Relationship with One Another
Like most churches we believe the teaching of God’s word and prayer is essential. Unlike many churches, we also emphasize genuine fellowship, not just casual and superficial gatherings. It is about growing together in love. Our relationships with others impact our relationship with God, “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also” (1 John 4:20-21). Today’s church culture is often individualistic and no longer identified by specific communities or neighborhoods. It takes an intentional effort to build relationships with one another. One way that we hope to foster growing relationships is by sharing a meal together as a congregation each Sunday. We welcome any guests to join us as well, which gives them an opportunity to begin to develop relationships with others in the church.
3. The Doctrine of Love
Jesus gave the following command… “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35). The “agape” love is the glue that unites us together in Christ and is greater than any differences we may have. Love is not necessarily an emotionally warm and fuzzy feeling toward one another, but rather a commitment to being just, and faithful, and merciful, as Christ is to each of us. “But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection” (Colossians 3:14).
4. Unity with Diversity
There have been many debatable subjects throughout church history that individuals and groups have not agreed on. We believe that it is not healthy for members to cause division because of an overemphasis of non-essential doctrinal differences. We don’t believe that everyone must think alike, look alike, or act alike in order to experience unity in Christ.
5. Family Integrated Ministry
We are a family integrated church which essentially means that we gather and worship together as families and do not have age segregating Sunday school classes or youth groups. That does not exclude anyone from attending without their family present, whether they are a single parent, a young adult, a widow, or someone whose spouse or children do not join them for worship under certain circumstances. Family integrated ministry also does not exclude ministry to children, teens, young adults, single parents, and widows, as well as ministry to families.
We aspire to promote a biblical model for families and individuals. We believe God has given mankind a model in scriptures for each role whether it be as a husband, a wife, a single adult, a youth, or a child.
6. Spirit Led Ministry
Jesus said, “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive…” (John 7:38-39a). The Scriptures also tell us that Jesus’ ministry was through the power of the Holy Spirit. “Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness”(Luke 4:1); and “Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee…” (Luke 4:14a); also “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him” (Acts 10:38).
If Jesus, the Son of God, was led and empowered by the Spirit, how much more do we need to be led and empowered by the Spirit!
7. Priority of God’s Word
Without the Bible, the church would be a ship without a rudder. The Word of God is our rule of faith, and even though the interpretation of various verses are debatable, there are enough clear teachings to keep us occupied with eternal matters, instead of getting distracted by temporal disputes. The Bible says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Having a knowledge of the Scripture is important, but obeying it is even more critical. Jesus gave a parable about two foundations which can be built upon, a foundation of sand or a foundation of rock. The house built on sand which could not withstand the test of storms was analogous of a person who hears the Word of God, but does not act upon it.
8. Priority of Prayer
If a church were a vehicle, then prayer would be the engine under the hood. It doesn’t matter how fancy things look on the outside (or how rusty for that matter), if there is no commitment to prayer, then there is no real power. It is important for individuals to continue to grow in their private prayer life, but also we believe it is critical for church health, to continue to grow in our corporate prayer life. We gather on a weekly basis to offer prayers of thanksgiving, praise, petition, intercession, and confession as a congregation, and we encourage everyone to make it a priority to join us if at all possible.
9. The Privilege of Worship
In the old covenant, Israel worshiped the One true living God by offering sacrifices that were ordered by Himself and accepted and pleasing to Him when offered with the right heart (“in Spirit”) and with the right action (“in truth”). The Bible says, “You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5). Our worship is not only “the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name,” but also offering to God our time, our resources, our ministries, and our very lives as worship. The privilege of worship is not just for Sundays, but for every day of the week.
A church that is not following God’s command to preach the gospel and make disciples, is like a boat that is adrift without rudder, sail, oar, or anchor. Christ reached out to the lost world, and if we truly belong to Him, then we will reflect His life. Not only are we called to make disciples, we must also continue to support individuals and ministries dedicated to outreach and missions.