Events Highlights

Ongoing · Sunday School
Sunday School  is at 10:00 am. Our current series for the adult class is on Creeds, Confessions, and Catechisms

December 3rd · True Fellowship!
We will celebrate the Lord's Supper in both of our morning services; our monthly potluck will be at 12:45 pm. A main dish will be provided.

Vision Statement

We desire to see God build a people who glorify and treasure Him in all things. Consistent with our purposes of a church to exalt God, edify believers, and evangelize the world (the latter two really being subservient to the chief purpose to exalt and glorify God), our vision is to apply those purposes to the ongoing ministries of the church.


Exaltation
God created men and women to be worshippers. Worship is essentially the expression of one's valuing something. God has created people to enjoy the worship of Him in all of life. While group worship gatherings are special times when believers gather to declare as one body the greatness of the Lord and to offer devotion and adoration to Him, worship is not to be limited to these times. Rather, appropriate worship is to be an overflow of one's personal life of devotion and adoration of God and is evidenced in a life of obedience and the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). However, group worship is an important aspect of the life of the church and must be shaped in God-honoring direction and forms (Heb. 10:25). The forms of worship are to provide channels for the mind to apprehend the truth of God's reality and to express the value of Him. Therefore, a church gathering should seek to inspire the affections with biblical truth as taught from the Word of God and offer outlets for the heart to respond to the beauty of that truth, including prayer and song.1


The worship principles that we strive for include:2

  • God-centeredness: A high priority of the focus on God and His special revelation to us in His Word with the aim of glorifying Him in our affections, which will flow into all of life.
  • Acknowledging the presence of God: Understanding that God is the object of worship and that direct address is often given to Him in prayer and song. A conscious focus on the address of songs (e.g. names, personal pronouns used) should be in minds of the congregation. Note however, while songs are often directed toward God, many are directed to one another and should be recognized as a means of exhorting and admonishing the body (Col. 3:16), but such singing is still focused on the truths of God.
  • Bible-based and Bible-saturated: The content of singing and praying and preaching should always conform to the truth of Scripture. The content of God's Word is to be woven through all that is done in church gatherings and is to be the ground of all appeals to authority.
  • Head and heart: Worship that aims at focusing the heart toward God, but does not manipulate people's emotions by failing to appeal to clear thinking about spiritual things grounded in God's Word.
  • Earnestness and intensity: Avoiding a trite, flippant, superficial, frivolous atmosphere, but instead setting an example of reverence and passion and praise.
  • Authentic communication: The renunciation of all sham and deceit and hypocrisy and pretense and affectation and posturing. Not the atmosphere of artistic or oratorical performance but the atmosphere of a personal relationship with God in truth.
  • The mingling of historic and contemporary music appropriate for the above criteria for the congregation.

Edification
Consistent with the purpose of the church to glorify God is the focus of the church on discipleship - spurring on every believer to Christ-likeness. Discipleship is not a program, but it is the Christian life. Therefore, regeneration is the foundation of discipleship; all else flows from the fact that a real change has occurred in a person at the moment of salvation that sets one on the path of ongoing transformation. Therefore, the ministries of the church need to be clarifying the gospel, encouraging and strengthening believers, and challenging "fringe" Christianity with the need for true repentance and faith, for counting the cost, and for joining in a life of treasuring God.

From the common foundation of new life and understanding of what it means to be a disciple, believers need to always be striving in the three areas of abiding in the Word (John 8:31-32), loving one another (John 13:34-35), and bearing fruit (John 15:7-8). Such an emphasis involves: 3

  • Teaching believers all that Christ has commanded (Matt. 28:20), through ministry of the Word with instruction through preaching (2 Tim. 4:1-3), teaching (formally, informally, and non-formal methods), training (2 Tim. 2:2-4), and exhorting (Col. 1:28);
  • Promoting the joy of corporately exalting God in worship by giving praise and thanksgiving (Heb. 13:15; Col. 1:12: 3:15-17), singing and making melody (Acts 16:25; 1 Cor. 14:26: Eph. 5:9; Col. 3:16), baptizing of converts (Matt. 28:19; 1 Peter 3:21), partaking of the Lord's Supper (1 Cor. 11:23-24);
  • Depending on the Lord for everything and calling on Him in prayer for confession (1 Cor. 11:28; 1 John 1:9; Ps. 66:18; Pr. 28:13), adoration (Eph. 3:20-21), intercession and petition (Eph. 6:18-19; Col. 4:2-3, 12; Phil. 4:6-7; 2 Tim. 2:1ff);
  • Sharing together in the fellowship of the church by encouraging (Heb. 10:24-25), counseling (Rom. 16:14; 1 Thess. 5:14), discipling (Matt. 18:15-20; Gal. 6:1-4), giving (Acts 2:42; 1 Cor. 16:1-2; 2 Cor. 8-9; Gal. 6:7; 1 John 3:16-17), laboring together (1 Cor. 12:4-11, 14ff; Phil. 1:27; 1 Pet. 4:10-11), and helping and caring for one another (Rom. 15:1-3; 16:2; Phil 2:4; 4:3; 1 Thess. 5:14; Tit. 2:14; 3:1, 8, 14);
  • Providing examples by having newer disciples be involved with more mature ones (1 Cor. 4:16; 11:1; Phil 3:17; 4:9); and
  • Fostering the application of biblical principles to the heart issues of life in all spheres of life - work, home, church, social - and equipping to live righteously (e.g. in marriage, as parents, as citizens, etc.).

Each Christian needs to have the mindset fostered that the goal of life is to be more like Christ. With that mindset, every believer should learn to seek Jesus' admonishment, correction, support, comfort, restoration, and discipline, which comes through the Word, the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and the people of God. Then a believer can begin to see the exhortations from other believers in accordance with the Word not as infringements, but as direction for life and the normal part of church life which God has ordained. In such a context, Church discipline per Scriptural principles is to be humbly practiced and understood as ultimately having a positive goal for both the church and those being disciplined (cf. Heb. 12:6-11; Matt. 18:15-17; 1 Cor. 5:1-13; 2 Thess. 3:6-15; Gal. 6:1).


Evangelization
1. Locally
The impact the believers make on the world around them is done through our living and proclaiming. In every day life, living in submission to Christ is a testimony (1 Peter 2:11ff). Our goal is that believers learn to take joy in helping their neighbors, showing mercy, and, according to their ability, giving to those in need to demonstrate the love of Christ and thus adorn the gospel (Matt. 22:39; Luke 10:33; John 4:4ff; Gal. 6:10a; Tit. 3:14). Also, believers should be equipped to give a reason when asked why they live as they do (1 Pet. 3:15) as well as be able to articulate the gospel in personal witnessing. While the way in which a church reaches into the community needs to be a function of the giftedness of the people who are in the church, the goal is to have every member involved, while recognizing that not every member has the same giftedness. In general, the people of the church need to have the mindset of discipleship as the Christian life. The leadership should promote discipleship-evangelism and regularly challenge witnessing through the preaching/teaching ministries.


2. The Nations - Mission
Another key focus for the outward dimension will be an active mission program. The church's outward Mission should be taught as a major focus of the church, not just as a program, but as the goal for all ministries of the church that includes supporting the making of disciples in other parts of the world. To facilitate a unified approach of the church, clear objectives for mission and missionaries should be defined by the elders that will not only help the church to be good stewards, but will also help convey clearly the objectives to the congregation, better understand the supported missionaries' ministries, and hopefully encourage support from the congregation. While there may be valid ministries outside the scope of the objectives, the purpose of having set objectives is to define an emphasis and priorities around which the church can rally. The imperative of the Great commission is to "make disciples." The church's missionaries' activities are to be in some way related to the making of disciples of Christ, either directly, or indirectly by participating in supporting activities.4 The most appropriate context for making disciples is in the establishment and growth of the local church.5 Thus, the mission activities should be in some way related to the establishment and/or building up of local churches. This includes church planting and related activities. Though exceptions may be considered for environments where local church establishment is inhibited, e.g. prison ministry, or orphanages, such activities should still include a disciple-making emphasis. Supported individual missionaries, therefore, should fall into one of the following categories:6

  • Church planting: the establishing of local, indigenous churches characterized by worship of God, effective biblical teaching/nurture of believers, and evangelization of unbelievers, to the end that these churches will reproduce themselves.
  • Church planting efforts will require an initial evangelistic/discipleship strategy and a strong, ongoing gospel witness and teaching ministry for the effective building up of a living body of believers.
  • These efforts may encompass such activities as gospel team work, preaching and teaching, evangelistic Bible studies, literature distribution, media, campus evangelism/discipleship, and evangelistic camp work, among other ministries.
  • Each of these activities should have the goal of establishing or building up local churches.
  • Strengthening existing churches: equipping and building up existing local, indigenous churches so that they are able to evangelize and reproduce churches among their own people in an effective way. Efforts to strengthen local churches may include such activities as training national leadership and partnering with Christian nationals in outreach ministries.
  • Support ministries: providing support services to aid those engaged in church planting and equipping ministries. Support ministries may include such activities as translation, administration, medical work, aviation, community development, and other services.

Churches and sending agencies with which missionaries partner (as well as the missionaries themselves) are to be theologically evangelical and consistent with the church's teaching/doctrinal statements. Local church planting should have the goal of establishing autonomous churches that are self-supporting, self-governing, and self-reproducing. For missionaries involved in the leadership of a local church plant, plans should be implemented and/or in progress for establishing local leadership and becoming self-sufficient. Therefore, a "permanent" externally supported missionary in a given local church is inconsistent with such a goal. The church should periodically evaluate any missionaries in a church leadership role as to the appropriateness and duration of such a role. Those involved with the leadership of a church plant should have the plan of disengagement. In areas in which indigenous evangelical churches exist, missions activities should be geared toward strengthening the leadership, as opposed to new planting efforts by expatriates. For missionaries sent from the church itself, there should be even more direct relationship of the missionary to the local church, including regular accountability/involvement.


Summary
While the foregoing vision statement is not exhaustive, it does provide a core of our understanding of applying the biblical principles to the ministries of the church. May the Lord enable us to implement it to the praise of His glory!



[1] Holland, Rick, Crossroads: A Biblical Philosophy of Ministry, http://aster.nowsprouting.com/gracecommunitychurch8/

[2] Appended and adapted from Piper, Philosophy of Worship that Unites Us, http://www.desiringgod.org/library/topics/worship/philosophy_worship.html

[3] Adapted from Keathley.

[4] “‘Going’ without ‘making disciples’ is an aborted commission. ‘Baptizing’ without ‘teaching’ is birth without growth. To obey the full commission, we must endeavor to respect and apply each component [of the commission].” D. Harvey, The Gospel, the Local Church, and the Great Commission.

[5] Ibid, “Church planting establishes a mission base for the three-fold purpose of proclamation (going and baptizing), integration (making disciples and teaching), and expansion (reproducing proclamation and integration in a new geographic area). The message proclaimed is the gospel; the context for integration is the church; and mobilizing a "gospelized" church produces expansion: local churches reproduce themselves.”

[6] BBC, Missions Policy; http://bbcmpls.org/foreignmissions/careermissions.htm.

 

© 2015 Hayden Bible Fellowship