We believe that . . .
The Church of Jesus Christ exists for the three-fold purpose of Exaltation, Edification, and Evangelism.
Exaltation – The Church Exists for Christ
God the Father, God the Son (Mt. 17:5) and God the Holy Spirit (Jn. 14:26) are all active in history and redemption. However, the work of Jesus is central. Therefore, the Father and the Spirit direct our attention to Jesus Christ (Jn. 15:26). The church exists because Jesus died, was buried, (1 Cor. 15:4) was resurrected for it, and because He is actively involved in in building (cf. Acts 2:47) and defending it (Mt.16:18). Although we worship the Triune God, we find that the focal point in history (1 Cor. 15:24,25) is the resurrection of Jesus; therefore, as the King (Acts 2:30) and Head (Col. 1:18) of the Church, we exist for Him.
Jesus is to have preeminence in all things, and worship is included. We believe that worship which best glorifies Christ (1 Tim. 3:16) is that which we find in the Bible. We worship the Triune God through Christ when we use all of our talents. Worship is not the performance of a few leaders, but the whole congregation is to worship. Therefore, we have the privilege of glorifying God through a strong music ministry, singing (Eph. 5:19), prayer, giving to the Lord’s work (1 Cor. 16:1ff), reading through the Bible, and listening to God’s word proclaimed through exposition (Acts 13:16ff) and applications to the needs of God’s people. Because Christ calls believers (cf. Acts 2:39) and their children (Is. 59:21) as well as all people to worship Him (Jn. 4:20ff), each sermon will seek to be understandable to all (1 Cor. 14:25) who are present , including unbelievers. (1 Tim. 4:1ff)
Edification – The Church Exists for Itself
To be sure, Jesus is the Head, King and Shepherd (1 Pet. 2:25) of His Church. Before He ascended into heaven, He put men in the place of leadership (Mt. 18:15ff) and continues to do that today. (cf. Eph. 4:11) These men are elders. (1 Tim. 3:1ff) Our pastors shall have first and foremost a commitment to the Bible as well as a solid understanding of the Westminster Confession of Faith and its catechisms. Our elders will share the ministry which means that they will not only participate in monthly elder meetings, but also in the life of the church, in visitation and evangelism, (Eph. 4:12,16) teaching and preaching, as well as other pastoral duties, to each (1 Cor. 12:12) one as God has gifted him.
Their primary task is to shepherd the flock of God. (1 Pet. 5:2) We believe that they shepherd the Church by helping believers identify, develop, and use their gifts. According to Ephesians 4:12, Jesus has given pastors to equip the members of Christ’s body to do the work of ministry; in this sense, we believe that we are all ministers. Furthermore, by using our gifts, we are able to minister to each other. We, as members of Christ’s body, can not function effectively if each person does not do his part. Therefore, we believe that we must serve one another, build one another up (1 Thess. 5:11), and supply our gifts and abilities to promote the ministry of this congregation.
Evangelism – The Church Exists for Others
Jesus had many things to say about our responsibility to tell others (Luke 9:26) of what He has done for us. We will not only pray for unbelievers, but we will share the Good News with them as well. The Great Commission (Mt. 28:19-20) is not an option for believers. We believe that we exist in this world (Acts 1:8) to tell others of Jesus who is Savior and King. As a result, evangelism is not one of the many activities of our church, but it is to pervade all we do. In every program of the church, we will ask ourselves, “How can this be used to reach the unchurched?”
We believe that our worship should be evangelistic in the sense that unbelievers who are present ought to be able to say, “God is really among you.” (1 Cor. 14:25) Undoubtedly we will grow by transfer of membership, but our primary goal is to reach the unchurched with the message of salvation in Jesus Christ. We desire to be like the apostle Paul, that is, all things to all men (1 Cor. 9:22) in order that we might win some. In doing that, we will attempt to reach our community in a variety of ways, using means which we believe are consistent with God’s Word and which will convey the Gospel to unbelievers. We will also help in world evangelism, by sending out those from our congregation and in supporting financially (Phil. 4:16) the missionaries of our church.
We conclude that . . .
We will always be accountable to the Lord and to each other to fulfill this purpose. We pray that we will never be a church which stands still, which in reality is moving backward, but we pray that we will continually have as our vision seeing God change lives through Exaltation, Edification, Evangelism as we are faithful to Him. As our church grows, we will seek to establish daughter congregations in the surrounding communities, to the praise and glory of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.