The church has always been God’s primary vehicle for accomplishing His purposes in the world. However, over the centuries the institutional Church has varied in its effectiveness. The Church is to be the Body of Christ, His Bride. It is to serve the purpose of proclaiming the gospel, ministering to the needy, and equipping its members to be productive members of the Kingdom of God. When the church has lost its focus and zeal for the purposes of God, it has grown dull and ineffective. God has through the ages practiced quality control by raising up reformers, revivalists, and para-church groups, calling us back to discipleship, evangelism and works of mercy.
The historic marks of the church are three: 1) Correct teaching of the Word of God 2) Faithful administration of Baptism and Communion and 3) Discipline. We would add to this, evidence of loving relationships. We can have good doctrine, good sacraments and fervent discipline with no evidence of love or joy. The only “stock-in-trade” of the church is relationships, right relationship to God through Christ, right relationships between believers, and genuine relationships with those outside the faith evidenced by a heart-felt zeal to introduce them to Jesus.
We choose to build our Church life around structures that are relational rather than bureaucratic, organic rather than programmatic. Our primary building blocks are our small groups, 6-12 individuals meeting together for fellowship, support, worship and ministry. We offer Home Groups as extended spiritual families, Discipleship groups for equipping for ministry and service, and Support Groups to help specific needs. We expect our people to participate in our groups because it is there that friendships deepen, gifts are identified, growth is encouraged, and ministry is birthed. Corporate worship is important. The Fellowship that grows out of fellowship, discipleship training, and ministry is equally important for a healthy Christian life.
Our goal is spiritual maturity for each person. We prize doctrinal clarity and Biblical knowledge, but if these are not united to action they are of doubtful value. May our confession of faith be reflected in our lives of service to Christ and others.