Being a Christian is about following Jesus and trusting him to save us. We believe Jesus is Lord and Savior, which means among infinite other things
- that Jesus is fully human and fully God;
- that God is Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit;
- that we are not gods, though we wrongly fancy ourselves such;
- that God is good, that we are not;
- that we individually and socially have intentionally and unintentionally rebelled and failed God;
- that rebellion and failure creates enmity and estrangement that needs fixing;
- that Jesus can and will redeem all the fault and brokenness in our lives;
- that he is the teacher and we are the students;
- that we trust him and his Bible more than ourselves;
- that he is dwells in us by the Holy Spirit gifting us to be the Body of Christ; and
- that he is coming back to judge the world.
Beyond these things, we choose to focus on disciplines rather than doctrines, behaviors rather than beliefs because Christianity is not about knowing facts but rather following a person. Not rational ascent so much as relational trust. As followers of Jesus, trusting in his forgiveness, and led by his Spirit we are called to be Disciples. This is how we explain what that means.
BECAUSE JESUS IS LORD AND SAVIOR,
I am called to FOLLOW. - “Come, follow me.” (Matthew 4:19)
I am called to FISH. - “…and I will send you out to fish for people.” (Matthew 4:19)
I am called to LOVE. – “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and, Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27)
We follow because we love. We love, because God first loved us. We do not follow Jesus from compulsion or even selfish, heaven-seeking motives, but because we love the way he loves us. I will love the Lord by serving his people, studying his Word, following his way, keeping his commands, prioritizing his priorities. I will love my neighbors by pointing them to Jesus and meeting their physical needs. I will love my enemies with prayer, forgiveness, and gifts, because Christ loved me when I was his enemy.
I am called to WORSHIP. – “You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.” (Luke 4:8)
I will seek to worship God by placing God first in my life, my decision-making processes, and my allegiances. I will train my heart to do this by through regular, scheduled, and repeated times spent hearing from God’s Word, celebrating God’s goodness, praying my heart, and serving God’s priorities.
I will worship individually through private Bible study, prayer, giving, and service.
I will worship corporately through regular Sunday worship and other church activities.
I am called to MATURE. – “Until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:13-14)
Spiritual growth is not an option, and so I will seek to fertilize my faith by seeking to know more of God’s Word and more of God’s heart, and by surrounding myself with more mature believers. I have been called out of darkness, sin, and flesh. Therefore, I will seek to put to death all known sin in my life in order to live as a new creation and find real, true, and abundant life.
I am called to SERVE. – “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)
You do not volunteer at your church any more than you babysit your own children. So I will seek to understand where my gifts and availability overlap with the church’s needs and the world’s needs.
I am called to GIVE. – “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Luke 12:34)
God does not need our money, but he wants our hearts. As an act of worship, I will give time, energy, resources, and money to God’s Church and those in need, so that God can retrain my heart to value the right things in the right proportion. Jesus lived this way, and so will I.
I am called to SEEK UNITY. – “I pray…that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (John 17:21)
All families have their fights, disagreements, disgruntle members, and difficult aunts. I come into the Church as a sinner among sinners, and so I know that I will both hurt and be hurt unintentionally over personal, practical, and theological issues. When this happens I will seek and give forgiveness, just as I came to Christ and received forgiveness.
I am called to PRAY. – “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
I’m too busy not to pray. Because of Jesus, I can address God as Father and know he cares for me. Therefore, I will pray for the church, laborers, the sick, my enemies, my daily bread, others, forgiveness, and myself.
I am called to DIE. – “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.” (Mark 8:34-35)
Following Jesus will often lead me to the cross, but I am convinced that as I lose my life, I will find it better, fuller, richer, livelier than I dared to dream possible. Therefore I will make sacrifices to follow Jesus such as a simpler lifestyle, bad habits, hobbies that interfere with church, and even using my vacation time for mission trips and retreats. I will inconvenience myself to make sure my family and neighbors have an opportunity to hear the gospel.